[Tweeters] SAS Field Trip South "King" County [and Pierce Co] Puget Sound 18 Nov 2017

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 20 05:29:45 PST 2017

Hi Tweets -
On Saturday, Dasha Gudalewicz and I led our annual trip to spots along the Puget Sound in the south part of King County and into Pierce County. It was a fun day, with sun and no rain - perhaps a first for this trip!

Nine of us began with a stop at Des Moines Marina [now w/ a parking fee of $1/hr] — We had nice looks at Surf Scoters, one White-winged Scoter, both goldeneyes, Horned, Red-necked and Western Grebes, a pair of Spotted Sandpipers working the jetty, and one Rhinoceros Auklet.

At Saltwater State Park, we had distant views of all three cormorant species, a big mixed flock of Common & Red-breasted Mergansers that allowed nice comparisons, and more of the species seen in Des Moines. In the trees, we enjoyed great looks at Red-breasted Sapsucker, Varied Thrush, a handful of Pine Siskins, and Cedar Waxwings.

At Redondo Beach fishing pier we saw more of the same water birds (after waiting for a wedding party to clear out of the way), and we enjoyed Yellow-rumped Warblers at the small plot of land by the nearby condos — a reliable wintering spot for a small flock of them.

At Dumas Bay Natural Area, a Red-throated Loon and Greater Scaup were new additions for the day, and at Dash Point State Park, over lunch, we picked up several more Red-throated Loons and Bonaparte’s Gull.

Moving into Pierce County, we stopped at the Dash Point fishing pier and got great, if distant, looks at 13 Ancient Murrelets and our only Pacific Loon of the day, in close.

We stopped at the Taylor St. Bridge and relocated the Harris’s Sparrow that has been sticking around — At Gog-Le-Hi-Te we missed the Common Redpoll, but stumbled on the Black Phoebe that Ken Brown found earlier — nice consolation find! Final stop was the 11th St. Bridge, where we were unable to pull out the Glaucous Gull in the fading light.

All in all, a very fun day with about 68 species seen over the course of the entire day.

Matt & Dasha

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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