[Tweeters] Neah Bay, Clallam County - Oct 19 & 20

Jim Danzenbaker jdanzenbaker at gmail.com
Sun Oct 22 18:11:20 PDT 2017


Tweeters,

I finally felt that I was caught up enough with various projects to take a
few days off to go birding so headed to Neah Bay on Wednesday arriving
after nightfall and finishing up a long very wet ride.

I started my birding on Thursday at Cape Flattery. I ha prepared for
inclement weather with rubber boots, rain coat and pants and an umbrella
and all were used extensively. I wasn't prepared for the ferocity of the
first storm. When I arrived at the base of the viewing platform at Cape
Flattery, I had just reached for the metal railing to ascend the three
steep steps to the viewing platform when thunder sand lightning hit.
Great. What could have been a hair raising experience ended up tranquil
after the deluge of rain came and went. I was so glad to have my umbrella
which protected not only me but my scope as well. My 2 hour sea watch
highlights:

Parasitic Jaeger: 1
Black-legged Kittiwake: ~20 (all adults)
Common Murre: 25
Rhinoceros Auklet: 8
Cassin's Auklet: 3
tubenose: ZERO
American Kestrel: 1 (don't know whether it flew over from Tattoosh Island
or from Vancouver Island)
several thousand gulls, many scoters and dabbling ducks winged by.

Afterward, I headed back to town but wasn't able to find much other than a
Snow Goose on the High School Sports field and a Long-tailed Duck in the
harbor and a Brad Waggoner. A flock of 45 Black Turnstones in the harbor
were joined by three Dunlin and a Black-bellied Plover. Rain started the
day, rain filled up the middle of the day and rain ended the day.

I had slightly better luck on Sunday and the sun even popped out a time or
two. Highlights were a cooperative SNOW BUNTING along the jetty at the
north end of the harbor, several enticing looking birds that got away (a
possible Black-headed/Rose -breasted Grosbeak type and a sparrow/bunting
that didn't want to be seen). A dark HARLAN'S HAWK in the valley was
beautiful (Brad told me about this bird so I was not the first person to
find it). A single Marbled Godwit showed up in the harbor and spent all
Friday afternoon there as well as Saturday morning. Friday closed with a
brief view of a BARN OWL while I waited for an owl that Brad had told me
about that he thought was either a Short-eared or a Long-eared Owl. I
never saw that owl but spent three bouts of waiting for it to emerge. Not
much chance of seeing the owl given the rainy conditions.

I left fairly early on Saturday morning after the rain started again. I
decided that the A-team of birders was coming so they would more easily
find the species that I wasn't able to find.

On all three days (including Saturday morning), migrant passerines were
difficult to find. Golden-crowned, White-crowned, and Song Sparrows,
Golden-crowned Kinglets, Pacific Wrens, Steller's Jays, Starlings, and
Dark-eyed Juncos were the most commonly encountered passerines in and
around Neah Bay. I did find a flock of 10 Savannah Sparrows on Friday
morning which may have arrived with the Snow Bunting. Those sparrows
didn't stay long but the bunting did.

It rained the entire 6.5 hour drive from Neah Bay to Battle Ground so I was
glad to finally get home. I may head back to Neah Bay in November but am
hopeful of better weather and more birds.

Keep your eyes and ears skyward except when its raining buckets.

Jim
--
Jim Danzenbaker
Battle Ground, WA
360-702-9395
jdanzenbaker at gmail.com


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