[Tweeters] Seattle Audubon Grays Harbor on 15 Aug 2018
P B Bell
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Fri Aug 17 17:16:21 PDT 2018
On Wednesday, Seattle Audubon took a field trip to the Grays Harbor area. It
was a long day with lots of good birds. We left at 0630 under overcast skies
and a relatively warm temperature of 61F. The first part of the trip down
south was very quiet. As we got into the Olympia area we finally picked up
ROCK PIGEON and AMERICAN CROW, and it looked like it was clearing.
At McCleary we again had ROCK PIGEON and AMERICAN CROW, and were back under
the overcast. At Montesano there were two accipiters (one of the people on
the trip thought they might have been Cooper's Hawks). Aberdeen was again
really quiet with only ROCK PIGEON. In Hoquiam we finally saw our first
EUROPEAN STARLING. Further along SR 109 we had a single STELLER'S JAY fly
over the highway.
By now, with the overcast/fog increasing it looked like it would be a long
relatively birdless day. Then things changed when we got to Ocean Shores.
At the jetty, in spite of low overcast/fog and heavy wave spray (but no
wind) we saw WESTERN GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL, HEERMANN'S
GULL, AMERICAN CROW, MOURNING DOVE, AMERICAN ROBIN, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE,
and distant but good looks at RUDDY TURNSTONE (mostly in breeding plumage),
and WANDERING TATTLER. From on top of the jetty we made out DOUBLE-CRESTED
CORMORANT, BRANDT'S CORMORANT, COMMON MURRE, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. As we were
about to get in the cars we had a PEREGRINE FALCON fly over. While at the
beach we also saw BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, BARN SWALLOW and RING-BILLED GULL.
Since we wanted to be at Bottle Beach well before high tide, we started
around the harbor with a stop at the Hoquiam Sewer Ponds. There we saw
GADWALL, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREEN-WINGED TEAL,
MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, a nice BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, OSPREY, WESTERN
SANDPIPER, EUROPEAN STARLING, LNG-BILLED DOWITCHER (one of the really long,
long billed ones), SAVANNAH SPARROW, PIED-BILLED GREBE, a TURKEY VULTURE
overhead, KILLDEER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, CEDAR WAXWING, HOUSE SPARROW.
Heading around from Aberdeen along SR105 we saw another TURKEY VULTURE, a
BALD EAGLE, and at the south end of Grays Harbor (near Bay City) a GREAT
BLUE HERON. We made a lunch stop at Twin Harbors State Park and picked up
BELTED KINGFISHER (flying overhead), CASPIAN TERN, AMERICAN CROW, and DOWNY
We had enough time for a quick stop at the south end of the Westport Marina
where we saw BARN SWALLOW, about 400 or so MARBLED GODWIT and one BAR-TAILED
GODWIT (nice pale bird, slight white supercilium, and sharply contrasting
black-and-white markings on the tail), SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, PIGEON
GUILLEMOT, SURFBIRD, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, BLACK
TURNSTONE, BROWN PELICAN and WESTERN GULL. For a quick 15 minute stop this
was very nice.
Quickly now back around to Bottle Beach, and the tide was still a good ways
out and there were shorebirds. We saw SONG SPARROW, BEWICK'S WREN, MARSH
WREN, BARN SWALLOW, RING-BILLED GULL (lots), GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL,
CALIFORNIA GULL, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, and we picked out a nice PACIFIC
GOLDEN-PLOVER (slightly slimmer appearance, nice golden cast, black on the
throat and neck, white running down from the head, under a golden cast on
the top of the head, and whitish on the lower flanks - the bird very
cooperatively stayed in one place for a while and gave us looks at all
sides), SEMI-PALMATED PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, GREATER
YELLOWLEGS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, CASPIAN TERN, CEDEAR
WAXWING, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH,
AMERICAN CROW, and GREAT BLUE HERON. The tide was coming in quickly and the
birds were moving out (it was to be a high tide, about 9 feet).
The day was going well, so we decided to head south toward Tokeland. At
North Cove there was a huge flock of gulls (all that we had seen before),
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, AMERICAN CROW. At Graveyard Spit the high tide
basically had water all the way up to the shore. Again a huge collection of
gulls on the spit, nothing unusual, CASPIAN TERN, BARN SWALLOW, EUROPEAN
STARLING, BROWN PELICAN, and BREWER'S BLACKBIRD.
We ended the day at Tokeland at the marina and saw WILLET, BREWER'S
BLACKBIRD, PURPLE MARTIN, HOUSE FINCH, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER,
BROWN PELICAN (lots on the jetty), SURF SCOTER, and PELAGIC CORMORANT. On
the way home going toward Raymond we saw a pair of RED-TAILED HAWKs.
At various times during the trip we had CANADA GOOSE, a Hummingbird,
SANDERLING, NORTHERN HARRIER, COMMON RAVEN.
It turned out to be an excellent day with 18 species of shorebirds and 74
species overall, and with great companions!
Brian H. Bell
Mail to bell asoc a t iso me dia dot com
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