[Tweeters] Stillaguamish Estuary shorebirds & Warm Beach, Snohomish County

Marcus Roening marcus at rainierconnect.com
Mon Aug 20 20:22:55 PDT 2018

Hi Tweets,

Heather & I spent the past few weekends with the family at Warm Beach, which allowed us to explore the Stillaguamish Estuary both on foot and by kayak. The most noticeable change is the sheer amount of mud and sand deposited in the bay from the Oso Landslide. The shallow delta has at least doubled (and I’m likely underestimating) and the mudflats near the mouth are now mostly sand. Historically we’ve kayaked up the southern main channel, out the west channel and around the west and south sides of the Estuary. Two weeks ago we tried that and we ended up doing our version of Kayak cross-fit training, alternating between ‘digging clams’ paddling, dragging boats up the channels and sliding kayak across the mud - I felt that for days.

The next week we just walked out to the Estuary as the river channel is only 3 1/2 deep at low tide and pretty warm in August.

Yesterday we saw on the lowish 6’ High Tide (which seems to be the best tide for shorebirds) on the sand islands
5 Baird’s Sandpipers
6 Least Sandpipers
155 Western Sandpipers (which is lower than most years)
21 Semipalmated Plovers

Later that evening at low tide we saw a 143 Black-bellied Plovers & 9 Greater Yellowlegs near shore, far less than our high of 270 and 61 birds respectively, on August 4.

If you decide to explore, note that all of Warm Beach is private, so parking anywhere near is difficult - although there is a public access point that goes down to the beach with Zero parking. For kayakers there is s boat launch off of Marine View Drive where it crosses the river. At this time of year for shorebirding, shorts and sandals for walking (& pulling thru the shallows with a tow rope) works best. The best spots we found are at the mouth of the South Channel. The West channel is mostly filled in this year.

Good birding,

Marcus Roening
Tacoma WA

Sent from my iPhone

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