[Tweeters] Hood Canal birding
mombiwheeler at gmail.com
Mon Jan 15 19:46:45 PST 2018
Scot Duncan and I spent a productive day birding the southern arm of Hood
Canal. The day started out cold and foggy, but within a couple of hours
the fog had dispersed and the temperature crept up into the 50s. There was
a lot of bird activity on the water with impressive numbers of some of the
species. Here are the highlights:
George Adams Salmon Hatchery north of Shelton: We went there primarily for
A. DIPPERS, and we weren't disappointed. We spotted 2 individuals, both of
which sang on and off, which was wonderful to hear.
After a couple of foggy and mildly productive stops, we parked across the
street from the Union Country Store off of Hwy 106. We eventually spotted
21 species, including an amazing 700 WESTERN GREBES. Somewhat removed from
the rafts of grebes was a lone CLARK'S GREBE.
Twanoh SP: We recorded over 30 species at this location, including another
230 WESTERN GREBES.
Theler Wetlands, Belfair: Even though the main trail was closed due to a
washed out bridge, we still saw nearly 30 species, including several COMMON
REDPOLLS, some of which were mixed with a flock of PINE SISKINS. We could
see huge rafts of ducks in the distance, but most were too far away to ID.
Belfair SP: We walked out on a spit off of the campground and were able to
get a much closer look at the rafts of ducks that we had seen from Theler
Wetlands. It was an amazing sight. We counted nearly 1200 SURF SCOTERS, 1
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, ALMOST 1000 GREATER SCAUP, 260 NORTHERN PINTAILS, and
lesser numbers of several other species. In addition, we counted a further
440 WESTERN GREBES. This was by far the highest number of this species
that I have seen in one day. An oyster boat puttered into their midst to
harvest some oysters, sending the huge flock flying. I felt bad for the
birds, but it was an incredible spectacle. We also had an unexpected
MARBLED GODWIT land nearby in the shallows.
It was a great day.
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