[Tweeters] Seattle Audubon Field Trip to South King County Puget Sound - 17 Nov 2018

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 18 06:22:00 PST 2018

Hi Tweets -
Yesterday, Dasha Gudalewicz and I let a Seattle Audubon trip with 10 participants to many spots along the shore of the S.King County Puget Sound.
It was a gorgeous day to be out and an enjoyable day of birding. That said, the wind was just strong enough to be kicking up decent waves, and birds seemed remarkably quiet & tough to find throughout the day.


Des Moines Marina -
At our first stop, we enjoyed looks at some of the target birds of this trip to welcome winter birds: Harlequin Ducks, Surf & White-winged Scoters, both Goldeneyes, Horned & Red-necked Grebes, Common Murre, Rhinoceros Auklet & Pigeon Guillemot, several Bonaparte’s Gulls among the Mew, California & Glaucous-winged hybrids and all 3 cormorant species.

Saltwater State Park -
along with many of the same birds listed above, we picked up Red-breasted Merganser & Common Loon. Across the water close to Vashon Island, we enjoyed watching a flock of 20-ish Snow Geese flying north, low along the water. Among the American Wigeon flock was one female with a very ruddy head that looked good for female Eurasian Wigeon — we’ll look at photos to confirm. Moving away from the water, we were happy to find a Hermit Thrush - they seem late arriving in the lowlands this winter.

Redondo Beach was our next stop, and Western Grebe was our only new bird on the water. The wintering Yellow-rumped Warbler flock in the trees and shrubs in the parking lot was present this year again, but more elusive than usual.

En route to our next stop, we paused at Lakota Park, where the fields had a nice mixed flock of geese. We got great looks at Cackling & Canada Geese, with some discussion of the various possible subspecies of Cacklers we can get here [this flock had our expected minima, and some likely Taverners.

Dumas Bay Natural Area, always a nice walk through the forest, did not have much beyond another huge American Wigeon flock to enjoy.

At Dash Point State Park we added a few more passerines, but the winds off the water were chilling us a bit too much and we didn’t pick up new things on the water.

We ended the day with stops in Pierce County, first at Gog-le-hi-te, then at Dickman Mill Park, where we dipped on the Palm Warbler recently reported.

I believe our count for the day was around 50 species, and it was a good day to spend some time really watching some of our winter water birds.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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