[Tweeters] Parasitic Jaeger still at Potholes SP

plkoyama at comcast.net plkoyama at comcast.net
Wed Sep 12 16:56:37 PDT 2018

David and I were looking for shorebirds in E WA from Sat-Tue and were at Potholes for a while on two days. Sunday was pretty much a bust (well there was a solo Stilt Sandpiper there) due to the boating/ jet ski crowd, I guess, and we couldn’t find the jaeger in the air or on the water. On the way home, we stopped again, where the shorebird population was way up—dowitchers, yellowlegs, the 3 peeps, a nice Baird’s, a Sanderling—and we finally located the Parasitic Jaeger. For those who may still be looking, we found it over the rocks and around the corner (to the left) from the boat ramp. It was sitting alone on the sand, constantly alert, taking quick flight when it spotted a tern with food. At the water’s edge were Am White Pelicans, gulls (including one Western) and terns. The jaeger always returned to just the same spot on the sand after stealing from a tern. While I was looking further along for shorebirds, David watched a contest between a Bald Eagle and a Ring-billed Gull harassing the same little tern, none of which were any competition for the jaeger. Can those things fly!! The jaeger is a juvenile, dark brown, streaky, and you can see white under the wings when it takes flight.

So if you’re looking, don’t put all your eggs into the on-or-over-the-water basket!

By the way, the Colville Treatment Plant is still fabulous—scads of pectorals, a stilt and other shorebirds, plus one each Eared Grebe and Redhead. Even a few Sora were walking around out in the open with the shorebirds. It was so great, we bought some cookies at Safeway and left them at the plant office! After almost closing the sewage ponds to the public a few years ago (some of whom actually drove cars inside) they put up some appropriate signage, and have the door propped open for walkers. So access seems safe for now.
Penny Koyama, Bothell
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