[Tweeters] WOS trip to Grays Harbor on 19 April 2019
B P Bell
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Sat Apr 20 10:09:37 PDT 2019
Yesterday, the Washington Ornithological Society (WOS) took a trip to Grays
Harbor. We left early in dark, rainy conditions and ran out from under the
rain by Tacoma. As we progressed out toward the coast we did pick up
AMERICAN CROW and ROCK PIGEON and RED-TAILED HAWK, as well as running thru
several more rain showers. By the time we got to Aberdeen it was cloudy, but
not raining. Our temperature for the day stayed at 53F.
Our first stop was in Tokeland at Graveyard Spit - the first part of the day
being remarkably bird-free. From the spit we were able to pick up (at great
scope range), MARBLED GODWIT, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, WESTERN GULL,
RING-BILLED GULL, CASPIAN TERN, MALLARD, BARN SWALLOW, AMERICAN CROW, COMMON
RAVEN, BALD EAGLE, COMMON LOON, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, WESTERN GREBE, with
a singing BEWICK'S WREN and SONG SPARROW close by. A EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE
flew in and perched.
>From the Tokeland Marina area we could see (many a quite a distance), COMMON
LOON (although at least one breeding plumage one right in the marina area),
RED-THROATED LOON, WESTERN GREBE, BUFFLEHEAD, MARBLED GODWIT (a very plain
bird), WILLET (two), PIGEON GUILLEMOT, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, TREE SWALLOW,
BARN SWALLOW, ROCK PIGEON, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, KILLDEER, dowitcher
species (very distant), GREAT BLUE HERON, AMERICAN ROBIN, EUROPEAN STARLING,
and GREATER YELLOWLEGS (heard). But the truly remarkable sighting was when a
huge flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE took to the air. They were
tightly packed and extended in a long group - we estimated that there were
probably about 2000 birds.
A stop at the Access to Midway Beach we did have lots of singing COMMON
YELLOWTHROATs, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (a very pale one), a smaller flock
of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew over, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, MARSH WREN,
several RING-NECKED DUCKs, a pair of CINNAMON TEAL, and we heard a single
At Grayland Beach State Park we saw SAVANNAH SPARROW, heard COMMON
YELLOWTHROAT and DARK-EYED JUNCO. There were at least 5 perched BALD EAGLEs
on the beach so we were not surprised not to run across any Snowy Plover.
We arrived at Bottle Beach just before 11 AM, heard COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and
MARSH WREN and AMERICAN ROBIN on the way to the beach. The tide was still
way out, but lots of shorebirds were at the water's edge. Over the course of
an hour we scoped, and watched them come closer, and picked up -
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (many), SANDERLING (a few), DUNLIN (many), MARBLED
GODWIT (decent numbers), SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERs (maybe a 1000), LEAST
SANDPIPER (one?), WESTERN SANDPIPER (a few), WHIMBREL, MEW GULL,
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, CASPIAN TERN, BALD EAGLE. We estimated that there were
at least 3-4000 shorebirds working along the water's edge, but at the tide
came in they all lifted off and departed. As we walked back out at about
noon we did hear ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, SONG SPARROW, and saw BARN SWALLOW,
TREE SWALLOW, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE.
We made our lunch stop at the viewing platform overlooking the channel in
Westport and saw COMMON LOON, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, COMMON MURRE, SURF SCOTER,
PELAGIC and BRANDT'S CORMORANTs, DUNLINK, dowitcher species and a fat
Raccoon. We walked out the piers and found a nice flock of about 10 BLACK
TURNSTONEs on top of the piers (the tide was very high). We went down to the
Coast Guard Station end of the marina and saw WESTERN GREBE, EUROPEAN
STARLING, AMERICAN CROW, ROCK PIGEON, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, HOUSE
SPARROW, and heard GREATER YELLOWLEGs.
As we made our way back along SR105 we saw BELTED KINGFISHER, BALD EAGLE,
and EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, and an OSPREY from near Johns River. A stop at
the house with feeders on the way into Johns River Wildlife Area we saw
HOUSE FINCH, PURPLE FINCH, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, AMERICAN CROW, BALD
EAGLE, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIR, RUFUOUS HUMMINGBIRD, DARK-EYED JUNCO,
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. At Johns River itself we saw BARN SWALLOW, TREE
SWALLOW, CANADA GOOSE, SONG SPARROW, and had a group of 33 SANDHILL CRANES
lift off from the marsh and fly right over us before circling back and
landing to the location they took off from.
As we came into Aberdeen we saw two TURKEY VULTUREs.
We drove the Brady Loop and saw AMERICAN KESTREL, BALD EAGLE, in a field had
a single TUNDR SWAN with two TRUMPETER SWANs, COMMON RAVEN, RING-NECKED
PHEASANT, EUROPEAN STARLING, CANADA GOOSE, BREWER' BLACKBIRD, MOURINING
DOVE, BAND-TAILED PIGEON, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, SAVANNAH, SPARROW, AMERICAN
ROBIN, HOUSE SPARROW and HOUSE FINCH.
We did have a NORTHERN FLICKER during the day. We were fortunate that we did
not have any rain during our birding (maybe a little spitting toward the
end), and ran into it on the way back. We had a great day with good folks
and lots of nice sightings. We wound up with 75 species for the day.
Brian H. Bell
mail to bell asoc a t iso me dia dot com
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