[Tweeters] Seattle Audubon trip to S.King County Puget Sound

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 9 05:10:40 PST 2019

Hi Tweets -
Yesterday, Dasha Gudalewicz and I led a Seattle Audubon trip to birding spots along the Puget Sound in south King County. This is an annual trip to see winter water birds. 10 of us enjoyed a good day with cooperative weather and good looks at a lot of birds.

We started at Des Moines Marina, where two chattering male Belted Kingfishers were constantly chasing each other around the fishing pier — a female watched the whole affair, perhaps bemused. We had good looks at both goldeneyes, Horned & Red-necked Grebes, Brandt’s Cormorant [along w/ many Double-crested] and the first of many Pigeon Guillemot and Rhinoceros Auklets. As we were leaving, we enjoyed good views of a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneyes mating -

Saltwater State Park shared many of the same species and added Common Loon, White-winged Scoters and Pelagic Cormorant.For the most part passerines were quiet yesterday, but we did get glimpses of a Hutton’s Vireo before departing.

At Redondo, 6 Trumpeter Swans overhead were a nice surprise. We watched some of the wintering Yellow-rumped Warbler flock, along with our only flock of Western Grebes well out on the water.

Dumas Bay Natural Area and Dash Point State Park continued with more of the same water species and a few more passerines.

After a brief stop in Pierce Co where the Dash Point fishing pier was full of squidders, we opted to end the trip with a run over to the mouth of the Cedar River in Renton. After a bit of searching, we found the Lesser Black-backed Gull and a nice Herring Gull among the many GWGU & GWGU hybrids. The very pale bird that looks a lot like a Glaucous Gull but that is likely a hybrid GWGU x Glaucous was present as well.

All told, a very fun day with a good group of birders.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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