[Tweeters] No luck on Skagit Golden Plovers

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 28 20:30:08 PDT 2019


Dear Tweeters, 
Today, the 28th instant, I spent three and a half hours at Hayton Reserve on Fir Island, but the hoped-for American Golden Plover did not reappear. Quite a group of birders came and went in like hope. There were eight species of shorebirds that we did see, though: Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher, Whimbrel, Least Sandpiper, and Western Sandpiper. Wayne Weber and I both though we heard a Baird's Sandpiper, but I will let that one go until August. As is usually the case at Hayton, all of the birds were far, far away, identifications requiring a scope, and, in some cases, a good imagination.
An adult Bald Eagle came by with a Cinnamon Teal in its talons.
Perhaps the most interesting thing at Hayton today was a platoon of wasps out at the far benches. These were among the largest wasps that I have seen in the continental US, apparently a bit over an inch in length. They were excavating little burrows in the gravel of the dike, close to the benches. All the while I sat on one of the benches, they busied themselves about, but posed no threat to me, nor did I to them. Their overall color was mostly reddish-orange, with blackish toward the rear of the abdomen, and a yellow cast to the thorax. Once in a while, a large grasshopper would land near them, but they did not seem interested. I was thinking that they might be the type of wasp that parasitizes large insects, but maybe they were too busy with their construction work.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
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