[Tweeters] Heading West for a Sharp-tailed ? weekend

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Fri Sep 27 20:53:14 PDT 2019

Hi Tweets - this morning, despite ominous weather forecasts, and an email from Cara Borre that the Saturday pelagic trip (which I thought I was signed up for) had been cancelled, Kathleen and I headed for the glory of Gray's Harbor Co. After a quick stop at Nisqually where we failed (again) to see or hear the Red-shouldered Hawk, we got an email from Phil saying that, actually, I was signed up for the Sunday trip which has a chance of going out! With that good news in hand, we went on to the Hoquiam STP ponds. There, we were sorry to see that the eastern-most pond has been severely engineered to the point where no shorebird habitat remains. At the high tide, around noon today, there was also no habitat. The western most pond still has some good mudflat fringe along the far (south) shore with low riparian plants behind it. Here we found just a few shorebirds; Least and Western Sandpipers for sure, along with 3 or so nice Pectoral Sandpipers. With those was one bird that appeared (at 60x) to be more rufous overall, with a rufous cap set off above a distinct white supercilium. The breast was buffy and lightly streaked on the sides but clear in the central portion. I called it a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and hope others can get a look to confirm or refute. (It's not the first I've seen here!) We then drove the beach from Ocean Shores to Copalis and (in 25 kt breeze) saw only 2 shorebirds (Black bellied Plovers) on the beach but with several large flocks of peeps heading south. Will bird the beaches tomorrow and hope for a good pelagic trip on Sunday. Happy Birding! - Jon Houghton, Edmonds

Sent from my Verizon Motorola Smartphone
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