[Tweeters] shorebird auditory treats at Wylie Slough

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Tue Apr 6 18:48:17 PDT 2021

Hello tweets,

Netta and I tried to find the Ruff at Wylie Slough this morning and failed. We had seen it at a distance on Saturday and even got one halfway decent photo, but we thought we might get a closer look today. Nope.

But the high point of the visit was the number of Greater Yellowlegs, must have been 30 or more of them there, many in breeding plumage. They were constantly calling and chasing one another and—best of all—singing their breeding song. We heard the mellow whistles wheedle-oo-wheedle-oo-wheedle-oo again and again, more times than I had heard this song in my entire life. I have heard it in the spring on occasion in Washington but never like this. This was early in the morning, and by midday most of this action had petered out, with birds just feeding and occasionally calling.

More surprising yet to me, the Long-billed Dowitchers that were there were singing. I have heard Short-billed Dowitchers singing in May out at the ocean as they were migrating north, but these birds were still in nonbreeding plumage. Their hormones must have been running strong as they sang their burry song, just as those of the yellowlegs were. If you like shorebirds, check out Wylie Slough in the morning. Even if the Ruff doesn’t show, what you hear makes the trip worthwhile. As a bonus, a Black Phoebe was actively feeding near the parking lot.

Another high point is very likely running into someone you know, if you can recognize them with mask on!

Dennis Paulson

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