[Tweeters] Ocean Shores Oyhut Game Range + Shearwaters

Scott Carpenter slcarpenter at gmail.com
Fri Aug 27 13:51:08 PDT 2021

I visited Oyhut at Ocean Shores on Wednesday from an hour before to about
an hour after high tide, and found it to be almost completely dry, with the
exception of water in the channels. There were a dozen or so Semipalmated
Plovers and 80-100 peeps (Western, Least) flying around, but that was it
for shorebirds. I believe the tide was relatively high at 8.69 ft, per

Does anyone have any insight into why it was so dry? I last visited in the
same week in 2012 (and the four years prior to that), and there was always
large amounts of water, and often 10,000+ shorebirds. I did notice a
neighborhood and shopping center immediately north of the game range, west
of Tonquin Ave, and am wondering if perhaps WDFW made the channels deeper
to minimize the risk of flooding those areas?

There were 3 RED-THROATED LOONS just offshore at Oyhut, with one spending
some time on land, and going back into the water when people walked by it.

Wednesday at dusk, there were thousands of shearwaters visible from the
beach at Ocean City State Park; they were relatively stationary. Thursday
morning, shortly after first light, there was a steady stream of
shearwaters visible from the same beach; they were about 100 yards from the
tide line, just past the farthest white caps. They were all heading south,
and thousands of them flew by over a 45 minute period. I am relatively
inexperienced at counting flyby shearwaters in a situation like that, but
it wouldn't surprise me if the total count was 30,000 or even more. At the
peak of their passage, I easily saw 100 in one field of view of my bins,
and it took maybe 10 seconds for a bird to clear my field of view. This
type of stream continued for at least 30 minutes, and appeared to have
started before my arrival. The density of the birds eventually dissipated
to about 20-30 in one field of view. They all appeared to be SOOTY
SHEARWATERS, but I did not come close to identifying all of them.

Thanks in advance for any information or insights regarding water levels at
Ocean Shores.


Scott Carpenter
Portland, Oregon
Pronouns: he/him
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