[Tweeters] Fw: Wahkiakum Hybrid Tufted Duck; Iceland Gull; and Sora

plkoyama at comcast.net plkoyama at comcast.net
Thu Mar 11 17:20:51 PST 2021

It was hilariously pointed out to me that Soras don’t cycle. Better proof-reading? The Sora didn’t cycle, we didn’t cycle, but Andrew Emlen, who posted on eBird actually did cycle. But I hope you all figured that out...
Penny Koyama, Bothell
From: plkoyama at comcast.net
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021 2:00 PM
To: Tweeters
Subject: Wahkiakum Hybrid Tufted Duck; Iceland Gull; and Sora

Having scored the Puget Island WT Kite, plus a Middle Valley Rd N Pygmy Owl in this tough county last week, David and I decided to head down again for part days in the area on 3/9 and 3/10. We headed for the Elochoman Marina in Cathlamet, where there had been eBird postings for Herring Gulls and RN Grebes.

No Herrings on Tue afternoon, but we ID’d what we thought was a Tufted Duck in a large, but fairly close, line of GR and LE Scaup. The duck had a dark back, white sides, and a thick tuft, long enough to literally blow in the wind. Not positive, due to the thick tuft, and general lack of expertize on the species, I texted Matt Bartels, who generously took the time to send info on a previously-reported hybrid duck, including pix. Checking back, it appeared that (sadly for us) this was, indeed, a hybrid—the back was darker than the photo we saw, but definitely lighter that the chest. We checked back in the late afternoon and the next morning, but didn’t see the hybrid again. There are many hundreds, probably thousands of scaup in the area, but this was surely an interesting duck and could be picked out partly because of the dark back. It may or may not be the same bird seen in Feb.

We did, however, have good looks at an Iceland Gull (not Thayer’s type) on 3/9 in the early afternoon. It had a smallish, black bill, was very light, with primaries quite a bit lighter than the rest of the wing. It sat cooperatively on one of the pilings seen from the viewing platform, and closely resembled Sibley’s paler 1st yr. gull. And the next day, 3/10 there was a Herring Gull, well-seen with scopes, sitting on the water.

We didn’t score on some of the other recently reported birds, but located the Sora, reported by Andrew Emlen, cycling on Brooks Slough Rd. We had it both calling and seen. It was on the Hwy 4 end of the road before the big curve, in the wet area on the north side of the road, poking around in the ditch north of the road, partially hidden in the blackberry bushes.

On that TUDU, David’s suggestion, ha ha, is for the WA BRC to put pressure on the AOU to declare the Hybrid Tufted Duck a new species so we can have this duck!!
Penny Koyama, Bothell
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