[Tweeters] Mason Co Code 5 Birds

plkoyama at comcast.net plkoyama at comcast.net
Thu Sep 16 18:04:30 PDT 2021

David and I just returned from Mason Co where we saw two Code 5 birds, Brown Pelicans (2 juveniles that have been at Twanoh St Pk for a few days) and a Pectoral Sandpiper at Theler Wetlands in Belfair.

Being lazy punks, we spent the night in Port Orchard to avoid a super-early morning, and went to Twanoh first. Local birders Ken Brown and John Reigsecker were there, looking for repeat sightings of Sabine’s Gull and Parasitic Jaeger that they had seen on a previous day. After searching a bit, we left for Theler, not wanting to miss the incoming tide there. When scoping a small flock of ducks at the water edge of a muddy area, I noted 2 shorebirds on the mud, and after scope study saw that it was a Pectoral Sandpiper, accompanied by a Least Sandpiper. The size difference was striking, and the yellow legs, long wings, and good-looking bib were evident. Eventually, after sharing the view with other birders, we noted both species moved closer to the boardwalk for a more rewarding view. This was at the long boardwalk at the 90 degree turn—to the left in our case, as we were walking from the Salmon Center. Then closer to the end of the boardwalk was the Short-billed Dowitcher that has been reported in recent days, in the company of 3 Killdeer.

After lunch at Belfair State Park (nothing remarkable there, though we were only checking for shorebirds) we returned to Twanoh St Pk, hoping for the “pelican schedule” that had been reported to us by John and Ken. That is, the birds spend much of the afternoon on distant pilings, usually appearing by 11 or 12. (We did note on eBird that others had seen them in the morning at the creek mouth.) When we arrived, we could see them as had been described by John, so we moved to the south edge of the park, looking down the canal to the southwest. Both pelicans were resting on the pilings, finally stretching themselves for good ids. Until then we weren’t positive, since they were just big brown lumps. Since we don’t photograph, this was good enough for us! It was a good day for us, even though we didn’t manage to score any of the “easier” shorebirds we were seeking.
Penny Koyama, Bothell
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