Ocean Shores - Thurs/Fri

P&B Bell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Fri Sep 1 19:33:07 PDT 2000

Hi Tweets -

Just got home and a belated report on a couple of days spent down at
Ocean Shores. Thursday afternoon I spent time at Damon Pond looking for
the Buff-breasted Sandpiper(s). They had reportedly been seen in early
afternoon at the west end area of the pond. Mid afternoon they didn't
seem to be in that area, nor immediately in the pond area. There were
several people looking for them, including Hank Vail, Hal Opperman,
JoLynn Edwards, Alan Roedell and friend and myself. We started scouring
the upland areas around the east end of the pond, and Hank flushed them
and they flew to the southeast. A skirmish line which covered an
extensive area produced no results. Other birds seen during the time
included a Peregrine Falcon, many Brown Pelican, cormorants and a
Northern Harrier. From the jetty about 5:00 PM I saw Rhinoceros Auklets,
Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants, Western, Glaucous-winged, and
California Gulls, Surf and White-winged Scoters, about 600 Sooty
Shearwaters coming by north around the jetty (seemed to be the tail-end
of a larger movement as they trailed off while I was watching), and a
couple of Fort-tailed Storm Petrels. Later, from Bill's Spit there were
Glaucous-winged, Western, and California Gulls, about 6 Western
Sandpipers flying by, and that was it.

Went back out this morning and happened to run into Hank again. We split
up and started working the upland areas around the pond. Hank worked to
the east and south, and I worked west to beyond the pond. I then worked
back down to the east. Finally, about 9 AM at a spot even with the east
end of the pond, but almost to the channel side beach I spooked a
shorebird size bird from one of the sandy/gravelly patches. It flew
about 40 feet away and dropped into the grass. I could see it moving and
worked over to the area. No shorebird, but just to the right, about 30
feet away was the target. A single Buff-breasted Sandpiper out in the
open. We looked at each other for about 15-20 seconds when I tried to
attract Hank's attention (he had worked back into the same general
area). As I turned back the bird was just taking off. We got good flight
looks at it as it flew to the north and west, circled over the pond area
several times and then came down apparently someplace in the vicinity of
the west end. We couldn't turn it up during the next half hour or so. It
was nice to find the bird after searching for it.

Other birds seen today included Brown Pelicans, Surf and White-winged
Scoters, a Common Loon (no Yellow-billed), a single Least Sandpiper at
the Damon Pond, and a flight of about 20 White-fronted Geese. At the
north jetty there were Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants, Western,
Glaucous-winged and Heermann's Gulls, a single Whimbrel on the end of
the jetty and several Black Turnstones. A single Sooty Shearwater was

Stopped by the Hoquiam Ponds on the way home, numbers of Greater Scaup,
a few Lesser Scaup and quite a few Mew Gulls. On the channel side was a
large collection of gulls including Western, Glaucous-winged,
Ring-billed, and California. Would have scoped them for others, but a
nice thunderstorm came by and it was too wet. A group of about 70
Western Sandpipers were feeding frantically in among the gulls, but
spooked before I could check them for any other species.

Ran through intense thunderstorms from east of Aberdeen until I was
past Elma, so didn't have a chance to check the Brady Loop. Have you
ever driven through a traveling car wash for 20 minutes or so - I was
about to pull over as I was having a hard time seeing, when the rain let

Good two days. Good birding this weekend, and don't forget to check the
open sandy/gravelly uplands if you go looking to the Buff-breasted's.

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville Wa
bellasoc at isomedia.com

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