Ducks & Gulls

Lynn & Carol Schulz linusq at worldnet.att.net
Sun Oct 21 05:24:15 PDT 2001


Hi Tweets:
I was scouting out some birding locations in Renton yesterday afternoon, and
found a nice assortment of birds to view at the Black River Slough, and the
Cedar River Delta (at the south end of Lake Washington).  Directions at
bottom of report.
BLACK RIVER SLOUGH (Black River Riparian Forest Park)
At least 30 Yellow-rump Warblers were calling "chiff" and were active, along
w/ 15 Bushtits as I viewed ducks and listened to Fox Sparrow and Spotted
Towhee in the bushes.  Two Killdeer and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER were feeding in
the mud.  Ducks included some interesting Shovelers just going into breeding
plumage, at least 12 Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwalls, and one
Wigeon.  A good place for people to study ducks.  I'm always hoping for a
return of the Eurasion Green-winged Teal that was there 2 years ago.  I
thought I had him spotted yesterday, but could not relocate him later.  I
might go back when the Green-wings have their full breeding colors.
CEDAR RIVER DELTA
Wow, what a great place.  It was recommended by a birding friend and he was
right.  Good place to go when the big salmon are running.  Several jumped in
the water as I walked out on the Kayak & Boating Ctr dock.  The gulls were
obligingly lined up, so it was hard to ignore them (just kidding).
Double-crested Cormorants were sunning themselves, and there were rafts of
Coots.  In the water of the little bay in front of the Boeing Plant were
Horned Grebes, 4 Lesser Scaup, 2 Western Grebes; and across to the east on a
little sand beach just past Boeing were 5 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE.
There was a raft of 30 Western Grebes out in the Lake.  Several Hooded
Mergansers were in the shallow water and up the river.
Well the gulls were just sitting there in perfect light on a logboom in
front of me, so I had to bite the bullet and look them over.  (Whoops, you
gull freaks, I slipped a little there.)  Anyway, it's a good learning area.
There were 3 Herring Gulls, 1 sick-looking California Gull, lots of
Glaucous-winged and Gl-w/Western Hybrids, and one gull that I will call a
Thayer's.  It looked totally like a Thayer's Gull to me, EXCEPT it had a
black spot on the lower mandible instead of the usual red spot.  This may
have been a trick of the light.  I didn't attempt to tick off the immature
gulls.  On the logboom it was pretty easy to seen the varying colors of the
gulls' backs (mantles) and this really helped to sort out the birds.  The 3
Herring Gulls were adults w/ bright yellow eyes, and their mottling on head,
neck, and breast was quite different from our usual Gl-w gulls.  Pretty
neat.
Here are some directions:
----------------------------
BLACK RIVER SLOUGH
This also called the Black River Riparian Forest.  It's in SW Renton.  One
of the ways to exit I-405 is Rainier Ave.  Go north to the first light
(Grady Way).  Take a left on Grady Way to Oaksdale Ave.  Turn north (right)
and drive to Monster Rd.  Park in the pullout at the right of the
intersection.  Walk straight in toward the water.

CEDAR RIVER DELTA
One of the ways to exit I-405 is Rainier Ave.  Take Rainier north about 1
mile to Airport Way and turn right.  Airport Way skirts around the south
side of the Renton Airport, and turns into Logan Ave as you head north past
the HS football stadium on your left.  Turn left on 6th St N and drive west
to the Cedar River.  The road then goes north along the Cedar River Trail to
the end of the road at the Kayak center.  Park here and walk about 1 block
into the Kayak Center.  There is a huge dock and viewing area all around it.
 Have fun w/ those gulls, you guys!
Yours, Carol Schulz
DesMoines
linusq at worldnet.att.net



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