Franklin's Gulls, Mason County

georn1 georn1 at email.msn.com
Tue Sep 3 22:36:34 PDT 2002


This moring I checked out the mouth of the Skokomish River in Mason County.
Birding was conducted from the shoulder of Hwy 106 south of Union between
about 0730 and 0900.  The tide was quite low, exposing extensive mudflats,
many birds were at a distance, but several groups of shorebirds and gulls
were along channels close to the road.  The birding probably would have been
better later in the tide.  The best birds seen were 2 Franklin's Gulls. Many
Boni's, Mew, Ring-billed, California and a number of the big boys rounded
out the gulls.  Shorebirds included Lesser (1) and Greater Yellowlegs,
Western and Least Sandpipers, Killdeer and a number of Black-bellied Plover.
Overall I thought shorebird numbers were low, but many areas were not
visible from here.  16 Turkey Vultures and many Bald Eagles were present.
Good numbers of Salmon were around as were horde of fishermen just upstream.
At the afternoon high tide I briefly hit Kennedy Creek also.  Not too much
in the way of shorebirds, with the best being a 1 Short-billed Dowitcher.
Just over 100 Westerns, a few Leasts, and several Killdeer round out the
shorebirds.  Many Bonepartes Gulls here as well.

Bill Shelmerdine, georn1 at msn.com
Olympia



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