Ocean Shores sightings

Ruth Sullivan GODWIT at worldnet.att.net
Sun Sep 22 22:37:36 PDT 2002


Hello Tweets,

Today my mother and I birded the Ocean Shores area with a wonderful diverse
day weather and birding wise,as we manged to locate several notable
highlights of the 94 total species observed at selected locations including
the following species:

*3 juvenile PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS and 2 juvenile AM.GOLDEN PLOVERS at the
Driftwood Drive beach access
*1 adult male BAR-TAILED GODWIT in nonbreeding plumage at Bill's Spit
 *1 Pectoral Sandpiper at the Ocean Shores Game Range(accessed from Tonquin
Ave.)
*4 BLACK SWIFTS over Marine View Drive,west of the cement water tower and
Damon Point
*1 Willow Flycatcher at the Ocean Shores Game Range(accessed from Tonquin
Ave.)
*1 Pacific-slope Flycatcher at Damon Point
*5 Western Scrub Jays at two seperate locations at Ocean Shores, with 3
birds noted along Fairwood Drive at Brewer Ct., then 2 birds noted at
Gunderson Ave. and Claire Ct.
*good numbers of migrating Steller's Jays noted within the greater Ocean
Shores area at several locations with the largest flock of 25 birds noted
along Pt.Brown Ave. south of the Ocean Shores Golf Course
*large numbers of Savannah Sparrows throughout the southern portion of Ocean
Shores with the largest diversity of 120+ birds noted at Damon Point,as were
small numbers of returning or migrating Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows
noted at many locations within Ocean Shores
*29 Lapland Longspurs noted at three seperate locations with 5 at Damon
Point, 23 at the Marine View Drive beach access, and 1 single bird noted at
the Driftwood Drive beach access

We began our day with 2 Western Scrub Jays along 100th St. south of Tacoma
in Lakewood,Pierce Co. then continued to the Hoquim STP,where we checked the
main pond that hosted mainly good numbers of waterfowl,but very few
shorebirds. We continued to Ocean Shores,where we checked most of the key
locations throughout our entire visit. Our first main highlight of the day
began at the base of Damon Point where a single Pacific-slope Flycatcher was
briefly observed in a rather extensive Scotch Broom thicket,before we walked
to the Damon Point "pond" with the only highlight being our first five
Lapland Longspurs of the day immediately south of the base of Damon Point.
At 12:15pm we arrived at Bill's Spit(accessed from North Bay Ave.)where we
immediately scoped an adult male BAR-TAILED GODWIT during incoming tide
amongst a flock of 47 Long-billed Curlews and 52 Marbled Godwits,which
remained in very close association during our entire visit as we
photographed the Bar-tailed Godwit,as we carefully studied the bird to
age,sex and plumage within a closeness range of 20 feet. The specific bird
was immediately seperated from the other nearby large shorebirds by showing
very white underparts and an entire white supercillium both contrasting to
the dark brown crown, pale brown back and faded brown wash on the
upperbreast with NO breeding plumage apparent,so it may be apparent that the
bird may be going well into winter plumage due to the rather worn plumage.
The back showed very pale tipped fringes on the scapulars,but not nearly as
plain backed as a similair Hudsonian Godwit,which could be confused in this
plumage.The shorter legs and noticeable smaller size in structure compared
to the other nearby large shorebirds was very apparent,as it actively
foraged,preened and roosted with portions of the flock until we left at 1pm.
The length of the upcurved bi-colored bill was carefully noted during our
observations as being noticeably shorter than the nearby Marbled Godwits.
The bird was again noted at the same location at 3pm upon a second visit to
the location, but the possible presence and disturbance of unwary
beachcombers may have caused the entire flock of large shorebirds to
flush,as they circled over Bill's Spit for 15 minutes making several passes
of the location,so it is unclear if the flock relanded after we left Bill's
Spit. This is our sixth Bar-tailed Godwit for the mid summer/early fall
season,so perhaps even more will occur at the main key coastal locations
through the fall.

Our next highlight within Ocean Shores was 3 wandering Western Scrub Jays at
the intersection of Fairwood Drive and Brewer Ct.,which were our first for
Ocean Shores. The birds appeared to be migrating due to their constant
movements. We noted two additional birds later in the afternoon at the
intersection of Gunderson Ave. and Claire Ct. north of the Ocean Shores
Community Club,which both appeared less active than the three previous
birds. Throughout Ocean Shores we encountered relatively good numbers of
migrating Steller's Jays as mentioned earlier,which has been personally
observed by us in past years in early fall in varying numbers.A flock of 4
BLACK SWIFTS was well,but briefly noted within the partially clouded sky
above Marine View Drive just east of the cement water tower and west of
Damon Point, which was our first personal firsts for Ocean Shores and a late
sighting for this coastal location,being our personal latest fall
observation in WA.

At 3:15pm we arrived at the north section of the Ocean Shores Game
Range(accessed from Tonquin Ave.),where moderate windy conditions prevailed
at times,as we scoured portions of the vast open Salicornia fields,mainly in
search of either Sharp-tailed or Pectoral Sandpiper. We managed to locate
our only Pectoral Sandpiper of the day,as it foraged at close range along
with a single Am.Pipit in a small open muddy area within the Salicornia
field. We also located our only Greater Yellowlegs of the day along a large
canal within the vast Salicornia fields,which of several wind through the
immediate area,which in past years have produced fall records Sharp-tailed
Sandpiper and relatively good,but variable numbers of Pectoral Sandpipers
among other notable species. On our way back we located a single,but late
Willow Flycatcher for this coastal location along a brushy area bordering
the vast,open Salicornia fields on the Ocean Shores Game Range.

At 4:45 pm we arrived at the Driftwood Drive beach access,after checking the
other two beach access areas to the north,being Butter Clam Street and
Marine View Drive beach access that hosted NO shorebirds,but our only
Peregrine Falcon of the day and a flock 23 Lapland Longspurs were noted from
the Marine View Drive beach access. At the Driftwood Drive beach access we
immediately noted very minimal shorebird activity and diversity than in
recent past visits to this location,as we carefully scoped the beaches in
both directions. Good numbers of Sanderlings and lesser numbers of Dunlins
and Western Sandpipers were noted of which in one single flock contained 2
juvenile AM.GOLDEN PLOVERS and 1 juvenile PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER along with 7
Black-bellied Plovers and 6 Short-billed Dowitchers,then a single flock of
37 Black-bellied Plovers and 1 Short-billed Dowitcher produced two
additional juvenile Pacific Golden Plovers south of the main Driftwood Drive
beach access. All in all it was a good diverse day at Ocean Shores for
birding with several highlights noted. A list of our listed and additional
highlights for the day at selected locations follows:

Red-throated Loon
1 from the Ocean Shores Community Club north of the Ocean Shores Marina

Common Loon
2 over the Ocean Shores Golf Course
15 at Damon Point
18 at Bill's Spit
4 at the Ocean Shores Game Range
3 over Driftwood Drive beach access

Horned Grebe
24 at Bill's Spit

Western Grebe
2 at the Ocean Shores Game Range

Green Heron
1 immature at Grand Canal(accessed from Discovery Ave. near the O.S.Marina)

Ring-necked Duck
9 at the Hoquim STP

Lesser Scaup
17 at the Hoquim STP

Red-breasted Merganser
2 females with 3 female Common Mergansers at the Ocean Shores Game Range

Peregrine Falcon
1 at the Marine View Drive beach access

Black-bellied Plover
1 at Bill's Spit
44 at the Driftwood Drive beach access

PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER
3 at the Driftwood Drive beach access

AM.GOLDEN PLOVER
2 at the Driftwood Drive beach access

Semipalmated Plover
1 at Damon Point

Greater Yellowlegs
1 at the Ocean Shores Game Range

Long-billed Curlew
47 at Bill's Spit

BAR-TAILED GODWIT
1 adult male at Bill's Spit

Marbled Godwit
52 at Bill's Spit

Sanderling
1 at Bill's Spit
3,500+ between the Driftwood Drive and Marine View Drive beach access

Western Sandpiper
120+ at Bill's Spit
132+ at the Driftwood Drive beach access

Least Sandpiper
8 at the Hoquim STP
37 at Damon Point

Pectoral Sandpiper
1 at the Ocean Shores Game Range

Dunlin
6 at the Ocean Shores Game Range
84 at the Driftwood Drive beach access

Short-billed Dowitcher
7 at the Driftwood Drive beach access

Wilson's Snipe
1 along Hwy.12 at MP 19 west of Schouweiler Rd. and Satsop

Mew Gull
6 at the Hoquim STP

BLACK SWIFT
4 over Marine View Drive north of the Ocean Shores Game Range

Willow Flycatcher
1 at the Ocean Shores Game Range

Pacific-slope Flycatcher
1 at Damon Point

Horned Lark
3 at Damon Point

Violet-green Swallow(with Barn Swallows)
17 at the Hoquim STP
6 along Marine View Drive near Damon Point

Western Scrub Jay
2 along 100th St. in Lakewood,Pierce Co.
5 at Ocean Shores
1 along Hwy.12 at Elma

Varied Thrush
1 over S.R.109 at MP 11.8 north of Ocean Shores and west of Burrows Rd.

Am.Pipit
4 at the Hoquim STP
6 at the Ocean Shores Golf Course
32 at Damon Point
5 at Bill's Spit
45 at the Ocean Shores Game Range
6 at the Driftwood Drive beach access

Hutton's Vireo
2 at the Ocean Shores Community Club

Yellow Warbler(Ocean Shores locations)
2 at Damon Point
1 at Bill's Spit
1 at Fairwood Drive and Brewer Ct.
2 at Gunderson Ave. and Claire Ct.
1 at the Ocean Shores Community Club

Lapland Longspur
5 at Damon Point
23 at the Marine View Drive beach access
1 at the Driftwood Drive beach access

Western Meadowlark
1 at the Ocean Shores Golf Course


Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
GODWIT@ worldnet.att.net





















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