[Tweeters] Mountain Bluebird at Brady Loop Rd.

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit at worldnet.att.net
Mon Apr 18 18:28:48 PDT 2005

Hello Tweets,

Today we again checked along Brady Loop Rd. in eastern Grays Harbor Co.,where a single female Mountain Bluebird was located at 1:30pm along the eastern portion of Brady Loop Rd. foraging alone along a fenceline just west of a landowner's property at the address 218 Brady Loop Rd. The bird was initially spotted as we were driving along the road and carefully scanning the open fields,then carefully parking along the road and getting ample views of the bird. It was a species like the Say's Phoebe we had anticipated showing up eventually along the Brady Loop Rd. and like the Say's Phoebe was a personal Grays Harbor Co. bird for our lists! Away from the Mountain Bluebird birding conditions were rather slow along this route,but a few noteworthy sightings were encountered to be listed below.

Brady Loop Rd. 1:25pm-2:15pm

6 Double-crested Cormorants(observed flying along the Chehalis River along the eastern portion of Brady Loop Rd.)
3 Turkey Vultures
3 Northern harriers
4 Am.Kestrels
2 Ring-necked Pheasants
5 Black-bellied Plovers
43 Greater Yellowlegs
1 Lesser Yellowlegs
10 Whimbrel(observed in a tight flock in a freshly plowed field along the eastern portion of Brady Loop Rd.)
4 Dunlin
17 Short-billed Dowitchers
4 Long-billed Dowitchers
65+ Band-tailed Pigeons
1 Varied Thrush

Prior to our visit along Brady Loop Rd. we made a short,but worthwhile stop at Luhr Beach in Thurston Co. during incoming tide at 12pm. Our main highlight and a big surprise was encountering a Mountain Chickadee that foraged alone for a few minutes in deciduous trees bordering the actual boat launch and was clearly a migrant. The bird remained for only 5 minutes moving from one tree to the next,then eventually along the tree-lined hillside extending northwest from the boat launch area. It was a neat bird to see for the location and our second personal record for Thurston Co.! Other highlights noted during our visit at Luhr Beach included a pair of Purple Martins that flew low over the nestboxes with at least one occasion where both birds landed on the edge of the covered dock. The bird initially flew in from high overhead,where their distinctive calls were heard indicating their presence. The birds finally descended downward and flew in close mixing in with good numbers of Violet-green,Tree,Cliff and Barn Swallows until both Purple Martins flew out over the Nisqually Reach. Our other highlight at this location was our personal first Caspian Terns of the season with up to 5 birds observed hunting over the Nisqually Delta.
Other notable species observed at Luhr Beach included the following:

25 Horned Grebes
1 Red-necked Grebe
14 Eared Grebes
75+ "Black"Brant
120+ Dunlin
60+ Bonaparte's Gulls

Our first stop of the day was made at the Nisqually NWR,where a short walk produced the following highlights of note:

1 Am.Bittern
6 Greater White-fronted Geese
3 pairs of Wood Ducks
3 pairs of Cinnamon Teal
1 male Eurasian Wigeon
2 Northern Harriers
1 Virginia Rail(heard only)
1 Sora(heard only)
1 Greater Yellowlegs
1 Barn Owl(observed at the same location than Phil Kelley previous reported in his Tweeters posting yesterday evening along the boardwalk to the Nisqually River)
4 Rufous Hummingbirds
1 Red-breasted Sapsucker
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
25 Golden-crowned Sparrows

Our last stop of the day was dedicated to searching for dragonflies due to the warmth of the afternoon sun at the Schouweiler Rd. wetland near Elma,where we encountered 3 species of dragonflies. These 3 species included 1 recently-emerged female Four-spotted Skimmer, 1 pair of Pacific Forktails and good numbers of Swift Forktails. The Pacific Forktails were our personal firsts of the season,but are actually noted to show up in mid to late March with the Swift Forktails showing up a month later. Our bird highlights from this location included 1 Osprey, 5 Wilson's Snipe, 2 Mourning Doves, 4 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, 1 Varied Thrush, and a single Orange-crowned Warbler.

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit at worldnet.att.net

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