[Tweeters] Mt. Rainier to Tokeland and Ocean Shores

Geopandion at aol.com Geopandion at aol.com
Sat Aug 27 22:52:20 PDT 2005


My wife, Eva Maria, and I just returned from a two-day jaunt to Mt. Rainier
and then on to Tokeland and Ocean Shores. Yesterday was a beautiful day on
the mountain, but search as we might, we could not find a Ptarmigan. This is
the least amount of snow I have seen at Paradise in 23 years of hiking in the
area. We scoured the Skyline Trail and the 1.5 mile trail out to the
Paradise Glacier where the (now long gone) ice caves used to be, without success.
One cooperative male Blue Grouse put on a fine show in the picnic area below
Paradise Lodge along with a good-sized flock of Evening Grosbeaks.
At the coast we managed a respectable 19 species of shorebirds over the
two days. Most impressive however were the thousands and thousands of
Heerman's, California, Western, and a few Glaucous-winged Gulls along with hundreds
and hundreds of Brown Pelicans swarming over the Westport jetty and the Pt.
Brown Jetty at Ocean Shores. They must have been in the area for several
weeks now, since both jetties were guano stained from mid-span to the end.
Thousands of Common Murres were just offshore. All seemed to be actively feeding
on abundant bait fish (Sand Lance?). Maybe that up-welling of cold water
did create a feast for the birds. Better late than never. Very few young
murres were present. Shorebird highlights were ~800 Marbled Godwits off 7th Ave.
in Tokeland, also at Tokeland, 9 Willets, 7 Whimbrel includidng 2 juv. At
Midway Beach hundreds of Sanderlings, 12 Short-billed Dows (juv), and 12 Snowy
Plovers (4 adults and 8 young birds!). Wandering Tattler (1), Black
Turnstone 15, and Surfbird 8 were at the Westport Jetty. At Ocean Shores, 5 Baird's
Sandpipers along with 6 Pacific Golden Plovers (5 adults still in good
alternate plumage and one brilliant golden juvenile) were the clear highlights of
our hike out to the tip of Daman Point and back. The Golden Plovers were in
the Salicornia estuary just past where the road has been breached. The
massive numbers of gulls and pelicans made it seem like California and not

George and Eva Maria Gerdts
_geopandion at aol.com_ (mailto:geopandion at aol.com)

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