[Tweeters] Sabine's Gull off Luhr Beach 7-25-05

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit at worldnet.att.net
Mon Jul 25 20:17:09 PDT 2005

Hello Tweets,

This morning between 10am-11am we observed the juvenile Sabine's Gull off Luhr Beach in Thurston Co within the Nisqually Reach and south of Anderson Island(previously reported by Eric Kraig and Jason Paulios),where it was readily active foraging offshore in the current line with several Bonaparte's Gulls. The bird at times was somewhat difficult to see due to being in it's juvenile plumage,but once it flew up the striking black and white wing pattern was very evident. The bird overall foraged well offshore along the Pierce-Thurston Co. line,as we stood with our spotting scopes at the Luhr Beach parking lot. The lighting was ample and we were treated with good enough looks of the bird even if the distance was too far for photos! The bird eventually lifted from the current line and flew eastward safely in Thurston Co. towards the mouth of the Nisqually River,where it was not relocated. It is a great bird for Thurston and Pierce Co.,especially for an unexpected July record and a species that would be more expected if at all during late September to early October! It seemed to only loosely associate with the Bonaparte's Gulls,but also tended to itself and it is possible it may linger at this location for days to come,as more observers may look for it. We returned to the location at 4pm this afternoon when tide conditions were very,very low and heat waves were greatly increased. As a result we were unable to relocate the Sabine's Gulls,but still good numbers of Bonaparte's Gulls were noted flying along the distant shoreline of the Nisqually Delta.

*As a good reminder that a good spotting scope is a must at this location due to the distance of viewing.*

Other noteworthy species during our visits to Luhr Beach included he following:

2 Surf Scoters
210+ Common Mergansers
1 adult Black-bellied Plover(a good July record for this location)
1 Long-billed Curlew(previously reported by Jason Paulios and observed today at fairly close foraging on exposed mudflats directly across from the Luhr Beach covered wooden dock during our afternoon visit only and a quality Thurston Co. species with our second personal record)
350+ Western Sandpipers
125+ Bonaparte's Gulls
1 Western Gull
6 Common Terns
4 Common Murres
15+ Pigeon Guillemots
6 Marbled Murrelets
8 Rhinoceros Auklets
2 Mourning Doves
25+ Purple Martins

In between visits to Luhr Beach we traveled south into Lewis Co. in search of dragonflies,which proved very slow,but a few bird species were encountered from the following locations.

12 Cinnamon Teal,15 Turkey Vultures,1 adult Bald Eagle and 15 Least Sandpipers along Big Hanaford Rd. near the Centralia Steam Plant

2 adult Green Herons,2 Spotted Sandpipers, and 2 singing Red-eyed Vireos along the Skoomkumchuck River at Schaefer Co. Park(accessed via S.R.507 east of Centralia near the west entrance of Big Hanaford Rd.)

Dragonflies species noted during the day included the following:

River Jewelwing(locally common at Schaefer Co. Park in Lewis Co.)
Boreal Bluet
Common Green Darner
Blue-eyed Darner
Eight-spotted Skimmer
Common Whitetail
Variegated Meadowhawk(1 at a new wetland in University Place,Pierce Co.)

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit at worldnet.att.net

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