[Tweeters] Red-necked Stint near Dungeness 7-29-05

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit at worldnet.att.net
Fri Jul 29 18:09:08 PDT 2005

Hello Tweets,NW Inlanders,and OBOLers,

The alternate-plumaged Red-necked Stint was again observed today between 10:05am-12:25pm by up to 15+ birders from the Three Crabs Restaurant parking lot near Dungeness in Clallam Co. The bird was very striking and remained very active during the entire observation,as it primarily foraged alone on exposed mudflats at the closest proximity between 150 to 200 feet. It seemed very attracted to the company of much lager Canada Geese,as it moved about pecking for invertebrates,etc and never really came super close to us,but we managed to obtain some less than quality photos of the bird,which 8 of these photos can be accessed in our website at the following link: http://www.pbase.com/godwit/july05photos/ . Due to the conditions and with our current camera situation(Nikon D70 with a 400mm lens and 2 teleconverters) "digiscoping" may have been the best alternative in photographing this bird,but perhaps if the bird continues better photos will be obtained!

The bird was first spotted just after 10am,where it flew in from a unknown location during incoming tide and remained until 12:25pm with everyone seeing the bird getting good scoping views with the light to our back. The bird's head and upper breast were solid rufous(with a faded white supercillium)bordered by a thin strip of fine streaking extending along the entire border of the breast with white areas below extending to the underparts. The back pattern consisted of areas of warm rufous to rust on the scapulars with more faded areas on the tertials and coverts. The bird's primary projection appeared long with a fairly short-legged appearance,as noticed as the bird rapidly foraged amongst all the Canada Geese. The bird would occasionally take low short distance flights within 10-15 feet,but always return to he original feeding area. Perhaps it kept close to the geese for protection,but we kept track of the bird as best we could as it moved around and it seemed to favor a limited area and moved back and forth pecking at the surface and occasionally getting a meal. By 11:30am only a few birders were left,as we watched the bird while the tide moved further and further in with very few shorebirds left at the location and at 12:25pm a few of us watched the bird fly off northward low over the water with a flock of 4 Short-billed Dowitchers,then eventually breaking off from them and continuing onward and perhaps to a roosting spot at Dungeness Spit. We remained until 1:15pm at the location with very little mudflats left with more or less a flock of remaining Canada Geese and roosting gulls that remained. The weather today was quite windy,which was the biggest downfall,but skies were clear and sunny!

Other noteworthy species encountered while at Three Crabs included the following:

4-5 Northern Harriers
280+ Black-bellied Plovers
25+ Semipalmated Plovers
3 Black Oystercatchers
2 Greater Yellowlegs
2 Lesser Yellowlegs
1 Whimbrel
2 Marbled Godwits
3 Ruddy Turnstones
1 Semipalmated Sandpiper
small scattered numbers of both Western and Least Sandpipers
20+ Short-billed Dowitchers
15+ Purple Martins(with severa pairs still observed at nestsites within pilings north of the Three Crabs parking lot)

On our way home we checked the waters off Diamond Point overlooking Protection Island that offered views of up to 3 adult Tufted Puffins,2 Mew Gulls and a single breeding plumaged Common Loon.

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit at worldnet.att.net

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