[Tweeters] Sand Point, ONP

Dave Parent dpdvm at whidbey.com
Sat Jul 30 22:27:51 PDT 2005


Hi Tweeters,

 

I just returned from three days at Sand Point on the Olympic Park
Coastal strip. Shorebirds were passing by in small numbers; mostly
western sandpipers, least sandpipers and semipalmated plovers with
single Baird's sandpiper and black-bellied plover. These were rather
nervous due to the presence of a juvenile peregrine falcon. One
interesting sighting was a northern harrier which flew over me and
flapped deliberately due west - out to sea. I watched her through the
scope until she disappeared in the distance. Where the heck was she
going? 

 

On Friday morning, July 29, there was a remarkable assemblage of
seabirds in the ocean just opposite the trailhead to Erickson's Bay.
There were about eight hundred California and Heerman's gulls flying
back and forth from the sand beach to a baitfish concentration about
fifty yards offshore - just past the breaker line. I tried, and failed,
to make some of the juvenile Heerman's gulls into sooty shearwaters.
These were accompanied by rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, common
murres, pacific loons, a few red-throated loons, two common loons, a few
surf scoters and fifty to sixty tufted puffins. I had never before seen
more than three puffins in one place! I estimated the non-gull species
to be about five hundred individuals and all these birds were in an area
about one-quarter mile in diameter. I'm sure glad I lugged the scope out
there.

 

Dave Parent, Freeland

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