[Tweeters] Golden Eagle near Brady 3-4-06

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit513 at msn.com
Sat Mar 4 22:10:51 PST 2006

Hello Tweets,

Today we enjoyed a nice late winter day birding at several coastal locations from Brady Loop Rd. to Tokeland. Conditions remained windy at times throughout the day with increasing cloudiness during the latter part of the day,but that didn't damper our birding. Probably our most significant highlight of the day was an adult GOLDEN EAGLE photographed in flight over the western portion of Brady Loop Rd. at 10:45am,where the bird soared overhead before continuing westward towards Montesano. This is our 5th occurrence of this very rare species in Grays Harbor Co. from this location. Next,soon after leaving Brady Loop Rd. we located an adult light-morph "HARLAN'S"Red-tailed Hawk along Hwy.12 at MP 12.2,which we managed to also obtain photographs of mainly to eliminate a similar and much,much rarer "Krider's"Red-tailed Hawk. This striking bird was perched in one of several trees along the north side of Hwy.12 near a large Les Schwab Tire billboard sign(just west of the eastern access onto Monte-Brady Rd.)and was quite tolerable of us,as we safely took several photos of it along the shoulder of the highway. We have placed 5 photos of this bird and 2 photos of the Golden Eagle onto our website,which can be accessed at the following link:  http://www.pbase.com/godwit/recent_photos/ . This bird represented one of very few specimens for WA!

Continuing westward our next major stop was made with a thorough beach walk made between Midway Beach Rd. to Warrenton-Cannery Rd.,where we located 35 SNOWY PLOVERS at 12pm during incoming tide. All these birds were observed in a rather limited area 1/2 miles south of the end of Midway Beach Rd.,where they foraged loosely in groups of 2-3 birds between the "crest" of the beach to slightly eastward in the harder compacted sand bordering the dune area. During our visit to this location there were many beachcombers,as well as unleashed dogs running on the open beaches and horseback riders too. We also noticed that the large yellow gate at the end of Midway Beach Rd. was open,which seemed quite odd but perhaps they are allowing this location for vehicle beach access again.

After our windy walk between Midway Beach Rd. and Warrenton-Cannery Rd. we drove south to Tokeland at 2pm,as the tide continued to move in and the wind remained. Our firsts top at Tokeland was along 7th Street just north of the Bayshore RV Park,where a quick check from a beach access produced 13 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS amongst a scattered flock of 34 Marbled Godwits,where they all foraged on the exposed mudflats. Next,we drove to the Tokeland Marina where quickly noticed the lack of large shorebirds that typically settle within the protected marina area. Only 15 Marbled Godwits,2 Willets and 8 Long-billed Dowitchers were noted upon our arrival,but as the tide increased more shorebirds flew in from unknown locations. While waiting for these shorebirds to arrive we obtained excellent close examinations of a CLARK'S GREBE,which we also able to get some nice photos of,as it swan around the sheltered marina area with Western and Horned Grebes!  This is most likely the same individual bird discovered earlier by George Gerdts and other birders,as of recently and always a nice bird for this location!

After birding Tokeland we headed north and made our next stop at the Westport Marina after 3pm,where our main highlight was a light-morph NORTHERN FULMAR was observed and photographed from near the end of the boardwalk at Float 21. This particular bird appeared disoriented or somewhat confused to where it was,or perhaps just exhausted from being blown inland from recent winds,as it just swam around the marina. It was nonetheless a nice bird to see,especially for this color morph. After Westport or next stop was at Bottle Beach,where a short walk north to the shoreline then east along the beach yielded a flock of 250 Dunlin. Upon getting much closer views of this flock and a more through inspection produced a single ROCK SANDPIPER within the tight flock,as well as 2-3 Western Sandpipers and 12 Sanderlings. This was our first sighting of Rock Sandpiper at this location,as well as a nice day bird! The entire flock of shorebirds remained in tight formation,as they rested along the shoreline until an immature Peregrine Falcon came in from an unknown location then flushed the entire flock and within 15 seconds caught a Dunlin and flew off over the trees with it's prey. Upon leaving Bottle Beach we located another group of shorebirds foraging in grassy fields along he north side of S.R.105(just east of Bottle Beach). This flock contained 45 Black-bellied Plovers and 62+ Dunlins. Our last major stop of the day was made at the Johns River WRA at 4:15pm,where we made the mile walk along the paved trail to the photo blind,despite fading light. Here,we located good numbers of Canada Geese foraging in the vast grassy fields,which contained small numbers of Cackling Geese(including 2 birds of the "Dusky" subspecies). A flock of 45+ swallows over the main wetland area produced and even mix of both Violet-green and Tree Swallows,as well as 3 Barn Swallows. Our last species of the day were 3 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in a small flock of Canada Geese,where they foraged in a grassy field along the north side of S.R.105 at Newskah Rd.(west of Aberdeen),which is part of a large playfield area. 

Other noteworthy species of the day included the following:

Red-necked Grebe
5 at Tokeland
1 at Westport

1 at Tokeland

Trumpeter Swan
1 lingering bird along the western portion of Brady Loop Rd.

2 along the Brady Loop Rd. complex

Peregrine Falcon
1 along the western portion of Brady Loop Rd.
1 adult bird at Warrenton-Cannery Rd.
1 adult bird along S.R.105 at Bay City
1 immature bird at Bottle Beach

5 along the western portion of Brady Loop Rd.

Black-bellied Plover
88 along the eastern portion of Brady Loop Rd.
50 over he Tokeland Marina
45 along S.R.105 at Ocosta

Greater Yellowlegs
3 along the Johns River at the Johns River WRA

3 at the Tokeland Marina

Marbled Godwit
110 at Tokeland(observed from 2 locations)

Least Sandpiper
32 at Midway Beach Rd.

Long-billed Dowitcher
13 at the Tokeland Marina
5 at the Johns River WRA

Wilson's Snipe
3 at the Johns River WRA

Red-breasted Sapsucker
1 along Midway Beach Rd.

Hairy Woodpecker
1 along Midway Beach Rd.
1 at he Johns River WRA

Western Scrub Jay
1 along the eastern portion of Brady Loop Rd.

Varied Thrush
1 at Tokeland

Western Meadowlark
7 at Midway Beach Rd.

Purple Finch
2 at Tokeland

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit513 at msn.com

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