[Tweeters] Ocean Shores, 29 Dec. 2007: SBGU, GYRF

Charlie Wright c.wright7 at comcast.net
Sat Dec 29 20:45:57 PST 2007

Greetings all,
Today Bruce LaBar, Ryan Shaw, and I had a most excellent day helping out on
the Grays Harbor CBC, covering the Ocean Shores area including the jetty and
Damon Point. Our highlights during the day were Gyrfalcon, Slaty-backed
Gull, 2 Palm Warblers, 2 Glaucous Gulls, a Brown Pelican, and a
Sooty/Short-tailed shearwater.

We started the day with a thorough scan of Grays Harbor and the ocean from
the Point Brown Jetty. Seabird numbers were fairly low, but we did have one
dark shearwater, a Harlequin Duck, a few Brant, and a few Common Murres.
Then Bruce said "take a look what's on that stump!" and we turned around to
see an enormous adult GYRFALCON just in time for it to take off and make a
B-line across the harbor towards Westport.

We then birded the Ocean Shores STP and the game range behind there. A
pristine 1W Glaucous Gull flew by and we later had great views of it in the
STP. At the game range were the usual Black Scoters, another Harlequin, and
a smattering of Black-bellied Plovers and other shorebirds. We briefly
walked out to the Marine View Drive beach access where we watched another
Glaucous Gull (this one looking somewhat dirtier-blooded) picking at a
washed up Harbor Porpoise.

In the afternoon, we birded the thickets and small groves around Ocean
Shores as best we could in the rain, with nothing too unusual except one
Orange-crowned Warbler. During a break in the rain, we ran over to Silver
King Motel and had views of two PALM WARBLERS, seen also by Tom Schooley

We wrapped up the day with a hike out around the pond at Damon Point. As
others have posted, the area was really hit by the storms this season and
has yet again completely changed. As we rounded the pond, we found an adult
SLATY-BACKED GULL on the beach with a couple of hybrids. We had great views
for only about 1 minute before a dog flushed the bird. Luckily, however, we
later refound the bird at the bay near the Ocean Shores Marina (base of
Damon Point) resting with a small gull flock. At that point we were able to
get some rather nice photos. Finally, a Brown Pelican was flying over Damon
Point as we walked back to the cars.

Ryan Shaw has posted a number of his excellent Slaty-backed Gull photos on
his website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shyalbatross/ and when I get a
chance I'll post a couple of mine, including the spread wing at

Charlie Wright
Bonney Lake, Washington

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