[Tweeters] shorebird migration in full swing!

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit513 at msn.com
Fri Jun 29 21:55:24 PDT 2007

Hello Tweets,

Today Jim Pruske joined us,as we birded in the Ocean Shores area for returning southbound shorebirds and other birding. We enjoyed a great day filled with many shorebirds,a swell as decent weather too. We started off the day in the Brady area with cloudy rainy skies,but by the time we reached Ocean Shores conditions had cleared considerably and remained that way for the remainder of the day. It was nice to have a great birding day since the weather forecast wasn't the best! Arriving at Ocean Shores we began with 8 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER noted flying over in the direction of the outer beaches,which were our only representatives of that species for the day. The main shorebird species present at Ocean Shores was Western Sandpiper with good numbers of adult birds present at many locations. The main concentrations of Western Sandpipers were noted at the Oyhut Wildlife Area(accessed behind the Ocean Shores STP),which hosted 500+ birds along with other smaller and more scattered flocks. We also encountered a flock of 250+ Western Sandpiper along the open beaches directly west of the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino. 8 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS were also noted in a separate flock along the upper beach area at this location too.

Additionally, we encountered 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and 5 Least Sandpipers at the Oyhut Wildlife Area. Our last 2 species of shorebirds to note included 13 WHIMBREL at Bill's Spit and a flock of 15+ Sanderlings observed from the beach shoreline west of Griffith-Priday State Park at Copalis Beach. It was a great day for shorebirds considering it is late June,although there have been recent shorebirds noted from other locations recently in both Oregon and Washington.

Away from shorebirds probably our most significant highlight were 3 PURPLE MARTINS observed on the main road between the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino and S.R.115. The birds were observed in flight at fairly close range that consisted of 1 male and 2 females and we never heard them calling. We could only speculate that they could be part of a breeding population somewhere in the immediate vicinity,as well as considering the time of year. Nonetheless, it was a nice species to add to our day list,as well as for the outer coastal area of Grays Harbor Co. A single "BLACK"BRANT was noted off the ocean beaches while walking at the Marine View Drive beach access. this species is quite noteworthy for a summer record at Ocean Shores.

Our visit to the Ocean Shores Jetty hosted good numbers of Common Murres,as well as small numbers of Sooty Shearwaters too just off the tip of the jetty itself. Our main highlights from this location included 12 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES and 8+ Heermann's Gulls both present resting on the tip of the jetty. A flock of 20 Western Sandpipers also rested near the tip of the jetty after flying in from an unknown location. A single Western Grebe was also noted off the tip of the jetty,as well as small numbers of both Surf and White-winged Scoters.

We also checked the Hoquiam STP on route to Ocean Shores that hosted a few additional species to our day's list. These species included 8 Greater Scaup, 1 Lesser Scaup and 1 Gadwall.

Other notable species located during the day included the following:

Red-throated Loon
1 bird off the Ocean Shores Jetty

Pacific Loon
1 bird off the ocean beaches west of the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino

Brown Pelican
20 birds off the Ocean Shores Jetty
4 birds off Griffith-Priday State Park

Green Heron
1 hatch-year bird at the Ocean Shores Marina

Northern Shoveler
2 females with broods at the Ocean Shores STP

Common Merganser
21 birds along the Copalis River at Copalis Beach(including 1 female with 8 young)

Turkey Vulture
1 bird along S.R.109 east of the Hogan's Corner Airport
1 bird along S.R.109 at Hoquiam
3 birds along Hwy.12 west of Montesano
8 birds over the Schouweiler Rd. wetland

1 nesting pair along Brady Loop Rd.
1 nesting pair at the Hoquiam STP
1 bird over Ocean Shores
1-2 birds at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino

Northern Harrier
1 bird with prey at the Oyhut WA

Cooper's Hawk
1 adult birds at the Oyhut WA
1 bird near Lake Minard(Ocean Shores)

Olive-sided Flycatcher
1 nesting pair near Bill's Spit

Good shorebirding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit513 at msn.com

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