[Tweeters] Spring is Sprung

hrudkaj mary hrudkajm at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 20 14:11:26 PDT 2007

Being too nice a day to hang around indoors I headed out into north Mason
County to look for some target birds for the county list Tim O'Brien is
keeping. Except for the strong wind (great for all the turkey vultures
heading north) it was a nice morning.

Along Bald Point Vista Rd by Rodney White Slough I flushed up a Ruffed
Grouse from the roadside as I pulled over to check the slough. The grouse
startled me and the ruby-crowned kinglet working the brushy roadside. In
the slough (part of an unnamed lake) a male Wood Duck kept company with a
pair of Hooded Mergansers and a couple of Barrow's Goldeneyes. Despite
checking the entire road I couldn't come up with any bushtits or northern
shovelers for the county list. (Are there southern shovelers and if so,
where are they?)

Dewatto Bay yielded the usual cast of common loons, red-breasted and common
mergansers, both goldeneyes and lots of buffleheads. But no pied-billed
grebes which are usually here in good numbers. Oh well, onward.

One target species for my personal county list was the dipper. I finally
located one standing on a log on the Dewatto River at the bridge of Bear
Creek-Dewatto Rd. I'd always thought this would be a good place for one but
until today they have eluded me. With the shaded, sheltered, secluded, fast
running river and a nice bridge under which to next this is probably the
dipper's idea of the easy life.

Further north along Bear Creek-Dewatto Rd near Oak Lake I was able to add
Downy Woodpecker and Red-naped Sapsuckers to the county and my own lists.

Meandering back to the Tahuya River bridge on North Shore I found 20 great
blue herons standing around on the mud flats as the tide ebbed. The
landscape was far different from when I had been there 3 hours earlier and
found only buffleheads and wigeons in the flooded estuary. The herons all
kept their distances from one another, all looking like befuddled tourists.

Finding trillium in bloom and wild bleeding heart plants coming forth I know
that Spring is really here.

Mary Hrudkaj

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