[Tweeters] ELWAS Marrowstone trip

B & P Bell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Wed Nov 7 12:55:43 PST 2007

Good Morning Tweets

Yesterday a group of East Lake Washington Audubon birders took a trip to Marrowstone Island and Port Townsend. We had a nice day with no wind or rain, overcast most of the day but pleasant.

We started out to day in fog at the Edmonds Ferry terminal, but were able to see WESTERN GREBE, SURF SCOTER, PELAGIC and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, BUFFLEHEAD, and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS. On the way across we picked up RHINOCEROS AUKLET, COMMON MURRE, MEW GULL, and PIGEON GUILLEMOT. As we came into Kingston there were more scoters and cormorants.

We made a stop in Port Gamble and from the overlook could see SURF SCOTER, BUFFLEHEAD, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, COMMON LOON, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, BALD EAGLE (adult and imm.), GREAT BLUE HERON, RED-NECKED GREBE, WESTERN GREBE and lots and lots of HORNED GREBES (this was to be a pattern throughout the day - Horned Grebes everywhere). While scanning the bay we were joined by BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET immediately overhead and with AMERICAN ROBIN, EUROPEAN STARLING, CEDAR WAXWING and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER in the surrounding trees. A BELTED KINGFISHER kept flying along the shore.

At bit further west at Salsbury Point County Park (Kitsap Co.) we repeated the cormorants, Bufflehead, more Horned grebes, and added a nice adult PEREGRINE FALCON.

As we proceeded toward Chimacum we climbed back into the fog and worried a bit that we might get stuck in poor visibility, but it quickly cleared. At Oak Bay Jefferson County park the tide was out, but the lagoon had many NORTHERN PINTAIL, and a few AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GADWALL and BUFFLEHEAD. A cluster of gulls included MEW, CALIFORNIA and GLAUCOUS-WINGED. On the bay side there were several WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. Proceeding on to Indian Island, just after crossing the bridge we turn right into the small public access across from the entrance gate to the Naval facility. There we picked up SPOTTED TOWHEE, WINTER WREN, DARK-EYED JUNCO, SONG SPARROW, FOX SPARROW and GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET by working the rose bushes and berry tangles. Further down the road, we made our way down to the water at the eastern part of Oak Bay park. A DOWNY WOODPECKER called as we turned in to the park. A COMMON RAVEN circled overhead, quarking, settled into a tree for a brief stop and then moved on. On the water we had BUFFLEHEAD, SURF SCOTER, and a single HARLEQUIN DUCK. When we scanned the jetty there was a group of 20+ SURFBIRDS. Both DOUBLE-CRESTED and PELAGIC CORMORANTS were present, and they were joined by 8 more HARLEQUINS (4 males and 4 females). Still more Horned Grebes were present at both park locations.

At Nordland there were 23 female COMMON MERGANSERS. Around the corner at Mystery Bay State Park we added GREATER YELLOWLEGS, HOUSE FINCH, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, about 35 CEDAR WAXWINGS, even more HORNED GREBES and a GREAT BLUE HERON. Two NORTHERN FLICKERS flew up to a tree, and then left. A STELLERS' JAY was heard in the distance. Several AMERICAN ROBINS flew back and forth. A single male PURPLE FINCH flew into a tree, perched very briefly and flew off.

Our next stop was down at the beach and campground at Fort Flagler State Park. When we first got out of the cars were were attracted to lots of birds on the lawn. Turned out to be about 40-50 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and maybe 60 DUNLIN. A WESTERN MEADOWLARK perched on a picnic table - a nice addition. Out on the water were still more HORNED GREBES (we had probably seen about 200 by then), RED-NECKED GREBES, a couple of COMMON LOONS and 5 LONG-TAILED DUCKS. BUFFLEHEAD, cormorants were around. We made this our lunch stop, and after lunch noticed that the shorebirds had moved to the side of the bay closer to Indian Island. We made our way over and got close looks at the BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and DUNLIN. Mixed in with them were BLACK TURNSTONES and SANDERLINGS. On the other side of the park, at Marrowstone Point we saw more guillemots, Horned Grebes and had an ANCIENT MURRELET fly by.

We finished up at Point Wilson at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. While activity was fairly slow, we did have several COMMON MURRES fly by, a couple of RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, a couple of MARBLED MURRELETS circled and landed and a group of four ANCIENT MURRELETS flew past. We got good comparisons of the different underwing patterns between the marbled and ancients. Occasional RED-NECKED GREBES, COMMON LOONS and at one point 24 PACIFIC LOONS flew past. A single BLACK SCOTER female was with SURF SCOTERS. A couple of BRANDT'S CORMORANTS also passed by.

A single RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD was heard during the day, and AMERICAN CROWS were seen at a variety of locations.

It was an enjoyable day and particularly notable were the LONG-TAILED DUCKS with both males and females being in good plumage. The ANCIENT MURRELETS were also nice to see - if for too short a time.

All in all we saw 66 species and had a great time.

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA
mail to bell asoc at isomedia dot com

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