[Tweeters] Grays Harbor County

Marv Breece mbreece at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 10 22:55:31 PST 2007

On Tuesday and Wednesday (11/6 and 7) I birded Grays Harbor County. The following narrative coincides with my new images gallery on pbase http://www.pbase.com/marvbreece/new_images_of_washington_birds Birds with corresponding photos are labeled (p).

I started Tuesday at Bill's Spit at Ocean Shores. There were no shorebirds whatsoever in the early morning, but there were a few gulls including a juv BONAPARTE'S GULL (p). From there, I went to the jetty to try to photograph some rock shorebirds. Present were ROCK SANDPIPERS (p), BLACK TURNSTONES (p) and SURFBIRDS (p). Also a SURF SCOTER (p) and a PELAGIC CORMORANT (p) fly by.

The game range was being patrolled by a juv PEREGRINE FALCON, a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and one or two NORTHERN HARRIERS. There were more than 200 LEAST SANDPIPERS (p), many DUNLIN (p) as well as a few BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS (p). AMERICAN PIPITS flew overhead. I flushed one WILSON'S SNIPE and saw 6 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS.

Wednesday I birded Bottle Beach. A lone DUNLIN walked the shore 1.5 hours prior to high tide. A few BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS perched on the group of pilings offshore. That was it for shorebirds. However, there was a fair amount of passerine activity on the short trail from the road to the beach. Several GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS foraged along the trail, some attempting to sing. Also singing were SOOTY FOX SPARROWS (p). In my opinion, this is one of our most photogenic sparrows. A handful of PURPLE FINCHES (p) was active as were a few SONG SPARROWS.

On to Brady Loop. I stopped along Foster Road to enjoy a large flock of PINE SISKINS. As I watched, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (p) made a swift but fruitless pass. The hawk perched, allowing a few photos, then departed. Farther down Brady Loop I came across a huge flock of mostly BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS, including a few RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS and EUROPEAN STARLINGS. As hard as I tried, I could not find a Rusty Blackbird. However, an unusual, light-eyed female BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (p) helped make up for the lack of a rusty.

Marv Breece
Seattle, WA
mbreece at earthlink.net

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