[Tweeters] Puget Sound area wrap up and thanks, Nov. 8 - 15

Scott Baron brnpelican at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 17 13:22:02 PST 2008

Hi, Tweeters.

I had a fun trip to the Pacific Northwest last week. I didn't see any real rarities but there was a late male CINNAMON TEAL on Duck Bay at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle on Saturday afternoon. Waterfowl were abundant there. A hybrid Eurasian x American Wigeon was present as well. His plumage was mostly Eurasian but he sported a bit of brown on the sides and had a green patch on his face.

Late that afternoon, I checked out the area of Garfield and 1st St. W. for WESTERN SCRUB-JAY as reported by Rachel L. a couple of weeks ago. I did see one Scrub-jay fly into the top of a broadleaved evergreen tree with red berries, perhaps the tree is a holly, at the corner of 2nd Ave. W and Garfield. It perched there for a few minutes before flying off into a nearby yard.

I saw an ANCIENT MURRELET from the San Juan Islands ferry on Monday 11/10 and saw several more from Cattle Point on San Juan Island the same day.

On Thursday 11/13 I observed two male EURASIAN WIGEONS at Goldstream PP near Victoria, BC. The waterfowl there were plentiful in the estuary.

Quick recap of my birding week:
Birds were generally numerous where I birded. Discovery Park had good numbers of songbirds, I got close views of Surfbird and Black Turnstone at Alki Beach Park and I had 5 alcid species at Cattle Point on gorgeous San Juan Island. The forest at Point Defiance Park in Ruston was beautiful. Lots of songbirds there and a nice Peregrine Falcon just over the tree tops at one of the overlooks. I was hoping for Thayer's Gull there or at Gog-Le-Hi-Te Mitigated Wetland but I don't think I can say that I confirmed any. The abundant "Olympic Gulls" make gull ID more confusing for this eastern birder. The regular Wednesday morning birdwalk at Railroad Bridge Park in Sequim was fun. We had great looks at a Barred Owl being mobbed as it hunkered down in a conifer tree. It was a very birdy place. The ferry ride between Port Angeles and Victoria was nice, with alcids and even a sighting of about half a dozen Orcas near Victoria. A nice variety of wildlife was
present at Clover Point in Victoria. The Martindale flats held some neat birds. I got to compare Pipits and Skylarks side by side. The salmon run at Goldstream Provincial Park was amazing to see and I saw my hoped for American Dipper there. Chris K. from Seattle took me to the Samish flats area where we had fun walking a trail in the Padilla Bay area IDing birds and trees and driving the roads looking for raptors. We missed the hoped for Gyrfalcon but we saw tons of Red-tails, Rough-leggeds, Harriers and Bald Eagles plus a couple thousand Dunlin, a hunting Short-eared Owl and a Northern Shrike with small mammal prey at close range. I finished my birding adventure with the above mentioned Wash. Park Arboretum. Even my sister's neighborhood in Seattle had neat birds, with nice looks at Anna's Hummingbirds.

Thanks to all who offered help with my trip. I look forward to visiting again, hopefully with less of a desire to cram everything in so I can actually relax a bit! If anyone needs birding advice on the DC area or Southern New England feel free to contact me.

Scott Baron
Fairfax, Va.

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