[Tweeters] Washington Coast 9-6-08 (long)

Kathy Andrich chukarbird at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 7 10:01:42 PDT 2008

Hi Tweeters,

Ruth Sullivan and I spent the day out at the coast yesterday. My first day out to the coast of the fall. Since the high tide was later in the day we started at Ocean Shores after stopping at Mud Bay and the Hoquiam STP (Sewage Treatment Pond). At Mud Bay, Ruth showed me a place I had not been before and saw two Lesser Yellowlegs and one Greater. At the STP we saw our first wonderful, glorious Brown Pelicans. We probably saw a few thousand throughout the day. We also saw probably nearly equal numbers of the pelicans "buddy", the beautiful Heerman's Gull. Also there was 9 Red-necked Phalarope, and a flock of about 25 or so Greater Scaup. At our second STP at Ocean Shores was 2 more Red-necked Phalaropes. The jetty was pretty fogged in so we went to the game range first. Ruth showed me another spot here that I wasn't familiar with. We saw the following:
2 Greater Yellowlegs.
10 American Pipets
2 Great Blue Herons
10 Least Sandpipers
1 Common Loon
2 White-winged Scoters
5 Hooded Mergansars
1 Peregrine Falcon
Back to the jetty, the fog had lifted somewhat and we added about 100+ Common Murres, some Western Grebes and a small flock of juvenile Brown-headed Cowbirds. The rockpipers were hiding, we didn't see any.

By that time it was time to dash to Bottle Beach, along the way we saw 2 Osprey. We were pleased to run into Curtis and Bobby Pearson at Bottle Beach. The crossing over the creek was nerve wracking to say the least and two of the four people birding Bottle Beach got christened by the creek including myself. Fortunately Ruth stayed dry. Apparently there has been some change (progress) there since the Pearsons and Ruth was last there so with luck there will be a path across by the time I return the end of this month. Bottle Beach was lacking in small sandpipers but made up for it with:
1 Pacific Golden Plover (when it flew to better lighting the head just
~150-200 Black-bellied Plover in various plumages
21 Semi-palmated Plovers
1 Ruddy Turnstone
4 Western Sandpipers
8 Short-billed Dowitchers
1 Greater Yellowlegs
1 Whimbrel
20+ Northern Pintails
1 Bald Eagle in the distance

At Tokeland we saw the Marbled Godwits about 650 of them including the big pale one and another more gray/pale toned one that seemed small. We couldn't find any other species of Godwit but these are always so much fun to see. Hanging out nearby and intermixed was about 18 Willet. A lot of Brewer's Blackbirds were about here and I enjoyed watching two males chase around a flying grasshopper before one stalked it and caught it. At Graveyard Spit, no new species but we did see a Peregrine Falcon come through and harass the gulls.

We noticed driving to Tokeland the weather change through the Westport/Grayland area with wind and clouds and fog, but Tokeland was beautiful, calm, sunny and clear skies. Our last stop was Midway Beach and it was dreary. Three Red-necked Phalaropes were right by the road and were very tame, one had the buffy streaks on it's back, the sign of a juvenile. Some Western Sandpipers were hanging out with it.

It was a great day.

All of the locations mentioned are in the ABA Birders Guide to Washington by Hal Opperman.

Roosting in Kent, near Lake Meridian
(chukarbird at yahoo dot com)
Any driving directions contained within this message are given as a courtesy, beware, author is directionally challenged and will not vouch for them.

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