[Tweeters] Auburn, King County, Toysmith puddle

Eugene and Nancy Hunn enhunn323 at comcast.net
Mon Sep 22 15:43:07 PDT 2008


It seems the mud puddle on the Frontage Rd. se of the 277th St. exit off
SR165 in Auburn (just south of the Toysmith warehouse) is intended as a
compensatory wetland of some sort. Several tall fir stumps have been set up
across the muddy flat that had been bare last week. This puddle has proved
to be by far the best shorebirding spot in King County this fall since Matt
et al. discovered it in August. I don't know what they've put in the mud
there but it sure brings in the shorebirds.

Following up on Kathy Andrich's report of 16 Pectoral Sandpipers and some
unidentified dowitchers yesterday I swung by about 1:30 this afternoon. My
high count was 19 Pectorals and 22 Long-billed Dowitchers (one there
initially with 21 flying in calling shortly thereafter). That's more Pects
than I've seen in the entire state over the past three years! There was also
one Semipalmated Plover and maybe 20 each of Least's and Westerns and the
usual smattering of Killdeers plus maybe a dozen American Pipits. I tried my
best to pick out a Sharp-tailed or a Short-billed Dow but no such luck.

The dowitchers are unambiguously Long-billed. They called coming in and
off-and-on as they foraged, high keek notes. They all showed the plain
gray-centered scapulars characteristic of juvenile Long-billeds as well as
long, straight bills and the rather subtle grayish mauve tones on the
breast. I have photos.

I swung by the M St. field west of Emerald Downs and failed to find anything
but Savannah Sparrows and pipits.

West Point earlier was slow but there were maybe 20 Rhinoceros Auklets
flying south and an equal number of Surf Scoters. Barn Swallows were moving
south off West Point and also at Emerald Downs.

Gene Hunn

18476 47th Pl NE

Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

enhunn323 at comcast.net

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