[Tweeters] Auburn, King County, Toysmith puddle

JEFFREY COHEN kokobean2 at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 22 21:58:59 PDT 2008

Hi Penny, Gene and the rest of Tweeterland,
I was out there on a sunday with Kathy Andrich, Bob Stallcop, and Deanna Hamilton. We saw almost exactly what Gene Hunn reported on monday in terms of numbers, as well as species. We also had a Greater Yellowlegs and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, and at one point they were standing next to each other giving a good idea of the differences in size. Neither called, although we had a couple of Greaters calling at Boeing Ponds a short while earlier. A couple of Osprey were in the light and cell towers on the north side of 277th. There are also a couple more established ponds on the south side of the large building on the south side of the mud flats worth checking out. Just continue south on the frontage road about 100 yards until you come to a roadblock. Turn left into a long paved area going along the building. A narrow pond yielded two young Green Herons sitting together on a small gravel island 20 feet away. Later, they each ended up on a tall stump similar to the ones put in the newer area, each nicely silhouetted in the afternoon sun. A Bittern also flushed, and tall cattails allowed a close-up view of two young pied-billed Grebes in the further un-fenced pond.

Jeff Cohen
Issaquah, WA

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 19:25:47 -0700From: plkoyama at verizon.netSubject: Re: [Tweeters] Auburn, King County, Toysmith puddleTo: enhunn323 at comcast.net; Tweeters at u.washington.eduCC:

Gene and Tweets,
Yes it is a mitigation area. David and I were out there a couple of weeks ago, and a young, non-birder, wetland biologist came out to talk to us. An employee of the company that is doing the mitigation, she said the area would not be remaining "mud" much longer, since it will be planted. She wondered what everyone was so interested in, though she commented that a couple of her senior colleagues were talking about the shorebirds. We showed her some Wilson's Snipes through our scope, and she warned us not to go close to the water, since we could suddenly sink to our knees. So enjoy those shorebirds while you can, Tweets. This may be a one-season wonder. By the way, we had a Western Scrub Jay out there in addition to a number of shorebirds.
Penny Koyama, Bothell
plkoyama at verizon.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Eugene and Nancy Hunn
To: Tweeters at u.washington.edu
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 3:43 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] Auburn, King County, Toysmith puddle


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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