[Tweeters] Mason County WOS trip today

Tim O'Brien kertim7179 at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 21 19:39:27 PDT 2009

Matt Bartels and I led a WOS fieldtrip to Mason county today. This underbirded county provided well for us today. Thank you to all those that took part in today's trip! Here's a recap:

The day started at the Shelton Walmart parking lot where a pair of WOOD DUCKS flew over while we were waiting to start the trip.

In downtown Shelton along Cota Street near 11th ave, we found a pair of WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS which Matt had located the weekend before. Also, here we found a hummingbird feeder with a nice bright male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD visiting it. A RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER also entertained us by hopping from utility pole to utility pole and drumming on anything metallic it could find.

At Kennedy Creek, we found a good number of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and lesser amounts of DUNLIN. Also, here was a fly-over EVENING GROSBEAK.

A drive out towards Matlock did not produce the hoped-for bluebirds, but a pitstop at the local convenience store yielded a single GRAY JAY who was interested in our food.

Next, we had a great tour of the Skokomish River delta and the south end of Hood Canal. I would like to thank Alex from the Skokomish Natural Resource Department for allowing us out onto the cement boardwalk that provides access to the delta. Highlights from the walk on the delta included: PILEATED WOODPECKER and a singing HUTTON'S VIREO.

Out on the water, we found 4 BLACK SCOTERS mixed in the with the SURF and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. A few EARED GREBES were seen as well. A single LONG-TAILED DUCK was spotted from the delta as well, then seen better from Hoodsport. A single RED-THROATED LOON and a single PACIFIC LOON was seen too as well with several COMMON LOONS with one in breeding plumage. The only Alcid of the day was a PIGEON GUILLEMOT seen from Potlatch.

The Hoodsport docks also produced a PELAGIC COMORANT. In Lilliwaup, we found three AMERICAN DIPPERS that were quite close and singing away.

The Skokomish River Valley treated us with a quick glimpse of a WILSON'S SNIPE and the lingering group of TRUMPETER SWANS. At Eels Trout Hatchery, we found a GREEN HERON that flushed quickly and then allowed everyone to see it while it was hiding in the dense trees.

Up in the hills above the Skokomish Valley, we found 3 more GRAY JAYS near Lake West. On Lake West, there were RING-NECKED DUCKS and a few COMMON MERGANSERS.

TURKEY VULTURES were present in force mostly concentrated in the Skokomish Valley with the most seen at one time being four.

At the Mason County fairgrounds, we got good looks at a COOPER'S HAWK.

We had great weather, great company, and a great time! The trip netted 80 species for the day. Good birding!

Tim O'Brien
Cheney, WA
mailto: kertim7179 at yahoo dot com

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