[Tweeters] Eastside Audubon trip to Sequim area

B&PBell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Fri Nov 13 11:04:50 PST 2009


Hi Tweets

On Tuesday Eastside Audubon took a trip to the Kitsap Peninsula and the Sequim area. We started out with cloudy weather and by the time we were on the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston it was raining steadily. We saw DOUBLE-CRESTED and PELAGIC CORMORANTs, HORNED and RED-NECKED GREBEs, SURF SCOTERs, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and GLAUCOUS-WINGED, HEERMANN'S and MEW GULLs near Edmonds. Part way across the Sound we saw BONAPARTE'S GULLs, a single CALIFORNIA GULL, two PACIFIC LOONs. Coming into Kingston we saw lots more Double-crested Cormorants.

By the time we reached Port Gamble the rain had stopped. Birdlife was scarce on Port Gamble Bay, but was scattered about. We saw BELTED KINGFISHER, GREAT BLUE HERON, SURF SCOTER, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, BUFFLEHEAD, HORNED and RED-NECKED GREBEs, COMMON LOON, GREATER SCAUP, SONG and FOX SPARROWs, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and AMERICAN ROBIN.

At Salsbury Point County Park there were more SURF SCOTERs, RED-BREASTED MERGANSERs, BUFFLEHEAD, HORNED GREBEs, DARK-EYED JUNCOs, RUBY-CROWNED, and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETs, WINTER WREN, a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, and a single HERMIT THRUSH. In the distance the snow-covered Olympic Mountains could be seen peeking thru the clouds

Crossing the Hood Canal Bridge the wind was starting to pick up, but no rain. We pushed on up the Olympic Peninsula and went down Gardner Beach Road to Discovery Bay. We scanned the pond and found MALLARDs, AMERICAN WIGEON, BUFFLEHEAD, BELTED KINGFISHER, CANDA GOOSE, NORTHERN PINTAIL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, and HOODED MERGANSER. With temperatures in the low 40s and the wind blowing about 15 mph it felt more like the 30s. We continued on around Gardner Beach Road up past Troll Haven, took Sunshine Road (a nice alternate to Hwy 101), and picked up Diamond Point Road on down into the community of Diamond Point. At the beach access it was pretty quiet, so we went up on N. Diamond Shore Lane. At the end we scoped over the Strait of Juan de Fuca toward Protection Island. There were PIGEON GUILLEMOTs, a RHINOCEROS AUKLET, more SURF SCOTERs, many COMMON MURRES. At one point we had two PACIFIC LOONs alongside two COMMON MURRES - gave us a great comparison. We were looking at the small blue colored eagle wind ornament on a birdbath when a BALD EAGLE soared overhead.

We returned to Hwy 101 and eventually out to the John Wayne Marina area. In the pond we had MALLARDs, AMERICAN WIGEON, HOODED MERGANSER. It was very windy, and there were virtually no birds on the south side of John Wayne Marina. From the knoll just outside the restrooms we could scope the jetty and see many DUNLIN, a couple of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. The wind was strong and steady enough by now that we wimped out and climbed back into the cars.

We continued north on West Sequim Bay Road to Washington Harbor Road and on out to the Lagoon near the north entrance to Sequim Bay. One side of the lagoon was filled with several hundred AMERICAN WIGEON (a little too far away to scope for different ones), NORTHERN PINTAIL, a few MALLARDs. The opposite side of the lagoon had more wigeon and a few GREEN-WINGED TEAL.

We took Schmuck Road north to Port Williams Road and down to the bay. We were somewhat sheltered from the wind there and stopped for lunch. Offshore there were more scoters, PIGEON GUILLEMOTs and RED-NECKED GREBEs. At one point a BALD EAGLE flew over with something in its talons, but it dropped it out of our sight and didn't seem to regain it. We took locals roads on and had lots of AMERICAN ROBINs, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWs, a couple of FOX SPARROWs and bunches of AMERICAN STARLINGs along Jamestown Road. Eventually we got out to Three Crabs where we had nice looks at more AMERICAN WIGEON, and lots of close looks at gulls. The large flock had MEW, RING-BILLED, CALIFORNIA, GLAUCOU-WINGED, WESTERN and a single THAYERs GULL. A large flock of DUNLIN was working the shore and a small group of SANDERLINGs flew by. Down Three Crabs Road at Helens Pond we found MALLARDs, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and a NORTHERN HARRIER was scouring the area.

We went out to Oyster House Road and Dungeness Landing Park. There were thousands of AMERICAN WIGEON along the south and east shores of Dungeness Bay. By scoping carefully we were able to find at least two EURASIAN WIGEON in with the Americans. There were also several thousand DUNLIN and a few BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. MEW and WESTERN GULLs were present. Way out in the distance by Dungerness Spit were three BRANT. Over by the old Oyster Farm, and in the distance we saw a couple of hundred Cormorants, American Wigeon, Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover and Sanderlings.

On the way out from Sequim we saw a couple of RED-TAILED HAWKs.

Along the way in various spots we also saw NORTHERN SHOVELER, GADWALL, COMMON GOLDENEYE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, ROCK PIGEON, MOURNING DOVE, NORTHERN FLICKER, STELLER'S JAY, AMERICAN CROW, COMMON RAVEN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BUSHTIT, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, CEDAR WAXWING, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, RED-WINGED and BREWER'S BLACKBIRDs and HOUSE FINCH.

By the time we got back to Kingston it was raining again and we all felt even with the wind that we had enjoyed a great day away from the rainy Puget Sound area. It was a good day with good companions, and we wound up seeing 69 species of birds.

Good Birding,

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA
mail to bell asoc at isomedia dot com

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