[Tweeters] Thomas Pond
h2ouzel at comcast.net
Wed Oct 7 18:11:28 PDT 2009
Sharon Aagaard and I went to Thomas Pond (hwy 167 & SE 277th) this morning arriving at 8:30 a.m. in the fog. It didn't look promising. We could see a few ducks, American Wigeon, Mallard, Hooded Merganser, etc. and a Northern Harrier perched on snag in the fog, but no shorebirds. While waiting for fog to lift we drove a little way south down to the wetland just south of the Staples warehouses. Not much water visible from the road, but could see quite a bit of water from the Staples parking lot. We didn't see any likely places for shorebirds, just a few more ducks.
We got back to the area of the hydrant and set up our scopes again as the fog seemed to be lifting. First we saw three Long-billed Dowitchers working the mud flats out in front of us. A little later, about 9:15, a few Pectoral Sandpipers appeared feeding in and out of the mudflats and grass. We soon spotted a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and with the clearer view good see all the key identifiers - brown cap, white supercilium, eye ring, slightly shorter bill, buffy breast with a few streaks. We got to see a Pectoral and Sharp-tailed close together for good comparison. Then we had two Sharp-tails in one view. About 9:30 the Norther Harrier flew down and made a pass over the pond and scattered the birds. They landed behind the grassy area to the right of the mud spit further out in the pond where they had been reported before. We did spot two Wilson's Snipe in front of the grass. We could not get good looks anymore at the other shorebirds, and since we could call the morning a success, we left.
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