[Tweeters] Theler Wetlands and Belfair State Park Highlights

John Riegsecker jriegsecker at pobox.com
Wed Aug 11 22:16:39 PDT 2010


I arrived at Theler this morning at about 8:30. The main gate was
closed because they were repairing a sink hole caused by a plumbing
problem. This proved fortunate for me, as I drove to the Farm at
Water's edge and traversed the trail in the opposite order I normally do.

It was very foggy and as I waited on the bridge for the sun to break
through I heard two Virgina Rails calling several feet from me. In a
few minutes one walked into the open. It walked about 30 feet from me
feeding, then turned around and walked towards me before dashing off
under the bridge. In a few minutes the other Rail began calling again,
then walked into the open perhaps 10 - 15 feet from me and preened for a
minute as I took pictures.

Also the Green Heron, my first Long-billed Dowitcher of the year at
Theler and the GBH have returned after a month's absence.

I then drove to Belfair State Park which is just across the water. It
was low tide and the birds were a long way from me. I set up my scope
and counted 36 Great Blue Heron, 5 adult and 9 immature bald eagles. I
have never seen more than 5 eagles at once in that area before.

There were also a large number of gulls, but it was difficult to count
them because a couple were walking two labs off lead and the dogs would
chase the gulls. After some time they returned to where I was standing
and the girl walked up to me and asked me if I was taking pictures.
When I said no, she said she thought maybe I had been taking pictures of
the dogs chasing the birds. At first I thought perhaps she was worried
I would report them, but as I talked with her some more I realized she
was completely clueless and thought it would be neat to have pictures of
the dogs chasing the birds.

Note. The Theler trails will be closed 8/16 & 8/17 while they drill the
dikes for soil samples. There is a meeting 8/20 where the various
options for the future of the trails well be presented.

John Riegsecker
Gig Harbor, WA
jriegsecker at pobox dot com

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