[Tweeters] Oceanshore Shorebirds and Paradise Ptarmigans

Khanh Tran fsprucegrouse at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 15 21:26:21 PDT 2010

Hi all,

This weekend I had the great pleasure birding with Eye Eagle, Evan Houston. I
was extremely impressed by his skills and our collective kharma rewarded us with
many highlights.  We had a blast and meet other fun birders in the field.  You
got to watch out for Ruth:) And many thanks to her for inspiring us to go out
and appreciate shorebirds.

As a last minute plan, we decided to go for the Hudsonian Godwit but failed to
relocate it late Friday evening.  However, we had a fun time seeing 20 species
of shorebirds at close range including a STILT SANDPIPER and previously reported
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER by Ruth Sullivan.  The Game Range was hopping Friday

Bill's Spit had up to 400 MARBLED GODWIT at high tide and several other
shorebirds in the distance.  We scanned the massive flock for other godwits
species but came up empty. There were also a dozen or more BRANTS here as well.
Damon Pt was extremely quiet except for a unidentified Jaeger that flew by
quickly.   Evan did see the female KING EIDER from the Game Range vantage point.

List of other shorebirds seen Game Range and Bill's Spit.

Marbled Godwit
Black bellied Plover
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Great and Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Western and Least Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Short and Long billed Dotwitcher
Red necked Phalorope

Next we darted to Mt. Rainier at Paradise for fancy alpine chickens.  As we
ascended above tree line, we saw several SOOTY GROUSE pairs along the Golden
Gate Trail.  Evan later found a cooperative BAIRD'S SANDPIPER along the Skyline
Trail.  A great find for Pierce Co.  As we headed towards Panaroma Point, I
re-located the pair of WHITE TAILED PTARMIGAN along the lush vegetation and
rivulets.  It is amazing how fast these birds molt. Two weeks later, the
pair look quite different in their late summer/early autumn plumage.  A lifer
for the estatic Evan.

Several GRAY CROWNED ROSYFINCHES were found near Panaroma Point and above
trails.  The rest of the hike was lackluster for birds.

More VIDEOS to come including the Stilt, Semipalmated, and Baird's Sandpiper at
Mt. Rainier.  Of course, the ptarmigan pair.

Good birding,

Khanh Tran

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