[Tweeters] Pacific County
mbreece at earthlink.net
Tue May 18 22:07:15 PDT 2010
Sunday afternoon I left Seattle bound for Pacific County to do some bird watching.
First stop was off of Elkhorn Rd. This is barely south of the county line w/ Grays Harbor on Hwy 101. Exploring some of the Weyerhaeuser Roads, I ran into a (real) vocal NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL. The owl was attracting a handful of warblers and a HUTTON'S VIREO. The warblers looked like hermits. One bird had a tad of yellow below the black throat. Also flecks of black in the face and broken black up the nape toward the crown. Another looked good for a pure HERMIT WARBLER.
The ponds at South Bend were full of shorebirds and a VIRGINIA RAIL. Both DOWITCHERS, WESTERN SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS and quite a few RED-NECKED PHALAROPES.
I took the South Bend - Palix Road and slept under the stars on a side road near the west end. As I dropped the therma rest on the ground just before dark, a GREAT HORNED OWL flew in and perched on a low snag nearby. SWAINSON'S THRUSHES were whitting and performing their other vocalizations as well as beginning to sing.
Next morning (Monday) before I could get to the main road, I spotted a pair of WESTERN BLUEBIRDS. This was almost where South Bend - Palix Road meets Hwy 101. A nice way to begin the day.
Along Bay Center Road I saw a flock of 25 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in a field and a pair of GREATER SCAUP swimming in the stream.
Returning from a brief visit to Leadbetter Point SP, there was a EURASIAN COLORED-DOVE at 14th and Pacific in Long Beach. Then saw 2 more in Seaview.
I couldn't find an oystercatcher at North Head Lighthouse, but did manage a single WANDERING TATTLER. Saw 2 more at Fort Canby.
On the way home today I stopped once again at the South Bend ponds. This time the peeps and phalaropes were nowhere to be seen. Dowitchers and Greater Yellowlegs were still there as well as a SPOTTED SANDPIPER. The bonus was a group of 3 curious RIVER OTTERS. In the past I have usually found them to be shy and to keep their distance. Today they repeatedly swam within about 30 feet of me and made strange noises. My noises probably sounded weird to them, too.
A final stop at Keys Road/Wentzel Slough (Grays Harbor County) was worthwhile. At least 70 WHIMBRELS joined corvids and icterids in the field for the smorgasbord. Just up the road, 9 CANADA GEESE with a MINIMA CACKLING GOOSE and a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. And a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY at the airport.
mbreece at earthlink.net
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