[Tweeters] Point Defiance gull viewing (was Sabine's at Pt. Defiance)

Gary Shugart gshugart at pugetsound.edu
Tue Oct 5 08:59:33 PDT 2010

Hi All: I had several queries regarding viewpoints at Pt. Defiance and when the gulls are there. Here is a link to a map http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/files/library/a17c492dbe92d244.png. The Dalco Passage Overlook (Viewpoint on the map), where the Sabine's and Bonaparte's were yesterday (4 Oct), is about mile 3 on the 5 mile loop, after the Vashon Island Viewpoint and the turn out to the Big Tree. There is also a path down to the beach, but high tide limits beach access here. I usually scope from the viewpoints as it provides nice views looking down on the gulls. The tide flow is the key though; the gulls are there when there is a strong current which depends on tides. I was there at 12:30-1:10 pm 4 Oct and the high tide was at 3:16 pm. Today (5 Oct) high tide is 3:49. Checked on the way home at 5:30 yesterday (4 Oct) and there were only a few gulls around. This morning there was a large flock over at Dalco Point (SW point of Vashon Island) and many flying west seen from the ferry crossing, but few at Pt. Defiance. Tide was outgoing with a low at 9:19 am.
Also note, the 5 mile loop or drive is closed to vehicles from dawn to 1 pm on weekends, however you can park at Owen Beach and walk out to the point or bike or walk the 5 mile loop.
Gary Shugart, Slater Museum of Natural History, Univ. Puget Sound, Tacoma & Vashon Island

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