[Tweeters] Sabine's Gull off Point Defiance, Tacoma, 3-4pm 10/6/10

Shep Thorp tanwaxlake at comcast.net
Thu Oct 7 17:50:54 PDT 2010

Hi Tweets,

Ruth Sullivan convinced me to chase the juvenile Sabine’s Gull recently seen
in the South Sound. Joined by Matt Kizer, Hans-Joachim and Carol Feddern,
we observed this beautiful bird 150 feet north of the Point Defiance Beacon
from the bluff above between the Gig Harbor and Narrows Viewing outlooks 1
hour prior to high tide. The incoming tidal currents forced seawater
upwards in a ‘boil.’ A large flock of 200 Bonaparte Gulls were flying
eastward to the beginning of the ‘boil,’ then would land and feed while
wading westward. This resulted in the birds recycling as they fed,
recurrently flying to the beginning of the upward nutrient rich currents.
Watching the Bonaparte’s fly, allowed us to identify the Sabine’s Gull
tri-colored wings with brown mantle/coverts, black ink dipped wing tips, and
triangular shaped white secondaries. Once identified in flight with our
binoculars, we could then scope the bird wading/feeding to appreciate the
brown cap/crown/nape/mantle/coverts and white spur. Thrilling spot! Two
Common Terns observed as well.

Good birding,

Shep Thorp
Browns Point
sthorp at theaec.com <mailto:sthorp at theaec.com>

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