[Tweeters] WEIRD Scoter and other Grays Harbor Stuff

. KDB . buhrdz at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 4 17:24:35 PDT 2011

Hello, For the past 2 days I've noticed a peculiar scoter offshore of the lot on the north side of the Ocean Shores Marina. Swimming with many SURF, a few WHITE-WINGED and NOT the Queen eider (I still can't find her this year: 15+ tries), is a male scoter which is entirely black, except for the faintest of faint trace of white on the back of the neck that may be the outline of the lower edge of the patch like that on the back of a surf scoter's head. This bird's eye is black and its bill is like that of a female black or surf scoter except that it is entirely orange from base to tip. Summing things up, he is an all black scoter with a modest, non-knobbed all orange bill and a trace of faint white on the lower nape. Perhaps a black scoter x white-wing scoter cross or back-cross?
I walk in the saltmarsh ringing Grays Harbor nearly every day from March
til November and encounter a small number of saltmarsh virginia rails,
usually at Bowerman Basin (3 on the 28th). An influx during the middle
of September in the saltmarshes all around the harbor made me wonder if these were migrants from further north. A young crow at the base of the southwest side of the bridge over the Chehalis river at Aberdeen has solid white flight feathers, giving a topside appearance that is a near dead ringer for an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. I would love it if someone could get pics of this bird (it is beyond me with my modest camera equipment), or at the very least catch it and paint a red top-knot on it. Fifty-five eurasian collared doves at Brady Loop Road is the most I've seen there. On the 21st, the two islands smack dab in the middle of Grays Harbor had a long-billed curlew, a thousand brown pelicans (including one dead banded bird) and the mind numbing sight of over 5000 double-crested cormorants lined up on the beach. Well, maybe it wasn't the mind numbing sight, it may have been the smell. Wow, it really did smell quite poorly. Those same islands hosted several hundred brant all summer long for the past several summers; I did not see any there this year at all. Stormy, stormy weather on the 26th brought white-fronted geese in by the thousands and thousands all day long up by the Copalis River and around the harbor. The heavy surf and winds that day had 3 parasitic jaegers hunkered down on the water just offshore of the base of Damon Point. A golden-plover was at the Humptulips River mouth on the 27th. Upwards of 15,000 ducks are flocked up together in parts of the harbor; mostly pintail, wigeon, green-winged teal and mallard. Quite a sight. Of the two dead female teal found in the road around the Humptulips River this past week, one was a blue-winged. A barred owl was dead on the road near Hogan's Corner yesterday. It was odd... just a wreck of an owl and picked mostly clean of meat; kind of the shell of a bird partly turned inside out. Six sandhill cranes were over Aberdeen on the 3rd.
Besides birds others have mentioned I guess that's it for now.
Keith Brady
Olympia, WA

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