[Tweeters] Nisq. NWR Yesterday - Wow!

Carol & Lynn Schulz carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 08:20:33 PDT 2011

Hi Tweets:
Yesterday's Nisqually birdwalk on Oct 5 led by Shep Thorp and Matt (don't
know last name) was awesome. A shorebirder's paradise.
A well-known, respected birder from Colorado, John Vanderpoel was there to
see the RUFF, which was first reported at Nisqually by Marv Breece. John is
the creator of several advanced video series w/ Jon Dunn incl. Large Gulls
of N. Amer., and Hummingbirds of N. Amer. He is doing a big year, and he
got excellent views with us of the RUFF, both perched and flying. He had
just arrived here from Alaska, and was doing a short lay-over between
birding stops. The Ruff was his 723rd of the year!
He has an excellent blog, with wonderful descriptions and photos at
http://www.bigyear2011.com/ . Here is the start of the blog report from him
about Barrow on Oct 4 & 5.

Re Barrow: "We're here with John Puschock's Zugunruhe Tours. Zugunruhe is
German for migratory restlessness. His tour company specializes in tours to
the edges of North America. In 2010 on a Zugunruhe Tours to Attu, they found
the first accepted North American record of Solitary Snipe.What a trip this
has been. Just to stand on Point Barrow at the top of the United States is
exciting, but to watch dozens of Ross's Gulls feed in the Arctic Ocean surf
less than 30 feet off shore is a once in a lifetime thrill!"

Please note that he went on our own John Puschock's Z-tours Alaska tour, and
he highly recommends those tours. John Puschock lives in north Seattle.

I was bowled over by the good shorebirding and raptor viewing at Nisqually
yesterday. Re the Ruff: Shep Thorp and Marv have described the bird, but
what I noticed was that the bird really strode rapidly. Long legs like a
yellowlegs, beautiful salmon-tan coloring which stood out compared to the
gray Blk-b. Plovers, and it had a long thin neck w/ small head. We saw it
at a distance at 11 am north of the cross dike, and Twin Barns, out in green
grass close to a very-white snag in the water out there, but then it rapidly
strode to the left several hundred feet. Later it came in close to the dike
just before high tide (1pm - high tide was at 2:30) w/ the group of Blk-b
Plovers, just to the outside of the dike. It perched and waded w/in about
200 feet of us at the site described by Paul Hicks on Oct 5. Then J.
Vanderpoel watched its entire flight as it flew over the Nisq. River to the
Nisq. Indian estuary field. Apparently the bird came back after high tide
to the same site as noted by Paul Hicks.
I stayed on the dike after Shep, Jerry Broadus, and John V left. Shep had
told me about a juv. Sanderling there in close. I saw it and it is quite
spectacular. It is very white w/ a spangly black back, and a patterned
head. It was perched along the mud there w/ Blk-b. Plovers, W. Sandpipers,
Dowitchers, and a small number of Dunlin.

After the Nisq. trip, Shep took John V up to Commencement Bay to see the
Black-tailed Gull. They eventually saw it on the boom booms there and also
on the log boom a little to the right (north).
I thank Shep, John V (who refound the Ruff in close to the dike at 1pm), and
all the nice people for a wonderful day at Nisqually yesterday.
Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines, WA

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