[Tweeters] Gorge Murrelet - NO

Wilson Cady gorgebirds at juno.com
Tue Oct 25 18:53:05 PDT 2011

Susan and I spent the day checking the Columbia River from the Bridge of the Gods to Government Cove on the Oregon side and to above Stevenson on the Washington side without a definite sighting ot the reported alcid. We started at Cascade Locks right after the fog lifted with calm water and no winds giving us great conditions for scoping the entire area from several vantage points. From above the sailboat filled marina we had a glimpse of something small, black above and white below, that was flying low above the water just off of the Washington shore. From this spot we saw WESTERN, RED-NECKED, EARED and HORNED GREBES.The winds started picking up as the air warmed and by the time we made it to the north shore the river was pretty choppy which along with the glare from looking South made it difficult to see much. We did add CLARK'S and PIED-BILLED GREBES. As I was composing this message I got a call from our son, Brad, and more details on the sighting. He and his sturgeon research crew had left the boat ramp at Cascade Locks and were running up the main channel of the river when he spotted a small bird sitting on the water about thirty feet off of the boat. He said that he realized it was a murrelet from his numerous sightings of them while ocean fishing and powered the boat down and turned it to get a better view and the bird flew off with rapid wing-beats staying low over the water. He said that it headed towards the Oregon shore just upstream of the sternwheeler dock. He said the bird was definitely not a grebe and he first noticed it because it just sat on the water as they approached it unlike the various grebes which always dive or fly when a boat gets near them. He is not familiar with Long-billed Murrelet but will check it out, I asked what color the back of the neck was and he said that it was black and very noticeable from a side view. He will be on the same stretch of the river tomorrow but coming downriver from Hood River to Cascade Locks, removing their sampling nets and set lines before the breaching of Conduit Dam on the White Salmon River tomorrow between 11 AM and Noon. Wilson Cady
Skamania County, WA

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