[Tweeters] Fort Flagler this morning

wheelermombi at comcast.net wheelermombi at comcast.net
Sat Apr 14 19:19:37 PDT 2012

Hi Tweeters,

I had to be in Port Townsend this morning (for non-birding stuff unfortunately), but I gave myself an extra hour or so for a quick detour to Fort Flagler SP. I don't recall ever birding there in April and was curious to see what was out and about. Most impressive for me were the number of HARLEQUIN DUCKS; walking to the end of the spit and scoping the other spit across the bay, I counted 29 lined up on the beach, and this wasn't including the several small groups that were swimming in the water on my walk out there. Altogether, there were in excess of 40, the most that I have ever seen in one location. Also hanging out on the distant spit were BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, a few DUNLIN, and a couple of what I believe were WESTERN SANDPIPERS but they were too far away for me to be certain, even with the scope, 1 BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, CASPIAN TERNS, and several BRANTS. Other species seen in the water include several HORNED GREBES in various stages of breeding plumage, 1 RED-THROATED LOON, 2 COMMON LOONS, PIGEON GUILLEMOTS (some in breeding plumage and some not yet), 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, SURF and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, BALD EAGLES, and SAVANNAH SPARROWS.

While hiking on the wooded hill at Fort Worden SP a few hours later, I spotted a kettle of 7 or 8 RED-TAILED HAWKS mixed with 5 TURKEY VULTURES all spiraling up on the thermals where the ocean met the sea cliffs. Not exactly Hawk Mountain numbers, but still very fun to watch. I'm assuming that they are in migration?

Good birding,

Lonnie Somer
wheelermombi at comcast.net
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