[Tweeters] Rosy-Finches at Elwha River mouth

Bob Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Fri Jan 2 10:19:02 PST 2015


Hello, Tweeters,

Yesterday, 1/1/15, Jerry and Helen Freilich and several others viewed three Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches on the beach at the west side of the Elwha River mouth, feeding along the driftwood and beach. This morning Bruce Paige found them there again, and they may have been there for at least a week, so maybe they’ll stick around.

Jerry says they were very tame, allowing close approach for good looks. Jerry described the gray on the back of their heads, their black caps, cinnamon-brown bellies, hint of wing bars, and light bills, along with other field marks. This is the beach accessible off Hwy 112 via Place Road and the levee on the west side of the Elwha River mouth, a lovely place for a stroll. He said the birds were actually on the beach, near the piles of driftwood above high tide line.

It’s very unusual to see this species at sea level around here, so this is a particularly interesting sighting. Are they local Olympic Peninsula birds, or perhaps a distant subspecies here by accident? And if you go to see the Rosy-Finches, take a look at how the delta of the Elwha River has changed following removal of the dams upstream. And of course scan the roosting gull flock at the mouth of the river — it’s one of the best places around for Thayer’s Gulls in the winter, along with many other gull friends.

Bob Boekelheide
Dungeness





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