[Tweeters] JETTY ISLAND - 04/17/16
dennisdmoore at comcast.net
Mon Apr 18 19:08:09 PDT 2016
I headed up to Jetty Island, Everett last Sunday. Northbound on I-5 I
had a red-tailed fly across my path at eye level carrying a furry
It's been two weeks since my last kayak circumnavigation of Jetty
Island. Only one occupied Osprey nest last time, six Sunday.
Fortunately the first nest has been built up over top of the big ball of
monofilament reducing the snag risk. Fishermen! Mind your line. Many
states have depositories (metal cylinders) for fishing line that removes
this hazard from the environment. Good idea. Big impact. Low cost.
Crossing the channel from the Everett boat launch I was greeted by a
healthy flock of sanderlings and a few dunlin. Offshore a pale, dark
billed loon was competing with the DC cormorants. Possibly a red-throat
or immature common. Also a single eared grebe in transitional plumage.
The pickings were slim along the south end rip-rap. No GBH or eagles.
I am always surprised how little foraging happens there. One might
expect the turnstones and gulls that frequent Shishole and Alki to have
a greater presence.
Turning north I was immediately serenaded by the dulcet tones of Caspian
terns. Last week was a single bird. Sunday six were chasing a
"fortunate" tern that had procured a meal. There were easily 30 more on
the sand. Right next door was a large flock of peeps. Down the way
were about 20 Brandt and more offshore.
My prime target for the day was the tidal flats just north of the
kite-boarding area. There is an excellent view from the shell midden
that is the highest point on the island. I paddled a little further
north to sneak up behind a grassy bank. My 20X revealed hundreds of
waders. Dunlin were largest in numbers. Black bellied plovers in
size. Sanderlings filled the gaps. The plovers were not as numerous as
last trip but more were now in breeding colors. I sat and enjoyed the
feeding and resting birds.
After launching the kayak again and heading out for deeper water I was
treated with the whole crew taking flight. (It wasn't me.) Spooked,
they were slow to settle. At first four flocks then joining to become
three and then one. Circling overhead it was a spectacular show. I am
amazed at the synchronization and how, at certain angles, so many birds
can virtually disapear.
BTW, I found the GBH. They were evenly spaced along the western sand.
Knee deep and frozen they each had their own turf.
Pigeon guillemot were hanging about the rocky north end. Languid eyed
harbor seals gave me a long look. There was a notable shortage of
golden-eye. Just a few.
Sidebar. For about an hour my polarized sunglasses gave me a view of a
full rainbow about the sun. The circular sun dog was augmented by a
doubling on the left and right sides. Cool.
In all a beautiful day with sunshine, fresh air and critters. The sand
can tell the story of other passings. If you take the time to wait and
watch a place's secrets will be revealed. It's not just how many miles
you cover and species you tally. It's about being there.
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