[Tweeters] Clallam County birds Saturday: WESTERN KINGBIRD,
GC ROSY-FINCH, HERMIT WARBLER
scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 17 21:11:02 PDT 2016
Birding with out-of-state visitors Saturday, enjoyed reasonably decent weather and found a few goodies. Along FS 28 (2880) south of Dungeness Forks, a hatch-year female HERMIT WARBLER caught us by surprise by coming to within 20-25 ft. in response to "pishing." This allowed for a couple mediocre photos, although Henry obtained some better ones than these:
Things were much quieter than May-June, and I was unable, amazingly, to find a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER along the route, although returning today I found two. Imagine--a HERMIT but no TOWNSEND'S here--the May-June counts generate about 25-40 TOWNSEND'S, 4-5 HYBRIDS, and 1 pure HERMIT somewhere, for the whole route south to the Mt Townsend trailhead and thenceforth over to Mt. Zion.
Hiking up Hurricane Hill later, the views were terrific but the birding slow--until we reached the southwest side of the hill viewpoint. In both the timber and meadows, the place was alive with birds--the biggest surprise being a WESTERN KINGBIRD that had a brief aerial fracas with an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER over the alpine meadow there before flying on northwestward. I've never had one in July west of the Cascades (or in alpine habitat) and this was just my third for the county. Henry had the best looks. In addition, a GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCH called a couple times, but I was unable to bring it into view. Five CHIPPING and two LINCOLN'S SPARROWS were along the route, as well as a range of other species, and the usual brilliant show of wildflower color in the open talus. We also were within ten feet of the venerable and endemic OLYMPIC MARMOT.
Near Bullman Beach, a nice peep flock included a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (FOS) and four other shorebird species.
Out at Cape Flattery, the marine melee of birds included a single CASSIN'S AUKLET among the usual hordes of more typical alcids, among the latter 16 TUFTED PUFFINS were a nice show. I noted as others have a large number of HEERMANN'S GULLS for so early in the season. Also, the first SOOTY SHEARWATERS were starting to show inshore, but were still way out there--even through the scope it was hard to make most of them out.
Finally, other than the CHIPPING SPARROWS at Hurricane Hill, another was at Hurricane Ridge, and (today) one was singing right in downtown Kingston, on return.
Lake Stevens, WA
mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com
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