[Tweeters] WOS Grays Harbor trip 5-3-16
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Wed May 4 10:31:13 PDT 2016
WOS took a trip to Grays Harbor County yesterday. The day started out in the
Seattle area with broken clouds and it got progressively cloudier as we got
closer to the coast. We made a brief stop in West Olympia at a market and
picked up ANNAS HUMMINGBIRD, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW,
HOUSE SPARROW, and ROCK PIGEON.
It was really quiet most of the way out toward Aberdeen, we only saw one
AMERICAN CROW. Because of the timing of the tides we immediately headed for
Bottle Beach. High overcast, but virtually no wind. On the walk in we saw or
heard COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, SONG SPARROW,
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, MARSH WREN, AMERICAN ROBIN,
BARN SWALLOW, RED-WINGED BLACBIRD, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, and GREAT BLUE
HERON. We arrived about 2 ½ hours before high tide and the edge of the water
was lined with shorebirds for the whole length of the visible beach. Lots of
nicely plumaged BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERs, a collection of LONG-BILLED (rufous
colored bellies and flanks to the tail) and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERs (whitish
bellies and flanks) toward the south end of the beach, along with many
DUNLIN and a few WESTERN SANDPIPERs. As we worked our way scanning the
flocks up the beach we saw more of the same and managed to pick out a
BAIRDS SANDPIPER, some SEMIPALMATED PLOVERs, eventually about 20 RUDDY
TURNSTONEs, a single BLACK TURNSTONE, a few LEAST SANDPIPERs, a couple of
distant GREATER YELLOWLEGs, and finally at least 25 RED KNOTs. We spent an
hour-and- a-half at Bottle Beach continually scanning the flocks as they
moved closer. We finally had shorebirds as close as 15 feet with incredible
looks at beautiful plumaged RUDDY TURNSTONEs and RED KNOTs. Offshore we saw
COMMON LOON, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, a couple of distant (and not determined to
species) Scaup, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. A single
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH flew by while we were watching the shorebirds. On the way
back to the cars we had a couple of CASPIAN TERNs fly over.
We went around to Westport to a general lack of birds. There were a couple
of PIGEON GUILLEMOTs in the marina waters, 3 WESTERN GULLs and several
GLAUCOUS-WINGED or hybrid GULLs. At the platform looking over the channel we
saw PELAGIC CORMORANT, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, WHITE-WINGED and SURF
SCOTERs, RHINOCEROS AUKLET, COMMON MURRE, and a single SURFBIRD on a rock
We stopped a Grayland Beach State Park for lunch and heard GOLDEN-CROWNED
KINGLET, DARK-EYED JUNCO, PACIFIC WREN (way back in the woods), AMERICAN
CROW, AMERICAN ROBIN, and then walked out on the beach. We had a nice
cluster of SEMIPALMATED PLOVERs with WESTERN SANDPIPERs. Further out toward
the water we picked up SANDERLING along the waters edge, more
GLAUCOUS-WINGED/hybrid GULLs. Offshore we had several strings of PACIFIC
LOONs streaming to the north. As we walked back toward the car we heard a
distant RING-NECKED PHEASANT.
We pushed on toward Tokeland, where the dock was closed for road work. Near
the boat launch we were able to see 4 WHIMBREL, some BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERs,
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERs, 4 WESTERN GREBEs, COMMON LOON, a couple of EURASIAN
COLLARED-DOVEs, EUROPEAN STARLINGs, about 70 GLAUCOUS-WINGED/hybrid GULLS, a
couple of WESTERN GULLs, RING-BILLED GULLs, and a couple of CALIFORNIA
GULLs. A BALD EAGLE flew over. Way over on the other side of the bay, just
barely visible thru the scopes were several GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. Two
CASPIAN TERNs flew over. Back to Graveyard Spit and there were at least 80
CASPIAN TERNs, a couple of WHIMBREL, DUNLIN (probably 400), and a distant
GREAT BLUE HERON.
A quick scan at North Cove showed us another huge group of
GLAUCOUS-WINGED/hybrid GULLs, a WESTERN GULL, and a single MEW GULL.
We made a quick stop at Midway Beach, but the road was flooded so we stopped
where we could see a pond that had several MALLARDs and three NORTHERN
SHOVELER and a KILLDEER. SAVANNAH SPARROWs called and flew along the road,
two COMMON RAVENs blew past (one pursued by an AMERICAN CROW), and COMMON
YELLOWTHROAT sounded off.
We made our way back north and worked our way to the now abandoned 3rd
Ocosta Rd (by way of 6th Ocosta) picked up WOOD DUCK on the pond (barely
visible), BARN, CLIFF and TREE SWALLOWs and MARSH WREN. We tried for
Virginia Rail, but got no response.
At Johns River we heard and then saw 2 CANADA GEESE and a distant MARSH
On the way home, along I-5 we picked up 4 separate RED-TAILED HAWKs, an
OSPREY, and a flyover BELTED KINGFISHER.
We had a great trip with outstanding looks at lots of shorebirds, overall
great weather. We finished with 71 species for the day!
Brian H. Bell
mail to bell asoc a t iso media dot com
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