[Tweeters] Eastside Audubon Grays Harbor 9 May 2016
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Tue May 10 08:01:08 PDT 2016
Yesterday, Eastside Audubon took a trip to the Grays Harbor area. We left
way too early so we would have plenty of time down at the coast. There was
gray overcast when we left, and few birds to start, but by the time we were
near Tacoma the overcast was breaking up and the sun was coming out. We saw
a few AMERICAN CROWs on the way down. At a stop in Olympia we saw ROCK
PIGEON, AMERICAN ROBIN, and heard WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. In the vicinity of
Elma we had a COMMON RAVEN fly along the highway, and a bit further west a
couple more Crows.
We made our first stop at the Hoquiam Sewer Ponds with an OSPREY in the
nest. The easternmost pond only had a couple of MALLARDs and GADWALL. The
middle pond was absolutely loaded with Scaup, scanning through them showed
about 50 GREATER SCAUP and one LESSER SCAUP. A single female BUFFLEHEAD was
present. The westernmost pond had more Greater Scaup, a couple of NORTHERN
SHOVELER, a couple of NORTHERN PINTAIL, several MALLARDS and way back
against the rocks a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL. The mud had some shorebirds -
we managed to see DUNLIN, WESTERN SANDPIPERs, KILLDEER, SHORT-BILLED
DOWITCHER and a PECTORAL and BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. BARN and VIOLET-GREEN
SWALLOWs were overhead. Out on the channel there were another 200 DUNLIN. As
we drove out we heard a WILSON'S WARBLER and saw a quick flit. A Coyote
started to come across the road and pulled back as another car came along.
The tide was way out, and Bowerman Basin was nothing but mud with shorebirds
We made a stop on Burrow's Road and heard WILSON'S WARBLER. A SONG SPARROW
was perched on a telephone line, not down on the roadside bushes. At one of
the stream crossings we saw a group of COMMON MERGANSERs.
We drove out to Ocean City State Park and it was really quiet - but we
managed to hear CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and
another WILSON'S WARBLER, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and a female RUFOUS
HUMMINGBIRD. The wetlands had a very vociferous MARSH WREN and a distant
We drove the beach and came across a group of shorebirds - as many as 70-80
SEMIPALMATED PLOVERs and a bunch of WESTERN SANDPIPERs with a sprinkling of
LEAST SANDPIPERs. Scattered gulls yielded some WESTERN GULLs and mostly
Our next stop was at the Point Brown jetty. When we pulled up there was a
lot of heavy equipment out on the beach and a beached fishing boat - lots of
activity. We walked way out along the edge of the jetty (very low tide) and
out at the tip saw SURFBIRD (in and out of view on the rocks), BLACK
TURNSTONE, RUDDY TURNSTONE, and WANDERING TATTLER. Streams of PACIFIC LOONs
flew by heading north (easily a couple hundred). A few more WESTERN GULLs,
and many more GLAUCOUS-WINGED/hybrids. A flock of DUNLIN/WESTERN SANDPIPERs
and a few SANDERLINGs worked the edge of the beach. A couple of
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTs, a SURF SCOTER, and a COMMON LOON were in the
All during this time the weather was ideal - sunny and comfortable
temperature with little wind.
We stopped at the Sewer Treatment Plant and had 3 WHIMBREL fly away from the
first pond. More gulls, and on the other ponds we had MALLARD, GADWALL,
NORTHERN SHOVELER, a fly-away GREATER YELLOWLEGs, BARN SWALLOW, CLIFF
SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW and a HOUSE SPARROW. An immature PEREGRINE FALCON
perched on the tall structure, made a sortie out and went back to perch.
We made a lunch stop at the Interpretive Center and had a pair of RED-WINGED
BLACKBIRDs at the feeder, a BALD EAGLE flew over, a couple of crows, a
couple of BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDs and some BARN SWALLOWs. We made a quick stop
at Damon Point and saw COMMON LOON and SURF SCOTER. We then headed around to
the Westport area to catch the high tide at Bottle Beach.
A stop at Johns River we had a DARK-EYED JUNCO on the road in and picked up
a SPOTTED SANDPIPER, CANADA GOOSE, and a female PURPLE MARTIN. Next down to
Bottle Beach - was heard MARSH WREN on the walk out. We arrived with the
tide well out and the edge of the water covered with shorebirds along the
whole length of the beach. We walked ways out to get closer to the birds and
over the next hour saw lots of shorebirds including: BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER
(about 50+), DUNLIN (about 1500), SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (about 300) and
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (about 20), RUDDY TURNSTONE (probably 40+). In
scanning the flocks we ran across a PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER - spent a good
time studying it. Mixed in with the rest of the shorebirds were a few RED
KNOTs. Some CASPIAN TERNs were along the shore. Out of the bay there were a
couple of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERs and some more distant duck-types (too distant
to i.d.). GREAT BLUE HERON flew over. On the walk back out to the car we had
a male RUFUOUS HUMMINGBIRD. A very distant TURKEY VULTURE.
At the platform in Westport Marina we saw PELAGIC COMORANT, and single
BRANDT'S CORMORANT, some DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTs, a RED-NECKED GREBE,
PIGEON GUILLEMOT, BLACK TURNSTONE, RUDDY TURNSTONE, BROWN PELICANs and a ton
of gulls (a few WESTERN but mostly GLAUCOUS-WINGED/hybrids).
Brady Loop Road was pretty-well ploughed and dry, but we did see AMERICAN
ROBIN, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, BARN SWALLOW, SAVANNAH SPARROW, SPOTTED TOWHEE,
OSPREY (on the nest), EUROPEAN STARLING, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, BREWER'S
BLACKBIRD, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE.
Along the way during the day we saw a STELLER'S JAY, and lots more EUROPEAN
As we drove into the P&R at the end of the day we had a NORTHERN FLICKER fly
in for our 80th species.
A great day with good friends, lots of super looks and 20 species of
Brian H. Bell
mail to bell asoc a t i s o media dot com
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