[Tweeters] Coastal run yesterday

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Wed Nov 16 12:18:31 PST 2016

Tweets – despite a rather wet forecast, I decided to make a run to Westport, Tokeland, and down to South Bend yesterday. I lucked out, in that while I had a lot of rain, almost all of it came while I drove from site to site. Only once did I get wet, though most of the day was rainy.

Westport harbor did, in fact, have many RED PHALAROPE, many of them very close, giving an excellent opportunity for study. And the BARROW’S GOLDENEYE remains near the start of the Fisherman’s Pier. They are hard to find in Grays Harbor county.

Westport Jetty had several more RED PHALAROPE including one in the parking lot that I almost ran over. Couldn’t find much else there though. I did have a flock of small birds that had me thinking longspur or pipit or something better. I chased them along the bluff, frantically trying to get scope views. Finally, they landed far down the beach. When I finally got a look at them, it turned out they were...
House Finch.

I drove out onto the beach at Grayland. Almost all of the upland area where Snowy Plover usually hang out was inundated with water, and I saw no plovers. I finally turned around, and then noticed that the tide, though already high, was coming in much higher. The water just closed over the exit road as I got there. Five more minutes, and I might not have gotten out. Very belatedly, I realized that the Super Moon has been causing very high tides, for it was still over an hour before high tide. No wonder the plover zone was under water.

I tried walking in at Midway Beach. The rain was hard and blowing horizontally. I went back for rain pants and tall boots. But 200 yards down the road, it became clear I’d need chest waders to get to the beach proper. It was a good test of my new rain coat and boots, though. Bird list: 1 dead COMMON LOON.

Along Smith Anderson Rd., down in the cranberry bogs, I found two SNOW GEESE along with about 50 Cacklers (which might have been the Aleutian subspecies).

High tide heading past North Cove and into Tokeland was VERY high, threatening the highway. Some of the houses at Tokeland were also threatened with flooding.

I was stunned by the changes at the Tokeland marina. I hope shorebirds will still utilize the area the way they have in the past. The tiny remnant of a wooden dock at the south end of the marina did have 10 WILLET on it... While I saw no phalarope in the marina area, there were RED PHALAROPE scattered around other places in and around Tokeland. There was a good collection of gulls, but I couldn’t find anything notable amongst them, except for an odd-looking gull that was probably a 3rd winter Western Gull with retained 2nd winter tail feathers, and with pale, olive eyes.

In Raymond and South Bend I turned up nothing of interest. I did not find the recently reported Franklin’s Gull in South Bend. And then the rain started. Hard. I gave up and headed home.

Brady Loop also was pretty quiet. Best birds were a PEREGRINE FALCON and three TRUMPETER SWANS.

== Michael Hobbs
== www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== BirdMarymoor at frontier.com

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