[Tweeters] Saltwater State Park today

Christopher Clark cjbirdmanclark at gmail.com
Thu Sep 15 15:56:54 PDT 2016


Today I went to Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, after not having been
all summer. To my surprise at low tide there was plenty of exposed shore,
making me regret not visiting during peak shorebird season. There were tons
of crows, many gulls, mostly "Olympic" gulls but with a few Glaucous-winged
and Mews mixed in. Many California Gulls too. Had one Rhinoceros Auklet but
no other alcids except for one that was too distant to ID. There is a
private beach connected to the park to the south, here there was plenty of
mud that had several Killdeer and a Black-bellied Plover! This is a private
beach with a large no trespassing sign marking the park/private boundary,
so if you visit please don't trespass, you can view the whole beach with no
problem at all while staying in the park boundaries.

I also had two Harbor Porpoises swimming a ways out from shore, a very
pleasant surprise! The lack of boats may have helped in them being visible.
I saw them go south, then north, then south again, where they were joined
by another unknown porpoise. Similar in size with what appeared to be a
larger dorsal fin, it wasn't big enough for an orca. Another Harbor
Porpoise? Something else? Help would be appreciated as I know very little
about cetacean ID. Here is a photo:

https://flic.kr/p/McVV2q

So all in all a fantastic day, rather slow day for seabirds but the plover
and porpoises more than made up for that! Happy birding!

Christopher Clark
Sumner, WA
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