Monday, April 26, 2010

Grays Harbor shorebirds..

I was looking at the Portland Audubon Society website and noticed mention of the annual shorebird migration in Grays Harbor, Washington.. It sounded impressive and I had nothing else to do Sunday morning so I headed up there to check it out.

Let me just say that I am TERRIBLE at distinguishing shorebirds, so don't expect too many great ID's here.

The first stop was Bowerman Basin near Hoquiam.

These signs were easy enough to follow...

I don't know what these plants are but they are so darn pretty.

This American Goldfinch greeted me on the Sandpiper Trail.

I wish I had caught this Tern just a couple seconds earlier so it wasn't in front of this house!  I believe it's a Caspian Tern but not positive.

Oh yes, the shorebirds...
There were lots of 'em.  I watched them fly back and forth quite a few times.. maybe for 20 minutes or so.  Then they ALL flew off towards the harbor and out of view...

The dozen or so birders around laughed and sighed..  I waited around for a bit but decided to move on. 

This Bewick's Wren was singing loud and proud back on the Sandpiper Trail.

Our next and final stop was Ocean Shores.  I was expecting another low-key adventure, but Ocean Shores is NOT a low-key place.  It's like a Pacific Coast Daytona Beach, just colder.  Everyone drives on the beach- not just cars but mopeds too.  And horses!  Lots of horses.  And kites. 

But oh were there tons of shorebirds... And they did not care how close Jake and I got.


I may even try to ID a few of them...

Western Sandpiper.

Semipalmated Plovers.

Group shot.  Looks like a handful of Dunlin mixed in. Are the ones with just a little black on their bellies in the process of changing into their full-on breeding colors?

It was beautiful if I tuned out the screaming children and engines roaring...


The little birds had a back-up crew of Marbled Godwits.. (right? Tell me if I'm wrong!)

And who are these little white friends of theirs?  Are they Sanderlings?


Eeek!  They're coming right towards me...

And this was just part of the group...


Alright alright, just one more...


I lied.. One more... Why is the water so gnarly?

6 comments:

  1. I haven't been lucky enough to see THAT many shorebirds at once. You're so lucky....and, as far as I can tell, all your IDs are right on. I love the Godwits and Sanderlings.

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  2. That beach would be heaven for shorebird groupies! You made the right decision to go--good stuff!

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  3. Great report of your experience. Too bad for the distractions you had during what appears to be a very unusual experience. ID's look accurate.

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  4. I took Audubon's shorebird class/field trip last year.(I posted on May 5,2009 on my blog). That is a great place to view shorebirds, and lucky you, there were alot of them!

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  5. Hi Jen. For some reason your posts fell off my radar but I've rectified that now.
    What a fabulous location..all those waders..I'd be in seventh heaven. As far as I can tell your ID skills are far from terrible.

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  6. hey.. that green plant by the way is Horsetail. or did you mean the one with the purple flower?

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