Smith & Bybee Lakes.

Ever have a day where you end up in the right place at the right time and things just fall into place beyond your wildest expectations?  Ok, well, today was pretty close.  I figured I would hit up some nearby hotspots and check for shorebirds, not really expecting to see anything too exciting.  I stopped by Force Lake first where I found three Green Herons.


After that I headed to the Smith & Bybee Lakes canoe launch area.  Several birders were standing there already and when I walked up Dave Irons asked if I wanted to see some good birds.  Uhhhh, yes please?  They had just found a freakin Arctic Tern (lifer!) and a Franklin's Gull (county bird!)!

Arctic Tern

 Arctic Tern

 Franklin's Gull

Franklin's Gull

Dave and Shawneen were heading over to the Bybee Lake Wapato Jail access that I had never known how to find before, so I tagged along.  Good thing I did because amid all the shorebird awesomeness were a couple more life birds for me!  They pointed out a Semipalmated Sandpiper:

Semipalmated Sandpiper & Western Sandpiper

 Out on the water were about ten Red-necked Phalaropes (another lifer!):


Close to shore were tons more birds...

Wilson's Phalarope

 Lesser Yellowlegs

 Long-billed Dowitchers

We also saw a Western Sandpiper get stuck in the mud for a few minutes- he managed to escape when none of us were looking...


Other birds we saw: Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpipers, Bank Swallows, Northern Rough-Winged Swallows, Bald Eagle, Osprey, etc.. It was such a great morning! 

Comments

  1. Wow, Jen! It sounds like an awesome day of birding. The Artic Tern is a cool bird, great sighting. The Green herons have always been a favorite of mine. Congrats on your new lifers. great birds and photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the days you speak of.

    Inland Arctic Tern is a GREAT bird, I've only seen one south of Alaska standing on solid land.
    I'm glad you got to experience some fall magic, you should go to work on having kids just so you can tell them the tale of this day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gross, I will just tell the dogs about it.

      Delete
  3. Well howdeedoo bout' that, you cleaned house Jen (which is good, is now you have an actual house to clean)!

    I have no idea how rare it is to see inland Arctic Terns, I'll take Seagull's word for it and place you up high on a pedestal.
    That's some prodigious great birding, and it's gotta be extra satisfying to get some lifers out of hard-to-spec shorebirds too, so no longer will you have to live wondering 'what-if' about them.

    Salute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laurence, the tern was definitely a mighty fine find.

      Delete
  4. Arctic Tern? Get out! That's amazing, I'm super jealous. Sounds like a great day of birding, congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!

    I was on the road all day and am now at home crying because I missed this most ridiculous event :-(

    When you say "canoe launch", do you mean out past the two viewing platforms or further east down the road past the restrooms?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, it was a most ridiculous event! I am referring to the latter... The Smith Lake access from the end of the road. Hopefully they will stick around for ya.

      Delete
  6. WOW, GREAT day eh? Fantastic birds in this post, IM so jealous of the semipalmated!! Seeing an Artic Tern there is pretty fab too. I had to go all the way to Alaska to see one, dang! Congrats on your lifers! ^5

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh my first internet high five, I like it!

      Delete
  7. Jeesh. You are becoming quite the social birder! Great finds today. I hope the house thing goes through. Some dry rot is to be expected around here on older homes- hopefully seller will fix or comp you and you can continue in the process. Hoping to head over to Jackson Bottoms tomorrow morning and see whats going on. It's a weird time of year for birds (except at Smith/Bybee!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I usually do avoid the social aspect of birding yet it always seems to yield great rewards...dang it! Good luck at Jackson Bottoms- I read the north pond has the best birds right now (the one just off the highway, not near the visitor center). You should go to Fernhill too!!

      Delete
  8. Fantastic, Jen! Congrats on all the lifers you spotted. Very exciting!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mount St. Helens

Scotes and 'ropes and things.

New England Backyard Wildlife