Date: 3/17/17 10:22 am
From: Clausing, Arthur M <clausing...>
Subject: [obol] North Portland Mew Gulls, Scaups and Loons
I spent the entire day on Thursday birding by bicycle in North Portland. My first stop was Broughton Beach. There was a large raft of scaups, mostly Greater Scaups, in relatively close to shore. One Pacific Loon surfaced close to shore but quickly left. When I found it again it was probably closer to the Washington side of the river. I searched for it, without success, on my way to Hayden Island. On route, there was a sprinkling of Western Grebes, and the occasional Horned Grebe, all along our side of the river.
At Columbia Point on Hayden Island, there was the largest collection of gulls that I have ever seen: 99% Mew Gulls, probably over 500 of them, mostly adults with a few 2nd winter, and a small number of 1st winter gulls. I could not find a single Ring-billed Gull among them, only a sprinkling of Glaucous-winged Gulls. Almost all gulls on the water and in the air were Mew Gulls. There was a single Common Loon feeding about 100 yds from the I5 Bridge. It was close to shore and very entertaining as it tried to swallow its catch.
The water level at Smith/Bybee was as high as I have seen it, about half of the paved paths were covered. I was told that the paths were completely covered in 2003(?). There is a marker at the entrance to the path between the lakes that indicates a water depth at that point of over five feet in 1994.
I will be posting pictures from yesterday on my Flickr site later today.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/amcsbirds
Art Clausing

 
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