Yesterday, WOS took a trip to the Grays Harbor area. We left the Seattle
area at 6 AM under extremely smoky skies and a temperature of 70F. Not much
activity during the first part of the drive, but when the sun came up it was
On the way down we had AMERICAN CROW (I-5), ROCK PIGEON, EUROPEAN STARLING
(US 101) and STELLER’S JAY (SR8). It continued very smoky and the
temperature dropped to 68.
We made our first birding stop at the Hoquiam Sewer Ponds and the light was
a bit better but still somewhat low: MALLARD, CANADA GOOSE, GREEN-WINGED
TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, BARN SWALLOW, CALIFORNIA
GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, AMERICAN COOT, COMMON RAVEN, AMERICAN CROW, SONG
SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, WESTERN SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPER, PECTORAL
SANDPIPER, KILLDEER, NORTHERN SHOVELER, BELTED KINGFISHER, EUROPEAN
STARLING, NORTHERN HARRIER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (heard), BALD EAGLE. Glad we
stopped as this was a good start for our trip.
As we got closer to Ocean Shores the light level dropped and the beach was
foggy, with limited visibility and the temperature was now 59F – our first
stop was a drive along the beach from the north end of Ocean Shores up to
the Casino area. Most of the beach was birdless with the exception of lots
of loafing gulls - CALIFORNIA GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, WESTERN GULL,
RING-BILLED GULL. A few AMERICAN CROWs, and then we ran into a nice flock of
small shorebirds, WESTERN SANDPIPER, SEMI-PALMATED PLOVER, SANDERLING,
We made a stop at the Cabana Pool trail and at the south end of the lake had
CANADA GOOSE, MALLARD, AMERICAN CROW, GREATER YELLOWLEGS (heard), STELLER’S
JAY, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BUSHTIT. No luck on the
Black Phoebe. On out to the North Jetty. It was now very foggy, we couldn’t
see the end of the jetty or most of the top of the jetty. There were very
few birds) – GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, HEERMANN’S GULL, SANDERLING (one lonely
bird), EUROPEAN STARLING.
As we headed around toward Damon Point, along Sportsman Street (beyond
treatment plant) we saw EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, NOTHERN HARRIER, BARN
We made a quick lunch stop at the Interpretive Center and picked up BELTED
KINGFISHER (heard), EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, CASPIAN TERN (heard), AMERICAN
CROW, WESTERN GULL, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, HOUSE FINCH, DOUBLE-CRESTED
CORMORANT, and BROWN PELICAN. It was considerably clearer here and the
temperature had climbed to 61F. After lunch we went to the Damon Point
overlook – back closer to the channel it was still foggy, we couldn’t see
very far, but we did pick up BROWN PELICAN, COMMON LOON, and AMERICAN CROW.
As we headed back up into town along Point Brown Rd. we picked up our first
We made the trip back around the harbor to Bottle Beach ( I overlooked how
high the tide was going to be – so we were late getting to the beach and the
water was most of the way up on the beach) – there was a singular lack of
birds for the area with lots of gulls offshore - CALIFORNIA GULL,
RING-BILLED GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. Further out there was a HORNED
GREBE and a COMMON LOON, BROWN PELICAN. Along the Beach we saw a
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (very scruffy looking), and two LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERs.
A flock of GREEN-WINGED TEAL landed briefly in the water and then took off.
Overhead and on the way out we had CEDAR WAXWING, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH,
ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD and BARN SWALLOW. It had cleared and we had 65F.
We went around to Westport by the Coast Guard Station where it had cleared
mostly and examined three flocks of MARBLED GODWITs, about ˝ on the rocks,
some on one of the floats and a second group on another float. The bigger
flock yielded a light breasted BAR-TAILED GODWIT with a nice white
supercilium, a BLACK TURNSTONE, a couple of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTs, a
ton of HEERMANN’S GULLs. We also saw a GREAT BLUE HERON, BROWN PELICAN, and
a few PELAGIC CORMORANTs.
>From the platform at the north end by the Marina (looking over the channel)
we saw PELAGIC CORMORANT, HEERMANN’S GULL, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, COMMON MURRE,
WESTERN GREBE, a probably SOOTY SHEARWATER?, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT,
It was 4:00 PM and we decided to head for home. Along the way at Brady we
saw our first RED-TAILED HAWK, and a TURKEY VULTURE. At Elma we had a second
RED-TAILED HAWK. As we passed the turn for the Summit Lake area we had a
couple more TURKEY VULTUREs.
In spite of the foggy and cool conditions we had a good day with 59 species.