Date: 2/4/18 3:29 pm
From: Christopher Clark <cjbirdmanclark...>
Subject: [Tweeters] First of year Pierce County birding
Hey fellow birders, so this morning I was able to get out and enjoy some
local birding. Believe it or not, this was my first time birding in Pierce
County this year! Yikes! But boy, there were some pretty cool highlights.

Starting off at Gog-le-hi-te wetlands, I was disappointed to see NO gulls
on either the rendering plant or on the shipping containers. None. Zip! So
I figured I'd walk toward the south pond and see if any gulls were hanging
out there. As I walked, around 300 or so gulls were flushed from some
location southeast of the plant, probably flushed by one of the eagles
hanging around. Immediately I picked out the continuing GLAUCOUS GULL, it
was easily seen even with just the naked eye. Within a minute all the
gulls, save for a few flyovers, returned to their roost, where they
couldn't be seen from the wetlands. Nice life bird to start off the day!

Next I went to Ruston Way to get some easy FOY seabirds. Near the Lobster
Shop restaurant, a male HOODED MERGANSER was hanging out close to shore.
This is my first time seeing one anywhere along Ruston Way. Next I drove to
the gravel parking area at the start of the Point Ruston walking path. Just
off shore a nice male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER allowed for nice views. Also
seen was a crisp male EURASIAN WIGEON hanging out with his American
cousins. This was another location first for me. Then flew in a female
COMMON MERGANSER, a hard to find species in this part of the sound it seems.

My last stop was at DeCoursey Park in Puyallup. Ducks can be seen with ease
on the pond and creek. Nothing too unusual but I did get some great looks
at some GADWALLS. The trees around the pond have had good sized flocks of
goldfinches and siskins in the past, so I kicked myself for not checking
earlier in the winter for the possibility of redpolls. Oh well, next time
we get an incursion of them I'll be sure to check here. All in all it was a
great day with several good birds seen! I posted a couple photos on Flickr,
here's the link if anyone's interested:

Christopher Clark
Sumner, WA

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