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: