Date: 6/30/19 11:46 pm From: Matt Dufort <matt.dufort...> Subject: [Tweeters] More on Discovery Park Crested Auklet, and other birds
Spencer Hildie and I decided to seawatch from West Point this morning, in the hopes of turning up a few early southbound shorebirds and maybe some oddball summering species. The day was packed with surprises; we were in shock even before the Crested Auklet showed up. Details and a few photos in the eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/pnw/view/checklist/S57825222.
More info on the Crested Auklet. It flew in from the north at about 8:10 with 3 Rhinoceros Auklets. They joined a big group of Rhinos feeding off West Point, and the Crested hung out there for 30+ minutes, making occasional short flights but always returning to the raft. Eventually it flew off to the south by itself, settling on the water with a different pair of Rhinoceros Auklets, maybe 1 mile SSW of West Point. Again, it made a bunch of short flights, and many foraging dives, but never left that pair of Rhinos. So it clearly likes the company of other auklets. We eventually lost it around 9:40 as it drifted south-southwest into the heat shimmer.
Other highlights from this morning at the park: Adult Tufted Puffin, flew by then stopped briefly before proceeding southward. Two Parasitic Jaegers, apparently continuing from their unprecedented abundance in Puget Sound this spring Out-of-season waterbirds: Red-throated Loon, White-winged Scoters (9!), Common Mergansers, and Common Murre. Early shorebird migrants: one each of Western Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, and Whimbrel. Continuing House Wrens near the stables.
I often struggle to predict which days will have good bird movements at West Point. I really wasn't expecting much today. But I will definitely be spending more time there in mid-summer from now on!