Date: 11/30/19 5:57 pm
From: Jon Houghton <jon.houghton...>
Subject: [Tweeters] Amazing birding trifecta today!
Hi Tweets - Today Blair Bernson and I had an amazing day of birding for Western Washington - establishing a challenge for future birders: seeing Mountain Plover, Rock Sandpiper, and Lesser Black-backed Gull in one day (without an airplane)! We started the birding at Griffiths Priday Park beach, just north of Ocean City where Carl Hynie yesterday found a Mountain Plover. As we walked north, past the "No Driving" signs, we could see a single birder, about mid beach, well below the dune grass line where we had anticipated the bird to be hanging out. That birder turned out to be Scott Downes, who left Yakima at 4 am (putting us Edmonds birders to shame) and arriving a little before 9 to relocate the bird. Great looks and photo ops as the bird worked along the last tide line about mid beach. Next to arrive was Paul Baerny and the bird continued to graze while we all enjoyed the euphoria of a new state bird (lifer perhaps for Paul?). As we were walking back toward the cars, and greeting Mark Tamboulian, the bird took flight and seemed to be heading south and out over the water, We searched the tide line for some distance to the south but feared it might have left for good. Despite our negative reports, Ann Marie Woods and John Puschock, with others, continued their westward travel to have a look. Blair and I headed south along the beach toward Ocean Shores past several 1,000 Sanderlings and many Black-bellied Plover and Dunlin. On the Point Brown Jetty, we found a large number (dozens) of Black Turnstone and Surfbirds, and two of my second target: ROCK SANDPIPER. Leaving the breezy and chilly jetty, we were pleased to hear from Ann Marie that the Mountain Plover had been relocated about noon by John P. a little farther north, nearer the creek mouth. Good looks and photos for all (including Mark). For our final really cool bird, we headed to the Renton Rowing Center at the mouth of the Cedar River, for fresh views (and photos for Blair) of the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. We speculated that perhaps no other birders have ever before seen this gull, the ROSP, and the MOPL, all in the same day - their normal ranges, simply do not overlap, but! This same trifecta may be available for all of us for the next few days. Happy Birding! - Jon Houghton, Edmonds

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