A day trip up the south WA coast (08/22/09)

These guys hang out in Ocean Shores, WA, and they have no shame.


One of my absolute favorite shorebirds is the Buff-breasted Sandpiper. This bird was at Oyehut (Game Range) during high tide.





Other birds at the Game Range included Whimbrel, Long- and Short-billed Dowitcher, all 3 scoters, Red-throated Loon, Baird’s Sandpiper and 2 HUDSONIAN GODWITS (found by Gene Hunn). I missed the female King Eider.


Here a Western Sandpiper from up close.

Other noteworthy trip sightings include Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwater and a Pomarine Jaeger from the North Head Lighthouse at Ft. Canby, 6 Wandering Tattlers at the North Jetty of the Columbia River and 100s of Black-bellied Plovers and Short-billed Dowitchers plus 8 Red Knot in varying plumages at Bill’s Spit in Ocean Shores.

It was a good day.


Quiz answer for “A single bird from Cooper Mtn Nature Park”

At first glance, I thought this was an empid, but quickly I realized that the posture wasn’t right. So, that’s not it.

So, this got to be a Ruby-crowned Kinglet then, right? Well, not so fast. The colors are somewhat off. Moreover, when you take a closer look, the feet are not yellow-ish! So, no kinglet after all, right?

The next candidate should be Hutton’s Vireo. The feet are the same color as the rest of the legs (black), so that matches well. The bill can’t be seen well enough in this shot, but it looks like it could work for Hutton’s. Take a hard look at the wing bars. There are 2 white pronounced wing bars of equal strength. That looks very good for Hutton’s. On top of that, the darkest area is between those 2 white wing bars. For a kinglet, the darkest area is always below the lower, more pronounced wing bar.

To me, leg thickness is inconclusive in this picture.

Don Roberson wrote a nice article on how to separate Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Hutton’s Vireo. See it at http://creagrus.home.montereybay.com/HUVI-v-RCKI.html.

This bird is a Hutton’s Vireo.

Panorama Point, Mt. Rainier, WA (07/26/09)




This hen White-tailed Ptarmigan was its usual spot just below the intersection of the Lower Skyline and the Eastern Skyline Trail. There were also 4 cute little chicks with her.

On the Upper Skyline Trail, Gray-crowned Rosy-finches were common. Lots of youngsters begging for food.


Omnipresent is the Hoary Marmot on all the hikes out of Paradise. This guy was cooling off in the snow when it was getting hot.


I also saw a Mountain Goat (my first for Paradise) scaling a snow field, but it was from quite far away.