Casual Birding outing #89
Hans, Lorna, Val and rookie Linda Halls joined me on Monday morning on an outing along the dike at Brunswick Point. It was chilly, a bit overcast and the tide was out further than we would have liked. Reports of 100,000+ shorebirds at Brunswick was our destination, and lots of them were there, but alas, too far out for us to identify. We’re Casual, not Pro’s. Anyhow, we had a pleasant walk and saw lots of other stuff.
On the drive to the Point, we stopped at Canoe Pass. A few Western Grebes and Bufflehead were in the river along with the resident Mute Swans. On entering the Point walk, a couple of Caspian Terns flew past. Several Sparrow species gave us good looks (White-crowned, Savannah and Golden-crowned). The American Goldfinches were brilliant. Many small flocks (~50 birds) flew past; we think they were Western Sandpipers. In the distance, with our scope, we could see thousands of Shorebirds foraging in the mud, and we could identify Dunlin. We assumed the other different-sized birds were Black-bellied Plovers and Western Sandpipers.
Still many Snow Geese (hundreds) there along with many Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and American Wigeon. We searched the “owl trees”, in vain, but did find a “resident” sleeping in a hammock. Along the dike, a flock of American Pipits flew by, bothered by a falcon. Hans thinks it was a Merlin, but more likely a Peregrine, which are quite regularly at Brunswick. Marsh Wrens were noisily hiding from view. A small Garter Snake gave Hans the opportunity to be a hero as he removed it from the dog-infested path to the safety of nearby grass. We had some neat Warbler sightings. Our Star birders, Lorna and Linda saw the masked Common Yellowthroat which the rest of us only heard, albeit incessantly. We all got good looks at Yellow-rumped (Audubon) and Orange-crowned Warblers. Although many Bald Eagles were around, there was no activity in the two nests at the farm where we turned around to go back.
It was a very enjoyable Birthday morning.