The group, consisting of Lorna, Eleanor, Marion, Mike, Terry, Hans and Roger, decided to repeat the trip of the same day last year for comparison. Unfortunately, the trip was mainly a stark contrast instead. Beginning at Beach Grove School we scanned the evergreens for the Great Horned Owls that are usually there at this time of year…no luck there. A walk through the park to the farmer’s fields and back through the woods produced only a sad little Black-capped Chickadee. The silence, and complete absence of the smaller birds, was quite eerie leading Mike to predict an impending earthquake. This, of course, cheered us up!
A light rain had started to fall and a cold breeze arose leaving us wishing we were in a warmer place, say Trinidad or Australia! Walking down to the beach we found the tide too far out to distinguish the makeup of the thousands of ducks at the tideline. A few Bald Eagles were on the seashore half way out. Large numbers of shorebirds were at the tideline but, again, no chance of identification. Not ready to give up, we walked back to the cars, less Marion (the wiser member of the group), and drove to the 12th Ave parking lot. On the way to the viewpoint we found a Bewick’s Wren, a few more Black-capped Chickadees, Pintail, Mallards, and Green-winged Teal. Our luck at identifying the offshore ducks was no better except for adding American Wigeon. At this point our binoculars were foggy, covered with raindrops, our eyes watery, cameras useless, hands shaking and all (but Lorna, of course) quite willing to call it a day! Which we did!
No specific plans were made for next week but to meet again at Petra’s at 7:30am for an 8:00am departure.