Purdy-Key Peninsula Field Trip (October 30, 2010) Highlights
It was a wet morning when eight birders met at the P&R for this field trip. We had light to moderate rain most of the day, but still recorded a total of 40 species.It was a wet morning when eight birders met at the P&R for this field trip. We had light to moderate rain most of the day, but still recorded a total of 40 species.
Our first birding stop was at the boat launch area at the Fox Island end of the bridge. The usual large number of Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants were roosting under the bridge overhang. Many more were in the channel. There were many Surf Scoters. Also present were Bufflehead, Common Merganser, Common and Pacific Loons, and three species of grebes (Horned, Red-necked and Western), Bonaparte's and Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls. A number of Pigeon Guillemots and a couple of Marbled Murrelets were also fishing in the channel. One Belted Kingfisher flew by and some Dark-eyed Juncos were feeding in the brush by the parking area.
From Fox Island we drove to Kopachuck State Park where we walked the trail to the beach. The new birds we saw here were the beautiful Harlequin Ducks. Back at the parking lot, the tall conifers hosted Golden-crowned Kinglets and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. We also enjoyed watching a Douglas Squirrel (Chickaree). Our next stop was at the Gig Harbor marina where we added Mallards, American Wigeon, a Bald Eagle, Ring-billed and California Gulls.
When we got to Home, we drove the road along Joe's Bay which is always a reliable place to see White-winged Scoter. We were not disappointed. We recorded our first Canada Geese for the day, as well as, Steller's Jay, Black-capped Chickadee and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. We also had close looks at a Harbor Seal. We arrived at Joemma SP on time to enjoy lunch under cover of a roof. A few Rock Pigeons were perched out on the long pier and near the picnic area we were visited by American Robin and Northern Flicker.
The third state park that we visit on this trip is Penrose Point SP. A Great Blue Heron flew over the bay and a Spotted Sandpiper was feeding on the far shore. We also got another look at Harlequin Duck. The stop at the Purdy Causeway did not result in any new birds, but we got more looks at Double-crested Cormorants and Great Blue Herons. Our last stop was at Snake Lake Nature Park in Tacoma. We used to be able to see Wood Ducks there, but we haven't for the past couple of years. We did not see any ducks which is very unusual. The only new bird species we noticed was the European Starling. We must have seen them elsewhere during the trip, but they just get ignored.