Shorebirds at Grays Harbor, WA

I took my shorebird class to Grays Harbor in Washington, one of the prominent staging areas for migrant shorebirds on the West Coast. The cold wet spring continues, so diversity was a little low, but there were lots of birds to see.

godwits-sbdowitchers
At Damon Point State Park, near the mouth of the bay, we found good numbers of Marbled Godwits and Short-billed Dowitchers.

flight
At Bowerman Basin, part of Grays Harbor NWR, a long boardwalk extends along the edge of the mudflats. As the basin fills with the rising tide, the birds are pushed closer to shore for excellent views.

mixed-flock3
Here we can see a Black-bellied Plover, a couple of Semipalmated Plovers, two Caspian Terns, lots of Dunlin, and some Western Sandpipers.

semiplamated-plover
Here is a closer look at the lovely Semipalmated Plovers mixed in with Western Sandpipers.

western-least
I didn’t notice the bird at the time, but when I downloaded this shot of Western Sandpipers I immediately noticed the Least Sandpiper among them. Least Sandpipers feed in a crouched position with their feet far forward. On closer inspection, you can see the tiny bill and the pale legs. (lower right corner, if you are still looking)

least-western
Here’s a closer look at the Least Sandpiper between two Westerns.

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