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.

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

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.

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

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

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)

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

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