Subject: Grays Harbor - aerial survey
Date: May 1 08:46:17 1995
From: Stuart MacKay - stuart.mackay at

After banding 20 Western sandpipers and fitting radio transmitters last
Monday and Tuesday, Lousie Vincencio form Fish & Wildlife and myself took to
the skies to survey the numbers of shorebirds around Grays Harbor. We were
also looking to locate the birds we marked and hopefully find some which had
been fitted with radios either down on the Great Basin or San Francisco.

Found a rough total of 75,000 birds in the entire estuary - not spectacular
but neat to see all the same.

3-5000 Knot/Short-billed Dowitchers.
70,000 Dunlin/Western Sandpipers.

18 of the 19 birds fitted with transmitters at Bowerman Basin were located.
The 19th has been located on the Fraser River. We also managed to locate 3
birds from San Francisco.

Apart from trying to find out how rapidly Western Sandpipers move from
California and Washington up to the Copper River delta, in Alaska, the
importance of each staging site and the areas they use at each site is slowly
being uncovered.

Stay tuned,

Stuart MacKay