Subject: Ruff near Satsop
Date: Dec 29 18:26:05 2002
From: Ruth Sullivan - GODWIT at worldnet.att.net


Hello Tweets,

Today my mother I located and photographed the juvenile RUFF along Moore Rd. near Satsop in eastern Grays Harbor Co.,which is most presumably the same individual located by a CBC party of four observers yesterday going by the written description of an "unidentified shorebird species" and labeled most closely to a juvenile Stilt Sandpiper on page 190 of the Sibley guide. We went out today in search of this individual,as were knew it was probably the same individual bird we found at Elma on the 17th of November,which is just a few miles from the present location. The written description of the bird found yesterday on the Satsop CBC was loosely passed around at the compilation and we knew the bird was a Ruff,as Bruce Fischer wrote in his Tweeters posting yesterday,but we wanted to confirm the sighting today along with photographs taken of the bird with a single Greater Yellowlegs at the same location along Moore Rd. Along with searching for the confirmed Ruff today my mother and I checked many flooded areas in the immediate area between Elma to Brady Loop Rd,as many areas were nearly frozen in the morning,but thawed as the temperatures warmed slightly. The overall plumage of the Ruf today unlike the bird we located on the 17th of November was nearly the same,but more distinctly grayer,paler brown overall(not buffy as the previous bird)with partial mottling noted on the upper breast,so the bird appears to be a winter-plumaged bird. It is most definetely and most likely that this is the same individual bird as the bird we found previously due to the closeness of the location from the previous location at Elma,but the bird has changed it's overall plumage noticeably in coloration. Nevertheless a very extraordinary species in winter for WA,(and an interesting plumage since most all Ruffs found in WA occur in fall migration and are mostly buffy overall)although there have been up to birds lingering near Eugene,Oregon most recently. Hopefully this individual will overwinter in the Elma-Satsop area,which seems most likely given the date.

We managed to actually have a very rewarding day along with favorable weather compared to yesterday during our entire visit to the Elma-Brady area and located many of the same highlights noted on the Satsop CBC yesterday,but most notable was up to 3 Swamp Sparrows at three seperate locations in the Elma area,including one individual observed and photographed at close range for a lengthy observation in a large bramble patch along Keys Rd. north of Wenzel Slough Rd. In addition to locating the Swamp Sparrows we encountered very good numbers of Song Sparrows followed by lower numbers of "Sooty"Fox Sparrows at several locations,especially long the entire Wenzel Slough Rd. area of which were noted by others during this route yesterday during the Satsop CBC. Other notable species for the day included the follow species at selected locations:

1 remaining Western Grebe at Vance Creek Co. Park

35 Trumpeter and 12 Tundra Swans along Wenzel Slough Rd.

1 remaining female Redhead at Vance Creek Co. Park

1 lingering adult White-tailed Kite along Wenzel Slough Rd.

Sharp-shinned Hawk
1 along Wenzel Slough Rd.
1 along Moore Rd. near Satsop

Rough-legged Hawk
1 light-morph bird along Brady Loop Rd.(west of Foster Rd.)

Merlin
1 along Moore Rd.

Virginia Rail
3 at the Schouweiler Rd. wetland(heard only)

Black-bellied Plover
3 near the Elma STP(with 72 observed at this location yesterday)

Dunlin
45+ near the Elma STP

RED PHALAROPE
1 lingering bird along Brady Loop Rd.(found yesterday by Douglas Canning on the Satsop CBC)

Mourning Dove
70+ near Satsop along Monte-Elma Rd.

TREE SWALLOW
1 at the Schouweiler Rd. wetland

Western Scrub Jay
18 birds found at various locations in the Elma-Brady area

Am.Pipit
70 birds along Brady Loop Rd.

Lincoln's Sparrow
20 found at various locations that also hosted other sparrows

White-throated Sparrow
1 tan-striped adult along West Moore Rd. near Satsop

Western Meadowlark
20 along Brady Loop Rd.


Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit at worldnet.att.net