Subject: [Tweeters] Dungeness Spit July 10th Arctic Terns (George Gerdts)
Date: Jul 10 23:12:01 2009
From: Geopandion at - Geopandion at


Jamie Acker and I (George Gerdts) slogged the 9 miles (round-trip) for our
annual visit to the Caspian Tern nesting colony on Dungeness Spit. The
colony was much reduced in size from the previous two years. We estimated
500 Caspian Terns in total. None seemed to be on nests, but many were
clearly defending territory and others were bringing food, perhaps to chicks, but
we did not see any chicks. One must stay on the top of the berm, at least
100 yards from the colony, so viewing is a bit distant, at best, through
the heat waves. We were told that the resident Bald Eagles had continuously
raided the colony earlier in the breeding season. So, it will be
interesting to see how many chicks are actually fledged. We did see numbers of
Glaucous-winged Gulls nesting amongst the terns, and they had hatched chicks.
The highlight of the day was finding 2 adult Arctic Terns and one recently
hatched chick on the western side of the Caspian Tern colony. We stayed at
the colony for an hour and watched the adult Arctic Terns bring food back
to the chick three times. Despite considerable effort on our part, we were
able to find only the one pair of Arctic Terns. Sightings of note:

1) 100s of Heermann's Gulls along the outer beach
2) 100+ California Gulls
3) 30 Ring-billed Gulls
4) 500 Caspian Terns
5) 3 Arctic Terns (2 adults, 1 chick)
6) 1000+ Rhinoceros Auklets offshore on outer beach
8) 30 Marbled Godwits at the boat launch mudflats
9) 4 Long-billed Dowitchers (adults)
10) 1 Short-billed Dowitcher (adult)
11) 250 Western Sandpipers (adults)
12) 40 Least Sandpipers (adults)
13) 6 Ruddy Turnstones (molting adults)
14) 6 Eurasian Collared-Doves
15) 3 Blue-winged Teal (1 drake, 2 hens (young?) at Helen's Pond across
from the Three Crabs

George Gerdts
Bainbridge Island, WA
_geopandion at aol.com_ (mailto:geopandion at

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