A Sunny Day at the Beach

Although the calendar and records indicate it’s far too early for the Spring Shorebird Migration, after seeing small flocks of shorebirds at both Theler and the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge I wanted to check out Ocean Shores and Westport to see if the shorebirds are actually beginning to show up on the beaches and whether the Loons had changed into breeding colors. When I saw that temperatures in the 60’s were forecast for the beach, I knew it was the perfect day to check the beach out.

As it turned out, it might have been one of the most beautiful days, weather wise, I’ve ever spent at Ocean Shores and Westport. It was beautifully clear, no fog in sight, and little or no wind. Usually sunny days begin with fog, a typical late summer day on the Washington coast. Often times it’s the high winds that clear the clouds out. This day would have been a salesmen’s dream. On this day you could almost imagine you were on a beach in Southern California.

Unfortunately, the birding wasn’t nearly as good. My best sighting of the day was probably this one:


Apparently the Coast Guard was taking advantage of the beautiful weather to practice rescue operations.

There were no shore birds in sight all day, though there was a considerable number of ducks. The best shot of this day was of these Blue-Winged Teal,


a bird I rarely see in the western half of the Pacific Northwest but have photographed several times in Southern California.

I did see several Common Loons at Westport, but all of them were still wearing their drab winter coats,


though this one seemed to be starting to change.

This might be the best shot I’ve ever gotten of a Red-Necked Grebe


though, like all the shots I’ve ever gotten, it was taken at a considerable distance and the bird lacks the Red Neck because it’s in its winter coat, not its breeding colors.

Birds or no birds, it was a marvelous day.

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