Ocean Shores Ruff! Last month I spent four days around Grays Harbor photographing shorebirds and teaching a Fall Shorebird Photography Workshop. Here are the new birds for the year from that outing. I spent most of my time at Ocean Shores, since the first day I drove from the beach access point by the Best Western north towards the casino. It was near the casino that I found the juvenile Ruff. What a great start to the trip!
Fall migration was really happening, I found three Red Knots in a group of Black-bellied Plovers, Sanderlings, Western Sandpipers and Short-billed Dowitchers. This year was the first time I was able to find Red Knots during the fall migration. It's interesting to note the different plumage stages of the Black-bellied Plovers as well.
These big loud Terns hang out on the beach with the gulls, but typically don't allow a very close approach. I was able to get pretty close by staying in my car and using it as a photo-blind. Well that and a big telephoto lens didn't hurt any.
There was a good mix of Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs at Oyehut Wildlife Area.
There are a bunch of Marbled Godwits at the Westport Marina, but I used this opportunity to get a comparison shot of Short-billed Dowitcher with the godwits. It was a bit foggy still, but the birds cooperated. We sat on the beach and let the tide come in and push the birds towards us. This works because by the time the birds get close, we're just another part of the landscape, not some scary predator.
This year there are a lot of Red-necked Phalaropes at the Oyehut ponds and at the Midway Beach access point ponds.
Well, it's not a great image, but it is a Snowy Plover, and since there are so few of them around, I'm going to include it. I wish the fog would have held off a little longer, minutes before it was crystal clear on the beach, and of course that would have made a much better image!
(PS This brings me to 117 birds photographed for the year. )