The long weekend has passed and probably created some distractions to serious fishing. Anglers can get tuned in to July fishing by accommodating other interests.
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Aave you ever been a bit early for an appointment or meeting and wondered where you could spend a few moments enjoying some unexpected down time outdoors? Look no further than your local sewage treatment pond. Not all are as accessible to birding as the one in Hoquiam, but if you want to see a great diversity of birds, try parking along Airport Road. and keep a list of birds you see. You will be pleased with the numbers of swallows, including the Barn Swallow, shown here in a photo by Mike Hamilton. I like to stop and watch as I drive into town the “back way,” or on my return to the coast.
I often get calls from locals to tell me about something they are seeing that is a bit out-of-the-ordinary, and so it was recently when a gentleman I know called to ask how unusual it would be to see a white pelican in Ocean Shores. I told him they do pass through but are not very common, and asked where he saw it. He said it was on the roof of the Shilo Inn. So I had to go look and sure enough it was a white pelican, though not the one in Gregg Thompson’s photo.It is hard to miss this bird.
As one of the more common of our native birds, one would think this should have been one of my earlier columns, but I had a dickens of a time getting a photo; they are very wary and hard to get close enough for a decent photo. This was taken by me and isn’t the sharpest, but the color is true to the bird. They are pretty hard to miss!
It is not too early to begin thinking about the upcoming marine fishery. Historically, this season has an early opening and a general season depending upon the strength projections of the salmon runs.
A lot of things are happening on one side, and there is not much going on the other side of the fishing scene in Western Washington. This seems to describe the fishing climate at present in our area.
I keep a folder with all my bird articles in bird alphabetical order; that way I don’t accidentally repeat a bird. I could have sworn I did a Rufous Hummingbird, with a great photo of a very colorful male, but it’s not in the folder, so enjoy this photo by Gregg Thompson and something slightly different in the write-up.
During the recent Grays Harbor Shorebird &Nature Festival, a woman showed me a photo she had taken of a non-shorebird that had dropped down in front of her out on the Sandpiper Trail. She wanted to know what I thought it was, and with just a short hesitation I blurted out “American Pipit.” It’s not that I have seen a lot of pipits, but they are fairly distinctive and unlike most other Grays Harbor birds with which I am acquainted. This photo by Gregg Thompson shows one in non-breeding plumage.
The fishing community is gearing up for the next big event on the fishing calendar for this season. Of course, that fishery is the opening of rivers, streams and beaver dams on the first Saturday of June which is June 4. With this opener, all inland fishing is open to fishing where legal to do so.
If there is one bird that epitomizes the birds of Grays Harbor, the Western Sandpiper would be the one. This bird is the most abundant shorebird in Washington, seen on most beaches on the outer coast from July through May. They are lumped into a group of small shorebirds called peeps, which includes the Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Add the larger and paler Sanderlings and you have the most common birds seen running in front of the waves on the beach.
Every sport has its classic opening day. People wait with baited breathe for the event. They purchase tickets or even get season tickets and settle in for the year.
Here is a mystery; when doing the research on this bird I found Cornell Lab of Ornithology uses the Latin name Spinus pinus, while the western sources and one eastern (Crossley) use the Latin Carduelis pinus. Since I use all the references I can find I choose to use Carduelis, lacking any further information as to why they are different. Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely photo by Mike Hamilton.
Deadline to apply for special hunt permits is May 18
While doing research on this goose I was struck by the range maps showing where it breeds and where it spends the rest of the time. This goose breeds on the tundra from Russia, Siberia, through Alaska, Nunavut, and into Greenland. Then it winters down the west coast into Mexico, and up the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.