2017 Bird List

Below are 2017 survey reports from the Grays Harbor NWR Wildlife Biologist and Refuge Volunteers. Surveys are conducted every few days during shorebird migration. All surveys are begun 2.5-3 hrs before predicted peak tide height and for about 2 hours after and are conducted along the Sandpiper Trail at the Refuge. For more information about tides and shorebird viewing, click here.

Note: Non-shorebird species are listed in italic font.

Grays Harbor NWR on eBird

Western Sandpiper Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: 11 May 2017

Time: 12:20pm-4:50pm

Weather Conditions: Rainy, stormy, on shore wind 10-15 mph

High Tide: 8.9 3:00pm

Total shorebirds observed: 5328

Black-bellied Plover: 19
Semipalmated Plover: 205
Dunlin: 1500
Western Sandpiper: 3500
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 100
Dowitcher spp.: 4
Whimbrel:
Yellowlegs spp.:
Ruddy Turnstone:
Mini-Moon Island:
Northern Harrier:
Peregrine Falcon:
Merlin: 1
Bald Eagle: 2

Comments: Basin totally inundated at 2:04, 1 hour before high tide. Tide started to expose mud at 3:50. Few birds overall.

Dunlin Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: 9 May 2017

Time: 11:00am-2:45pm

Weather Conditions: Full sun, breezy, on shore wind, high pressure system in place for last 3 days

High Tide: 8.8 1:30pm

Total shorebirds observed: 2936

Black-bellied Plover: 0
Semipalmated Plover: 116
Dunlin: 1350
Western Sandpiper: 1350
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 119
Dowitcher spp.: 1
Whimbrel:
Yellowlegs spp.:
Ruddy Turnstone:
Mini-Moon Island:
Northern Harrier: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Merlin:
Bald Eagle: 1

Comments: Poor quality survey, interrupted by large group on boardwalk that stayed until birds were mostly gone or far out on mudflat. Viewing conditions were perfect. Peregrine Falcon caught shorebird during survey, bald eagle had bird (duck?) on far north shore.

Sanderling Photo my Michael Schramm

Date: Sunday, May 7, 2017

Time: 10:00am-1:00pm

Weather Conditions: Calm, clear, warm.

High Tide: 8.4 11:53am

Total shorebirds observed: 9,698

Black-bellied Plover: 0
Semipalmated Plover: 326
Dunlin: 4,444
Western Sandpiper: 4,860
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 67
Dowitcher spp.: 1
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 0
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: 8,000
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 1

Comments: Tide as predicted. Excellent viewing.

Greater Yellowlegs Photo by John Whitehead

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017

Time: 7:30am-1:00pm

Weather Conditions: Clear, sunny, light,basin did not fill, mini-moon not submerge.

High Tide: 8.2 10:58am

Total shorebirds observed: 13,264

Black-bellied Plover: 9
Semipalmated Plover: 367
Dunlin: 9,100
Western Sandpiper: 4,000
Least Sandpiper: 3
Red Knot: 181
Dowitcher spp.: 3
Whimbrel: 1
Yellowlegs spp.: 0
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: 10,000
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 0
Osprey: 1
Savannah Sparrow: 40
Song Sparrow: 10
American Goldfinch 12
Canada Goose: 2 w/goslings
Great Blue Heron: 5
Red-Breasted Merganser: 11
Caspian Tern: 34
Ring-billed Gull: 7
Wilson's Warbler: 2
Downy Woodpecker: 1
Cliff Swallow: 56
Tree Swallow: 1

Comments: Beautiful Day

Ruddy Turnstone Photo by John Whitehead

Date: Friday, May 5, 2017

Time: 6:30am-12:00pm

Weather Conditions: Howling wind, rain.

High Tide: 8.1

Total shorebirds observed: 16,167

Black-bellied Plover: 37
Semipalmated Plover: 174
Dunlin: 9,360
Western Sandpiper: 6,240
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 297
Dowitcher spp.: 47
Whimbrel: 3
Yellowlegs spp.: 5
Ruddy Turnstone: 1
Red-necked Phalarope: 3
Mini-Moon Island: Not visible
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 1 Gadwall: 18
Northern Shoveler: 13
Red-Breasted Merganser: 23
Caspian Tern: 6
Great Blue Heron: 4
Greater White-fronted Goose: 128
Gull spp.: 9

Comments:

Red Knot Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: Thursday, May 4, 2017

Time: 7:30pm-9:00pm

Weather Conditions: Calm but very foggy.

High Tide: 8.1 9:50pm

Total shorebirds observed: 13,302

Black-bellied Plover: 41
Semipalmated Plover: 70
Dunlin: 6,620
Western Sandpiper: 6,480
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 90
Dowitcher spp.: 0
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 1
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: Not visible
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 1

Comments: Only two counts made due to foggy conditions. Due to late evening survey, fog was not unexpected.

Black-Bellied Plover Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Time: 5:30pm-8:50pm

Weather Conditions: Rain and heavy fog. Calm.

High Tide: 8.6

Total shorebirds observed: 13,661

Black-bellied Plover: 2
Semipalmated Plover: 150
Dunlin: 6,750
Western Sandpiper: 6,750
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 0
Dowitcher spp.: 1
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 8
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: Not visible
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 0
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 1

Comments: Poor quality survey due to fog. Tide came in slowly, appeared to be as predicted. A lot of mud for birds to use, got slowly pushed to center and satyed for fabulous proximity to boardwalk. The survey was preceded by a few days of rain.

Marbled Godwit Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: Sunday, April 30, 2017

Time: 3pm-7pm

Weather Conditions: Breezy, easing to light toward evening.

High Tide: 9.3

Total shorebirds observed: 23,040

Black-bellied Plover: 2
Semipalmated Plover: 228
Dunlin: 7,600
Western Sandpiper: 15,200
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 0
Dowitcher spp.: 9
Whimbrel: 1
Yellowlegs spp.: 0
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: 2000
Northern Harrier: 1
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 0 Caspian Tern: 3
Greater White-fronted Goose: 250 (Mini-moon Island)

Comments:

Dowitcher Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time: 3pm-7pm

Weather Conditions: Rain. Breezy then turning to fog. Poor visibility.

High Tide:

Total shorebirds observed: 41,884

Black-bellied Plover: 0
Semipalmated Plover: 22
Dunlin: 23,760
Western Sandpiper: 18,100
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 0
Dowitcher spp.: 0
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 2
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: Not visible
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 2
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 0

Comments: Mini-Moon Island – flooded or couldn’t see it because of fog. Tide covered mudflats an hour early, but seemed to recede faster than expected.

Least Sandpiper Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017

Time: 12pm-5pm

Weather Conditions: Clear, strong onshore wind

High Tide: ~10.2 (Wind kept tide in basin)

Total shorebirds observed: 11,438

Black-bellied Plover: 9
Semipalmated Plover: 104
Dunlin: 7,500
Western Sandpiper: 3,800
Least Sandpiper: 5
Red Knot: 7
Dowitcher spp.: 13
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 0
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: 0
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 0
Merlin: 1
Bald Eagle: 0
Osprey: 0
Mallard: 6
Bufflehead: 2
Caspian Tern: 2
Great Blue Heron: 3
Cackling Goose: 760
Greater White-fronted Goose: 40

Comments: Fully inundated for three hours. Nice day weather wise, strong onshore wind kept water in basin.

Semi-Palmated Plover Photo by John Whitehead

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Time: 9:00am-3:00pm

Weather Conditions: Rainy

High Tide: ~10 (Came into marsh 2 hours early, stayed in marsh for 3 hours)

Total shorebirds observed: 27,385

Black-bellied Plover: 15
Semipalmated Plover: 56
Dunlin: 18,900
Western Sandpiper: 8,100
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 0
Dowitcher spp.: 14
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 0
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: Unidentified spp. numerous
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 0
Merlin: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Osprey: 1 American Green-winged Teal: 23
Gadwall: 9
Mallard: 4
Northern Pintail: 3
Caspian Tern: 7
Great Blue Heron: 4
Gull spp.: 11

Comments: After a flooding tide that lasted 3 hours, the reverse (falling) tide exposed mud and thousands of very hungry birds flew in to forage. Quite the show watching them stream in. The tide fell rapidly and birds followed the edge out. They were far out in the middle of basin within 40 minutes.

Whimbrel Photo by John Whitehead

Date: Saturday, April 23, 2017

Time: 10:00am-3:00pm

Weather Conditions: Cold, rainy, poor visibility

High Tide: ~9.2 (Came in approximately an hour and a half early)

Total shorebirds observed: 25,143

Black-bellied Plover: 0 (102 on airport runway)
Semipalmated Plover: 380
Dunlin: 10,000 (8,000 on airport runway)
Western Sandpiper: 10,000
Least Sandpiper: 22
Red Knot: 0
Dowitcher spp.: 12
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 3
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: Unidentified spp. numerous
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 1
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 3
Greater White-Fronted Goose: 1012
Cackling Goose: 200
Snow Goose: 2
duck spp.: numerous

Comments: Tide came in an hour and a half early, driving birds off. They later returned to forage as falling tides once again exposed mud.

Western Sandpiper Photo by Tom Rowley

Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Time: 5:30am-9:45am

Weather Conditions: Previous days rainy. Light to heavy rain, offshore breeze 5 mph.

High Tide: ~8.2 (Probably higher due to weather)

Total shorebirds observed: 25,143

Black-bellied Plover: 79
Semipalmated Plover: 22
Dunlin: 20,000
Western Sandpiper: 5,000
Least Sandpiper: 0
Red Knot: 0
Dowitcher spp.: 41
Whimbrel: 0
Yellowlegs spp.: 1
Ruddy Turnstone: 0
Mini-Moon Island: Unidentified spp. 3,300
Northern Harrier: 0
Peregrine Falcon: 0
Merlin: 0
Bald Eagle: 1
American Wigeon: 8
Gadwall: 6
Mallard: 24
Northern Pintail: 189
American Green winged Teal: 139
Scaup spp.: 13
Common Merganser: 2
Red-Breasted Merganser: 8
Common Loon: 3
Western Grebe: 17
Greater White fronted Goose: 143
Gull spp.: 13

Comments: Very high numbers for this early in migration. Maybe storms blew more in? Or they are staying because of difficult flying conditions?

Dunlin Photo by Tom Rowley

2016 Bird List

You can see the bird list from last year here