King Tide at MLK Shoreline

Teale Fristoe


After the extreme winds yesterday, I couldn't resist giving a king tide at
MLK Shoreline's Arrowhead Marsh one more try this winter. While I once
again missed Nelson's Sparrow, I had quite a few other noteworthy sightings.

- A Sora has been hunkering down near the boardwalk during this round of
king tides. The bird can be tough to find but gives good views once it's
found and isn't too skittish.
- There have been Horned Larks in the Burrowing Owl enclosure. Today I saw
two near the southern corner of the enclosure.
- There were a good number of gulls, ducks, and shorebirds in the pond in
the eastern corner of the Burrowing Owl enclosure. I haven't seen much
activity in that area lately, so it was a nice change. The most surprising
bird seen there was a first cycle Iceland Gull.
- The Brant that has been at MLK Shoreline for the past eight or so months
continues. I often see it near the visitor's center but today it was in the
field nearest Arrowhead Marsh. Additionally, a small flock of 16 Cackling
Geese flew in while I was there.
- Though duck numbers are down in general, diversity is still high. Today I
saw all three Teal species including more than a dozen Blue-winged Teal in
the channel immediately east of the Arrowhead Marsh parking lot.
- I didn't check the western shoreline area today, but recently I've seen a
large group of around 25 American Pipits in the lawn south of the visitor's
center. Additionally there have been two female Barrow's Goldeneyes with
bright orange bills south of the visitor's center around

Tide levels are currently dropping, but I imagine they'll be high enough
over the next few days to push out rails if anyone still hasn't seen the
spectacle this winter.

Happy birding,
Teale Fristoe