Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

Musings about birds, nature, and our meanderings on the Central Oregon Coast

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Josephine Young Memorial Wayside (Siletz Bay)

The combination of spring migration, an incoming minus tide, and a gorgeous day were too tempting to pass up - I spent part of a day off visiting first the Cutler City Wetlands, followed by the tiny Josephine Young Memorial Wayside.

Someone on the Oregon Birders email list had mentioned visiting tidal flats during the incoming tide, when the shorebirds will come closer as they are chased by the incoming sea, so I chose a time about two hours after an especially low tide.

As I stepped from the small park onto the sand, a rapid alarm caught my attention - I turned in time to see four WHIMBRELS fleeing at a brisk trot up the sand.  I followed them for a bit, hiding behind some large driftwood to try to catch some better photos.

Turning back, I headed south toward Drift Creek -- numerous WESTERN and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS were capturing clams and dropping them onto the hard sand, while a few CASPIAN TERNS fed in the shallow water.
Caspian Tern

I added two new birds to my life-list, with a pair of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER accompanied by a group of four SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS (I believe I correctly identified them, but if not, feel free to correct me in the comment area below!).
Short-Billed Dowitchers

Short-Billed Dowitchers with Black-Bellied Plover
Black-Bellied Plover


There was another lone shorebird a short distance away, I believe this is also a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, in non-breeding plumage.

As I watched him, a movement caught my eye and I swung the camera around in time to catch this bird in flight.  Is this a GREATER YELLOWLEGS or something else? 
Greater Yellowlegs?
Bald Eagle

A bunch of gulls raised a racket south of me, and I watched a BALD EAGLE dive to the beach in the distance, then fly to a snag in the water and perch.

When we returned Saturday, the beautiful day had lured people out of doors and there were few shorebirds to be seen.  We enjoyed watching ten RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (4 males and 6 females) and a few other ducks in the water.
Savannah Sparrow

 My husband's sharp eyes caught a SAVANNAH SPARROW on some lumber in the riprap.

Josephine Young Memorial Wayside offers only 2-3 parking spots in a tight area with no room to turn around.  However, we've only once found the parking area "full" - it's a nice little "secret" spot.  We recommend visiting at low tide!

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