Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August on the Oregon Coast - Part 3, Whalen Island

A trip to Clay Myers Natural Area at Whalen Island is always a worthwhile venture, and another of our favorite places.  Late August and early fall are perfect times to catch migrating song- and shore-birds.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon)

This month, my visit was short on shorebirds, but the song-birds were quietly plentiful. A small group of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS flew back and forth across the path in front of me, giving me good looks at juvenile plumaged birds. None of the birds had the distinctive yellow rumps, which prompted me to seek some expert advice on

Dark-Eyed Junco (Oregon)

A disheveled looking DARK-EYED JUNCO appeared to have just gotten up from a nap.

Chestnut-Backed Chickadee

A flock of CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES teased and twittered in the brush.  A couple of them tried to dive at the camera, which was still in my hands.  Chickadees are always entertaining and never shy!

Hairy Woodpecker (juv)

This juvenile HAIRY WOODPECKER was a first for me -- the red crown threw me until I checked my Sibley which reassured me that juveniles have the red up top rather than on the back of the neck. 

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were plentiful, as usual, with numerous juveniles foraging in the grass and bushes.
White-Crowned Sparrow (juv)
We'll try again in a couple of weeks when the migration will have picked up even more.  If you haven't check out this area, you really should do so.  September is a perfect time, but anytime is great! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

August on the Oregon Coast - Part 2, Siletz Bay

It's August and the ducks are back and shorebirds abound!  The nature walk along Siletz Bay at Salishan is one of my favorite birding spots.  We've been trying to time our walks to be an hour or two before high tide so we can get the best view of the shorebirds.

I saw my first MARBLED GODWIT under these conditions, keeping company with a juvenile CALIFORNIA GULL.
Marbled Godwit && Juv California Gull
Song Sparrow

Resident SONG and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS pose in the grasses along the trail, as they seem to do whenever we're there.


Cardinal Meadowhawk

Dragonflies are plentiful now, large red and blue ones.  They are so fascinating - I may have to learn how to identify them!

Greater Yellowlegs

A GREATER YELLOWLEGS made his solitary way in the mud...


while hundreds of PEEPS (various SANDPIPERS and PLOVERS) winged and foraged their way together....

California Gull (juv)

and a CALIFORNIA GULL seemed to enjoy his reflection in the water.

The ducks this time of year are mostly brown, males, females and juveniles almost indistinguishable.  NORTHERN PINTAIL and GREEN-WINGED TEAL are now appearing in flocks with the usual hundreds of MALLARDS.
Northern Pintail && Green-Winged Teal
American Goldfinch

On the trail away from the bay, CHESTNUT BACKED CHICKADEES and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH continue to delight, and often we get glimpses of BEWICK'S and PACIFIC WRENS, and even a pair of WRENTITS (yesterday).

 Visiting an hour or two before high tide (for the shorebirds), or at or near high tide (for the ducks), both make for consistently birdy August activity. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

August on the Oregon Coast - Part 1, Cutler City

After a few weeks recovering from a shoulder sprain, I spent some time revisiting some favorite haunts to look at August activity.  I found that the fall migration seems to have already started, while young newly-fledged birds are also plentiful.  What a fun combination!

CUTLER CITY WETLANDS TRAILS, always fun, yielded some special birds.

Red-Shouldered Hawk

 A hawk dipped and swooped through the wooded branches, apparently chasing some AMERICAN ROBINS.  I was unsure of its identity, but after some help believe it was a juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK.  Didn't get great pictures through the dappled shadows, but you can see it somewhat in this cropped, photo-shopped attempt.


A couple of YELLOWJACKET hives were a fun find, this very active one is attached to the side of a large tree.

Wilson's Warbler

WILSON'S WARBLERS still abound in all the areas I visited, including this noisy one that greeted me by the Wetland's Turtle Lake.

Bewick's Wren

We saw mixed flocks of BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES.  While I was trying to get a photograph of some, this BEWICK'S WREN snuck up behind me.  Fortunately, my hubby saw him and we got a few photos.

Activity in some fir trees yielded this view of a GREAT BLUE HERON perched high in the branches.
Great Blue Heron
Swainson's Thrush

Some low activity in the bushes allowed us to spot and photograph a young SWAINSON'S THRUSH with unusual markings.

Steller's Jay

I was finally able to catch one of the many STELLER'S JAYS for a photograph.

Glad to be back birding and blogging! Stay tuned for more August Activity posts!