Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Thursday, September 22, 2011

D River Open Space

Driving down the main drag in your hometown, have you ever looked up and said, "Gee, there's an EGRET sitting up in that tree!"?  That's one of the many things I love about living on the Oregon coast!  And that's exactly what happened on our way to D River Open Space this week!  
Great Egret

Great Egret

A couple of young folks out walking were completely unaware that a huge white GREAT EGRET was several feet above them in the tree!

But the fun was just beginning!  Over the bridge into the Open Space parking area, a much smaller GREEN HERON was out pacing on the logs in the shallow water.
Green Heron

Orange Crowned Warbler

In the bushes, ORANGE-CROWNED and YELLOW WARBLERS flitted around -  

Yellow Warbler

I counted six one day and five the next, but they were so fast and well-hidden, it sure seemed like more!

Down the boardwalk toward the campground, the CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES were busy.  We also had a good look (but no photo) of a BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER - our first of the fall migration season!

Trust me, there's a Willow Flycatcher up there!

High in the trees, a FLYCATCHER caught my eye.  I snapped several distant photos hoping to get a good enough picture to positively identify this late-remaining flycatcher!

After seeking help from my friends on the Oregon Birding List and, it appears to be a WILLOW FLYCATCHER, who sometimes hang around this late. 

A female MALLARD hung around in the water - in the spring, we saw a bunch of Mallard and Canada
Goose chicks in the area!  

If you're in the area this month, try to stop by and check for fall migrants, and perhaps a late Flycatcher!  To find out more about D River Open Space, check out my April 2011 blog...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lincoln County North American Migration Count

Over the weekend, dozens of volunteers hiked, drove, or watched their backyard feeders and counted birds as part of the North American Migration Count (NAMC).  On Sunday, September 18th, we participated in the Lincoln County NAMC with some other folks we were meeting for the first time. Our assigned area for the day was Yaquina Bay. We met at the South Jetty in Newport.

White-Crowned Sparrow
We were greeted by a small flock of WHITE CROWNED SPARROWS.  A lone WHIMBREL flew over our heads, but the rest of the jetty was pretty quiet.

A few BROWN PELICANS and several CORMORANTS (mostly PELAGIC) were on the water, but no scoters or grebes. The mix of GULLS included CALIFORNIA, WESTERN and one HEERMANN'S.

Our next stop was Idaho Flats, where BARN SWALLOWS and RED WINGED BLACKBIRDS ruled the day. On the flats, hundreds of GULLS were difficult to pick through - mostly CALIFORNIA and WESTERN. 

Red-Shouldered Hak

At the next stop, Hatfield Marine Science Center, we had better luck. A juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK perched near a BELTED KINGFISHER on the flat roof of a building.

Among the hundreds of ducks, we picked out MALLARDS, GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN WINGED TEAL and a couple of RED BREASTED MERGANSER.

Canada Geese

Moving over to Bay Road, at Sally's Bend this odd looking CANADA GOOSE was among the dozens we saw.

There were more GREAT EGRETS on this side of the bay, along with some HORNED GREBES and a COMMON LOON we got to see up close. A raft of more than 50 SURF SCOTERS included at least one WHITE WINGED SCOTER.

Double-Crested Cormorants

At Sawyer's Landing and on to the Oyster Farm. Hundreds of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS perched on piers and pilings. Numerous GULLS in a variety of molts had us referring to the field guides. We saw a few GLAUCOUS-WINGED to add to our count.

At Toledo Marina, all appeared to be quiet as one person in our party announced that it looked like it might be a bust. At which point a GREEN HERON flew from a branch, leaving its partner behind to pose for multiple photos! We ended up spotting a 3rd on the dock.
Green Heron

Two TURKEY VULTURES floated overhead, and sharp eyes caught an OSPREY perched in a tree on the far side of the bay. A movement of birds near the Osprey revealed a flock of 30 or so BAND TAILED PIGEONS! A SONG SPARROW and a couple of BARN SWALLOWS completed our "bust" stop at the Marina.

Common Murre (left), Pigeon Guillemot (juv, right)

Back at the South Jetty, a COMMON MURRE and two juvenile PIGEON GUILLEMOTS capped off our day!

It was our first opportunity to participate in the NAMC.  We were exhausted by the end of the day, but enjoyed meeting new folks and trekking around together.  NAMC is held twice a year (spring and fall) - contact your local birding group to participate next spring!