I am restless to be outdoors, but it is windy and raining - a perfect day to sit and watch the stormy ocean waves and marvel at the gulls soaring effortlessly. Also a good day to look at my bird photos and put together a blog post.
Thursday afternoon I was back at the Salishan Nature Trial that runs along the southern edge of Siletz Bay. There were BUFFLEHEAD on the bay, but I was surprised by the lack of other waterfowl - usually high tide promises good looks at a nice variety - but come to think of it, there haven't been nearly as many the past few weeks. Not to be discouraged, I headed on down searching for smaller birds.
This little MARSH WREN was hunting along the edge of the bay.
There were a number of HERMIT THRUSH - I counted 5 on my walk - more than I usually see!
Then I ran into a couple of folks who had been down to see the SNOWY OWL -- "Are you going to see him?" they asked. "Not today," I responded and continued my walk. When I reached the grassy open space (and yet another Hermit Thrush), I changed my mind. "Why not?" I thought, "It is so special having him here - a once in a lifetime thing." And so I went.
On my way I was delighted to find a number of other little guys, including this WRENTIT.
Keeping to the roads this time, I easily found him at the end of the large pond - near the houses. (What a treat to have a Snowy Owl in your backyard everyday!)
You can see that his back it toward me - amazing how they can turn their heads completely around!
I sat on a log and watched him for quite awhile - he mostly ignored me. I decided the tide was low enough to head back along the bay, and snapped one more photo before I left...
As you can see, he was wary of my standing up and moving around! He watched me steadily as I moved away.
Along the bay I saw several waterfowl, including some COMMON GOLDENEYE, MALLARDS, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and SURF SCOTERS along with a few DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS. Movement on a long fallen tree out in the water caught my eye - dozens of small shorebirds (DUNLIN, maybe) covered the log - what fun!
The weather was gorgeously sunny with no wind - a nice calm before the upcoming storms!