Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Salishan Nature Trail, 1-12-2012

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.

Marsh Wren

This little MARSH WREN was hunting along the edge of the bay.

Hermit Thrush

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!)
Snowy Owl

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...

Snowy Owl

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!


  1. Awesome post! Great shots of the snowy- glad you went to see him after all. But honestly I'm mostly blown away by your Wrentit shot! Out in the open! My Wrentit shots are usually just the eye through a bunch of branches or maybe the tail with a single foot. What a great walk you had!

  2. Thanks - I love the little guys (Wrentits) and was excited when he is what hopped out of the moving bush - and paused just long enough for a quick couple of pix.