Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Counting Migrants, Lincoln County NAMC

For the second year we participated in the Fall North American Migration Count (NAMC) for Lincoln County.  This year, my hubby and I covered a route on our own rather than with a team.  After talking to the county coordinator, we decided to try to repeat the route we covered for the Spring Lincoln County NAMC.

We varied our route slightly, stopping first at South 148th Street where a NORTHERN HARRIER was working marsh filled with RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.
Northern Harrier

Common Yellowthroat

A juvenile male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT hopped out to see what was happening.

Next stop was a small beach a couple miles south of Seal Rock - last spring it was hopping, but this time there were several people walking dogs and few birds. 
First Year Western Gull

This juvenile WESTERN GULL made an interesting study on the rocks - not as much fun as a RUDDY TURNSTONE, but he'll do!

Finally we arrived at Eckman Lake east of Waldport,  last year's first stop.  
Green Heron

We spent over an hour checking out the wide variety (21 species) of birds, including three GREEN HERONS along the edges.

Heading back north, we made a couple of brief stops along Alsea Bay, then moved on to Driftwood Beach Wayside for another look at the ocean.  Here we saw our only CASPIAN TERNS, and a small flock of shorebirds - a mix of SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and WESTERN SANDPIPERS.

Driftwood Creek Wayside

The Lost Creek stop was quiet, but as we were getting back in the car to move on, an OSPREY flew by, probably heading to the ocean waters to find some breakfast!  Our next planned stop was South Beach, but we decided to try Mike Miller County Park instead.

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk

We saw a nice variety (10 species) including the friendly HUTTON'S VIREO I already wrote about, and this juvenile COOPER'S HAWK.

Hooded Merganser

Before leaving Newport, we drove Big Creek Road, where we added 4 HOODED MERGANSER juveniles to our count.

We had planned our trip so we could enjoy the annual Depoe Bay SALMON BAKE.  Oh my, if you've never had fresh salmon prepared over an open fire, you really must come to Depoe Bay next fall!  Oh, and if it happens to be the same day as our county NAMC, let me know and you can count birds with us too!  But I digress...

After lunch, we hit three familiar additions to our route - three of my favorites!
Brown Creper

Cutler City Wetlands had a nice mix of small migrants, including BROWN CREEPERS, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and both BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES.

Salishan Nature Trail gave us our waterfowl - every winter hundreds of waterfowl of all kinds reside in this area of the Siletz Bay.  Truly an amazing thing to see!

American Wigeon (and company)


Our last stop was Fogarty Creek Wayside, but it was one of those days -- there were far more people than birds enjoying this lovely area. 

Disappointed, we pulled out of the parking lot to head home, and had this surprise - right next to the park entrance.

At the end of the day, we had seen/tallied 54 species and walked more than 6 miles!  And to think, we still had one more day of counting to do (see my next blog for our first ever Tillamook County NAMC experience!)

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