Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Saying goodbye to August

What a strange month this has been on the Oregon coast.  Warm, sunny, windless days have brought tourists in droves.  Kayaks and canoes have replaced the ocean wind-surfers.  Even now, August 31, I sit by my window watching a calm ocean under bright blue skies.  This weekend brings the "end of season" crowds to the beach, then a quiet September as ocean and weather transition to winter. 

One of the wonders of watching the seasons change (other than kids returning to school) is seeing the birds that migrate through in the spring and fall.  The past week or so I've visited some of my favorite haunts to catch some last looks at some of our local breeding birds before they move south, and to see if there are any early arrivals stopping over temporarily.

At Spring Lake Open Space, this BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE was among a small flock of various migrants - here on the central Oregon coast I see Chesnut-backed Chickadees year-round, but generally only see the Black-capped in spring and fall.

Black-capped Chickadee

Young American Robin

Cutler City Wetlands had much more activity, the place bustling with fledged AMERICAN ROBINS and SWAINSON'S THRUSHES... 

Black-headed Grosbeak

as well as BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS and mixed flocks of migrants that included both types of Chickadees, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and various Warblers.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Although surprisingly quiet when I visited last Thursday, D River Open Space yielded a flock of 20 or so BUSHTITS, one of my favorites!  They were in the process of bathing, making for some hilarious poses. 



Looking for shorebirds at low tide walking along the Salishan Nature Trail by Siletz Bay, I saw a few WHIMBRELS, but the majority of small shorebirds (aka "peeps") were on the other side of the bay, unidentifiable from where I stood.  

First Year Peregrine Falcon

Instead, I found a first year PEREGRINE FALCON sitting in the mudflats.  Excited, I got to share my "find" with some young girls on the trail.  

As we watched, an adult BALD EAGLE flew over, rousting the young Falcon from his spot.

Heading down toward Newport, a quick stop by the Ben Jones Bridge on the Otter Creek Loop yielded a surprise (to me) 

Pelagic Cormorants

- a group of nesting PELAGIC CORMORANTS feeding their young chicks. 


In Newport, I walked along the Hatfield Marine Science Center nature trail, where a lone OSPREY soared above the bay...

 While this young GREAT BLUE HERON stared back at me...
Young Great Blue Heron

In a couple of weeks, birders all across the US will be out counting migrating birds during the North American Migration Count (NAMC).  Here on the coast, massive numbers of shorebirds, seabirds, songbirds and others have already begun moving south and the ducks are gathering on the bays. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, you've been everywhere lately! The Peregrine on the mud is a great find, and the wet Bushtit is too funny...