Another Oregon Pelagic

Last weekend Jacob and I joined Oregon Pelagic Tours for an all-masked half-capacity 8-hour trip out of Newport.  Weather reports showed clouds with a chance of rain and the ocean conditions sounded rough with a hazardous seas warning.  I was a little nervous this might be my first time getting sick despite taking Bonine.
 Thankfully it never rained on us and the despite the 8-10 foot swells I never felt sick. Things started off slow with a few Sooties here, a couple Pink-footeds there, and eventually a skua.  Most pelagics I have been on have only turned up one or two skuas but this trip had at least five.  We saw a couple mola molas early on.  Our first Buller's Shearwaters came by along with a bunch of Sabine's Gulls and Red Phalaropes. We were approaching some distant fishing vessels as bird activity picked up and another South Polar Skua flew by close to the boat. 

I was very excited to get my first Oregon Flesh-footed Shearwater soon after:
Black-footed Albatrosses began to …

Last week in LC

Two weekends ago we headed back out to Lincoln City for the first time since the wind storm and Echo Mountain fire not knowing what to expect.  Amazingly our house had no damage despite a billion small branches covering every square inch of our property. Some of the alders were blown completely leaf-less making it look wintery and weird for late summer.  A lot of our neighbors were not as lucky with huge trees down all over and one neighbor's shed had blown out the back of their yard onto a sidewalk (below).
We fit in some birding between all the cleaning up, like an afternoon visit to the Salishan Nature Trail. We walked out to the beach where a lot of birds were relatively close in for once.
Red-throated Loon Pacific LoonWe had some good shorebirds on the beach like a couple of Black-bellied Plovers and a Baird's Sandpiper. During the week I visited the Salmon River Estuary a couple more times hoping for more shorebirds though there are many other distractions there. 
River ott…

Baker County

My eastern Oregon adventure with Ralph continued on Thursday afternoon as we headed east on Highway 7.  Our first real stop was at the boat ramp on Philips Lake adding Yellow-rumped Warbler, Mountain Bluebird and Western Grebe to my brand new Baker list.  I took more photos of insects here, though, like this common ringlet: As I walked Ralph up the road here I saw something out of the corner of my eye...  The mantis proceeded to walk out of sight to my back which was not my favorite thing to happen.After the boat ramp I stopped for a very short walk at the Powder River Recreation Area and then drove through the parking area at the Mason Dam viewpoint where a family of peacocks was kind of cute.  I was still pretty stressed about the Lincoln City house and decided rather than spending time searching for a good camp spot I would just get a motel in Baker City.  This worked out well and after resting for an hour or so I was ready for some evening birding. First stop: North Powder Pond nort…