Cannon Beach

I was reminded by Rhett's recent coast post that I had not been to the coast in a long time, so I decided to fix that and head to Cannon Beach this morning.  The dogs were pleased with this decision.

Our first stop was Haystack Rock to see who was hanging around.  Turns out, lots of great birds...

Tufted Puffin 

Harlequin Ducks

 Black Oystercatcher

 Pigeon Guillemot

 [Probably not a] Pelagic Cormorant

 Common Murres

 Brandt's Cormorants

Haystack Rock is just packed with birds right now...  There are tons of gulls too, lots of Westerns and maybe others...   After the beach we headed over to the sewage ponds for a nice walk around the trail.  Nothing too exciting there- Mallards, a Wood Duck, Cedar Waxwings, Band-tailed Pigeons, Marsh Wrens... And lots of Song Sparrows.  I took a bunch of photos of this one guy just because it looked super cool with the fence:

Our next stop was Ecola State Park.  We started with a wander in the trees where I found some baby Pacific Wrens:

 We walked out to the Sea Lion Rocks overlook and found many more murres, cormorants, and Brown Pelicans...

 We did lots more walking around the park, but didn't come up with anything else worth sharing...  Our final stop was at the Seaside Cove.  A couple of Caspian Terns were fishing...

That was about it... Good times!!


  1. The blue skies are so beautiful! I love oystercatchers. Your song sparrow photo is fun. Looks like a great morning!

  2. OH the Puffins are awesome---LOVE the photo of your boys...
    Some great birds on this trip Jen...and the sparrow in the fence --- amazing image!!!

  3. What variety of birds and my favourite is the one in the fence.Have a great day!


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  5. I love the image of the baby Pacific Wren. Squeee!

  6. Love the puffin and all the other great birds. I hope to see them all at the Haystack. I am assume you were there during the low tide? After reading your post I am even more excited about my trip. Great photos, happy birding.

    1. Hey Eileen, I think tide was fairly low but even when it's higher you can see a lot birds. Helps if you're willing to do some wading!

  7. Great post, Jen!

    Awesome Puffin flight shot! Did you get to see any on the rock as well? I noticed that there doesn't seem to be as many around as last year. Perhaps they're simply more well-hidden or on the west side of the rock this year? Getting them in flight is definitely the way to get the closer shot though.

    I.D. Question: How are you identifying the Pelagic Cormorant in flight? At first glance, it appears to be a Brandt's to me, mostly because it's missing the white flank patch shown by adults both in flight and perched. I see in Sibley's guide that the juvenile Pelagic lacks the white patch, but are there juvies out there yet? Most of the cormorants seems to be sitting on nests or young still. My computer at present doesn't let me blow up the photo for closeer viewing. Is the colored patch at the base of the bird's bill reddish or orangy? If reddish, it should be Pelagic. If orangy, I'm thinking adult Brandt's.

    Speaking of...I also noticed that some of the Brandt's in breeding plumage showed the bright blue throat as seen in your photo, and some did not. Male and female? While difficult to believe, this bright blue throat is not even mentioned in Sibley's Western guide.

    Food for thought...I'm sure it's a Pelagic :-)

    1. Haha, apparently you should have asked how I was "mis-identifying" the cormorant. That's what happens when you have 50 photos of white-rumped Pelagics and one dang non-white-rumped cormorant sneaks in and looks way sharper than the others... Thanks for pointing it out, I would have never realized my mistake!

      As for the Brandt's- yeah I noticed Sibley only shows some subtle blue, nothing like these guys... Cornell mentions that the patch is only blue during breeding season, but doesn't mention if the sex matters... Weird.


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