This morning I wanted to go somewhere I could find some shorebirds and at the same time tire the dogs out.  Bayocean Spit came to mind so I headed to Tillamook.  I did not think to check the tides.  No shorebirds to be seen, but lots of other great stuff!  The first bird I saw on the spit was this young Bald Eagle...

I love that he still has a baby bird beak thing going on...  He took off across the road in front of me and then stirred up some geese down on the mudflats...

Shortly after parking in the lot I saw a bird come flying in and swoop down at a crow before carrying on with its travels.  I assumed Peregrine but not the best photo:

The walk along the bayside of the spit was filled with birds including tons of sparrows, waxwings, swallows, and crows.  Lots of the sparrows were young and filled me with confusion. 

Thoughts?  This next one I know- it's one of them ugly young Song Sparrows...

Now Bayocean Spit is supposed to be a great place for Wrentits.  I had never seen on there myself so I felt like I had been looking in the wrong areas.  Today, though, I noticed a trail I had never taken before...  Bingo!  Not one, not two, but THREE Wrentits, out in the open!!!

I am guessing they are young and not yet versed in the ways of the mysterious and elusive Wrentit behavior.  Lucky me.

After this excitement the dogs and I walked over the dunes to the ocean side of the spit and ran around in the water for awhile.

The water felt great, though not as great as it would feel now that it's 102 outside.   On our way out I stopped to look at a merganser mom and two kids... Common?  Red-breasted? [Nope, Hooded... thanks, Seagull]

After the spit I headed over to Tillamook Bay Wetlands.  The area was deserted and the grass was high, but we trudged through for about an hour anyways...

The ravens were making a racket but I love them.  One nice surprise was this young male Black-headed Grosbeak:

The treetops were filled with starlings and cowbirds, the shrubs filled with waxwings and Swainson's Thrushes.  Would have been a nicer walk if it didn't heat up so quickly.  We made our way back to the car where the dogs acted like it was my fault it was so hot.  I filled them with cold water and drove back to PDX with the a/c going for them.

It was a fun trip!  Lots of great birds and tired dogs... Winning!


  1. White-crowned, Savannah, Hooded.

    How goes the scope hunt?

    1. Scope's on hold till I find a house... Hooded, really? I didn't think they were around in the summer, let alone breeded here?

    2. Yup, one of the many things I love about the coast. Wrentits and baby Hooded Mergansers :o)

    3. Ok, I know, that was two! And congrats on getting your Wrentits - nice pix!

    4. Thanks, Dawn.. Good to know I can track down baby Hoodies if I want!

    5. I didnt know either. I know nothing about Oregon birds, except Bramblings live in backyards and Snow Buntings live in parking lots.

      That short orangish bill is pretty telling. Red-breasted doesnt breed in the Lower 48.

      I hope, someday, I too can tell someone I cant get a scope because I have to buy a house first. You are an inspiration to us all, FJ.

  2. I got no clue on the sparrows, Im not good out of my area..lol
    Super looking shots of all the Wrentits are really cool..and your BOYS look so happy, its dang hot here nutting to do but keep the ac company!!

  3. i love me some wrentits. My first birdy job was down at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory's Palomarin Station where wrentits were a study species. That meant I had to wend my way through thick brush trying to find them, id them by their color banded legs, and find nests. I found my one and only nest on my birthday and the chicks were nearly fledged so I ran back for the banding kit and banded their fluffy selves. Ah, wrentits.

    1. Haha, that sounds both awful and awesome at the same time!

    2. It was. I mark it as the summer that changed my life and I became a birder. I didn't know much then but was hooked. Much like you at the beginning! My study grid didn't have any poison oak on it but my colleague's did and he got a terrible case. That wAS awful and awesome at the same time. That was also the summer that I walked up to one of the mist nest and there was a sharpie in it. I removed it without gloves because I was clueless and was lucky I didn't get nailed!

    3. Oh man, if you ever write a book about your birding life I will totally read it!

  4. And you thought Wrentits were difficult to shoot... ;-)

  5. Cool sighting of the eagle and I love the cute wrentits. Your Tillamook shots remind me I saw a kingfisher sitting in a wire above the road from Cape Meares to Tillamook. Your dogs are cute and do look happy on the beach. Great shots, jen!

  6. It looks like Seagull Steve already gave you the ID's for the sparrows and merganser. With juvenile sparrows there are usually clues on the face and head that look enough like the adults that they are identifiable. Juvenile plumage only lasts a few weeks for sparrows, so you don't get much chance to learn them each year.


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