Sunday, September 16, 2012

North coast.

It's no secret that I love visiting Fort Stevens State Park in Warrenton.  It's massive with tons of different spots and habitats to explore including a lake, the ocean, and the Columbia River.  Yesterday morning I started off at the South Jetty, greeted first by pelicans, and then some overhead Marbled Godwits:


Soon afterwards a lone loon flew by- photos aren't great but I think it's the first time I've seen one in flight.


For shorebirds I only found four Sanderlings, but it was still a nice long walk along the beach.  Can't go wrong with pelicans, right?


The grasses between the beach and the parking area were jam-packed with Savannah Sparrows.  I failed to find the longspur that's been seen, but that's okay.


The wooded area adjacent to the parking area was filled with birds too- angry Red-breasted Nuthatches and curious Pacific Wrens mostly...


My next stop was at Parking area D on the Columbia River.  The first birds I encountered were these three sandpipers:


My first impression was that they seemed taller than Westerns with longer wings.  They had a lot of coloring on their breasts which also seemed interesting.  I want to call them Baird's but am nowhere near positive.  [I just got confirmation that they are indeed juvenile Baird's Sandpipers- yay lifer!!]  Here they are from another angle:


Along the beach were more Sanderlings and a small collection of mostly California Gulls and one lone Caspian Tern.  The only one I saw all day.


The last birdy stop we made (after uneventful stops in Hammond and the Elmer Feldenheimer Forest Reserve) was at Seaside Cove.  Here I found the usual gulls including a bunch of Heermann's Gulls.


As you can see, the gulls were mingling with some Black Turnstones, who in turn were mingling with a couple of Surfbirds!


A truly awesome day at the coast with temps in the 60's and tons of birds!  Good times!

10 comments:

  1. Looks like a really nice trip- and such beautiful weather!

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  2. Hi Jen, looks like a great outing. Love the flight shots and congrats on your lifer. The Nuthatch is one of my favorites, they are so cute. Great post!

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  3. Jen, fantastic birding! The black turnstones are a painful reminder of a bird I missed in BC last summer. Amazing west coast birding! -DM

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  4. Sweet diversity! It's like a united birds of benneton advert. From your photos and descriptions, this seems like a truly excellent spot, capable of drawing in just about any and all of the birds that can be seen elsewhere in the state.

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    1. It's definitely an awesome spot- just lacks mountains to really attract everything...

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  5. Looks like you had a wonderful trip and got some very successful photos. You have really learned to love birds.

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  6. Great birds on this trip Jen...I love the shore birds and the Baird's is quite a nice Lifer for sure! Congrats on that one. Also Nice to see that loon in flight photo..that is rare to catch!

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  7. Baird's juveniles? Nice! Congrats on the lifer!

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    1. Thanks! I was super psyched that I ID'd them all by myself..

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