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!


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

  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!

  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

  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.

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

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

  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!

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

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


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