Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The coast.

Yesterday I hit up a number of spots on the coast from Tillamook to Nehalem including Bayocean Spit, Barview Jetty, Bay City Oysters, Bay City Sewage Ponds, and Nehalem Sewage Ponds.  Here's what I found...

Rufous Hummingbird & Orange-crowned Warbler, Bayocean Spit

 Semipalmated Plover, Bayocean Spit

Purple Finch, Bayocean Spit

Turkey Vulture & Ravens, Goodspeed Road

Greater White-fronted Geese, Snow Geese, and Cackling Geese, Tideland Road, Nehalem

I had never been to the Nehalem Sewage Ponds before so this sign amused me:

The lock on the door was less amusing, but thankfully a guy working there came over and offered to unlock it for me.  The ponds had some good birds...

Eared Grebe

 Least Sandpiper


The real highlight for me was an obliging Red-necked Phalarope.  I can't remember ever seeing one in breeding plumage, let alone fairly close up.

 Bay City Sewage Ponds had some more Red-necked Phalaropes, but pretty distant, and my first ducklings of the year...

 A fun day of birding with a couple of tired dogs...

Good times!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dog walking & migration madness

My alarm has gone off at 5 a.m. every day this week to cram in as much birding as possible before work.  It's been rough, but always ridiculously rewarding.  Besides the two mornings at Tabor, I've been walking the dogs to various spots like Broughton Beach (11 miles round trip) and Mason Wetlands (7 miles round trip).  My motorless list is growing and if anyone can help ID a coupla peeps I might be at 100 for the year.

Here are the highlights from the week...

FOY goslings, Mason Wetlands

FOY Cinnamon Teals, Mason Wetlands

Rufous Hummingbird, Mason Wetlands

Audubon's Warbler, near Airport Way

Bewick's Wren, near Airport Way 


Prettiness near Broughton Beach

The most random bird of the week was this Yellow-headed Blackbird that descended upon Broughton Beach with a pair of Brewer's Blackbirds:

Also at Broughton Beach I had a couple of sandpipers fly by.  The legs are yellowy which makes me assume Least, but is that true?

The parking lot at Broughton Beach is closed so that seriously cuts down on traffic.  Zero other dogs were around and Jake got to run around a bit off leash.

Also near Broughton Beach at the Sea Scout Base were several kinds of swallows including Purple Martins.  Three were new for my motorless list.

From this morning's dog walk:


Lazy bum

Wilson's Warbler (they appeared yesterday in my neighborhood)

Nashville Warbler (sooooo stoked to have this on my motorless list!)

Orange-crowned Warbler

The last few birds were at some weird wetlands kind of behind a McDonalds on Aiport Way.  I had noticed the spot awhile back and thought it might have potential.  Good job, me.  Good times!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mt. Tabor again!

Yep, I went up to Mount Tabor again this morning.  This time things were bananas.  I was the only birder there most of the time, the only other was a fellow who stayed in one spot for about half an hour and then disappeared.  Perhaps eaten by warblers.  Who knows.

Things started with a Townsend's and a couple Black-throated Grays...

It was cool, mellow even, but then...things just exploded out of nowhere and there were warblers materializing out of thin air.  Being the only one paying attention I started to get anxious that I would miss something important, I wanted to lie down, I was panicking.  Warbler overload!  Then I remembered that this was the kind of thing I dreamt of all winter long, and I relaxed... And enjoyed the frenzy.

Much of the time it seemed that Nashville Warblers were taking over...

I had never seen so many in one place.  Orange-crowneds were making a strong showing as well..

A Hermit Warbler appeared and disappeared quickly, only allowing for a couple of crappy photos...

What's missing?  Oh right, a mystery empid...

Totally mocking me

It was an awesome morning, even though I kept feeling like I should call for back up.  Or start grabbing joggers and converting them into temporary birders.  I have to wonder what I missed...

Good times!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mt. Tabor.

It's that time of year again... time for terrible warbler photos and mystery birds.  Thankfully I saw zero empids today so you are spared true brain pain.  As for warblers, I had a couple Black-throated Grays, an Orange-crowned, and lotsa Yellow-rumpeds.

Orange-crowned Warbler

 A sapsucker joined the warbler party in one of the most-birded big leaf maple trees in town...

 A Lesser Goldfinch hit up the local watering hole...

And now this damn bird that I followed around for awhile because it seemed super grey.  But I think it's just a female goldfinch.  It's got that big finchy beak, stuffed with nesting materials in this photo. 

Lastly, a nice accip vs. crow shot. 

 Good times!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I took off before sunrise yesterday morning to head to the central Oregon coast with the mutts.  I spent the day in Newport, focusing on the South Jetty and Yaquina Head. 

I wasn't chasing anything in particular, just wanted to spend a pleasant day birding at the beach and hope the dogs would get tired in the process.  This goal was easily achieved.

Cormorants were show-stealers much of the day.  Pelagic Cormorants were busy building nests on the Yaquina Bay Bridge (above), collecting sea vegetation and flying it back to the bridge.

 They were also constantly flying along the jetty, showing off their inner Rainbow Brite.

Over at Yaquina Head Brandt's Cormorants were showing off their fancy blue throat pouches on the poop-covered offshore rocks.

They were throwing back their heads in mating displays, but too far away to really get good photos.

I also spent some time around the Hatfield Marine Science Center.  Breeding plumaged Black Turnstones and Common Loons were accommodating...

Some more good birds from the day...

Black Oystercatchers


 American Crow

A rather white gull, with a less white gull

Also seen:  many many Pigeon Guillemots, a couple Common Murres, Caspian Terns, peeps aplenty (mostly flyby flocks), Red-breasted Mergansers, a Red-necked Grebe, two Eared Grebes, one Horned Grebe, hundreds of overhead Greater White-fronted Geese...and of course, seals and sea lions...

Thankfully the dogs were tired after their busy day of peeing on stuff, smelling stuff, peeing on more stuff, digging holes, and collecting sticks.

Good times!!!