Showing posts from October, 2018

Oregon Coast: Yachats to Newport

On our second and final morning at the coast, Jacob and I drove north from Yachats with our bellies full of sweet treats from the Green Salmon Cafe.  Our first stop was Seal Rock State Wayside where things were feeling a bit more like Oregon.

Cloudy and misty

I spent some time annoying a Black Phoebe while Jacob went exploring up the beach.

People can't not touch everything.

Next we drove north to South Beach State Park where we walked the beach up to the south jetty of the Yaquina River.  The best birds there were one or two Rhinoceros Auklets relatively close in, super loud Common Murres, and Common and Pacific Loons still in breeding-ish plumage.

Terrible photo parade.

We took the trail back through the pines where a boisterous mixed flock of primarily robins and yellow-rumpeds were feeding.  A Wrentit started singing and even popped into view a couple times.  I was trying to take its picture when two women out on a walk came up, and one creepily whispered directly behind me "…

Oregon Coast: Newport to Yachats

This week Jacob and I took a quick two-night trip to the coast to try out a new dog-sitter we will be using next month when we go to Baja Sur.  We planned this way in advance so it was amazing that it coincided with a round of great weather and great birds.  Our plan was to arrive in Newport in time for dinner, before heading the rest of the way south to the Fireside Motel in Yachats.

Lapland Longspurs had been seen on the north jetty of the Yaquina River that morning so we decided to make a quick stop to look for them.  We walked the sandy trail to the jetty and quickly flushed four or five birds.  They landed somewhere behind us so we walked back and more flushed.

Eventually we were able to not flush them and spent awhile watching them meander about on the sand.

Before this I had seen exactly three longspurs, and only one well, so to see at least ten was exciting.  After spending some time with this flock we continued our walk down towards the jetty where we found yet another longs…

Fall birding: Larch Mountain and the 5MR

Jacob and I recently went up to Larch Mountain to watch the sunrise and maybe see a few birds.  Success.

We heard a pygmy-owl hooting at first, and while I was off going to the bathroom Jacob heard a saw-whet.  Grr.  I never heard it.  The fog was thickening below which was pretty cool to watch.

Our county Townsend's Solitaire was hawking insects downslope, but it took off before we could get a photo.  After the sunrise we watched a Northern Harrier zip by us which gave us the idea that we should get a little higher and try some hawk-watching. 

We found a rocky slope we could scramble up, and on the scramble we watched an accipiter zoom by at eye level, then two more got in a scuffle over the next hill.  Tons of robins were flying over, plus one or two more solitaires.

Larch Mountain summit beyond the hill in front of us, Mount Hood directly behind us.  

Bad solitaire pic

Everything seemed so promising until that awesome view turned into this:

Hmm.  The clouds and fog never cleared s…