Menu of June-December 1998 (sections 98.43-98.89) Bird Field Notes 
             by Range Bayer from the Sandpiper (a publication 
             of Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Lincoln County, Oregon) 
Section   Month of 
No.       Sandpiper, Volume 19
98.43      June-August 1998 
98.53      September 1998 
98.62      October 1998 
98.73      November 1998 
98.81      December 1998 

98.43         June-August 1998 Sandpiper Bird Field Notes 

        Comments in this column about abundance or seasonality refer to 

        Abbreviations and some Lincoln Co. site locations: Bayshore 
Beach=ocean beach along north Alsea Bay Spit, Eckman Lake=lake just east of 
Waldport along HWY 34, HMSC=Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho 
Flats=large embayment just east of the HMSC, Nute Slough=freshwater slough 
at about mile 9.3 along north Yaquina Bay Road, Ona Beach=State Park about 
6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along HWY 101, Sallys Bend=large 
embayment east of the LNG tank at Yaquina Bay, Sandpiper 
Village=residential area west of HWY 101 and just north of Waldport, 
Thiel Creek=creek about 3.5 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge, 
YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
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98.44                  CONGRATS TO KATHY MERRIFIELD

        Kathy's paper about Mallard X Gadwall hybrids in 1990 and 1992 in 
the Alsea Bay area appeared in the 1998 Northwestern Naturalist 79:54-58.  
Her detailed sketches and notes are very interesting.  Thanks, Kathy!
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98.45                           LOONS-EGRET

        The ARCTIC LOON seen earlier was present at the Newport Bayfront to 
at least 6/7 (DBa).  As usual, nonbreeding PACIFIC LOONS were regularly 
seen during the summer, and some of those that were molting appeared to 
have white flank patches like an Arctic.  Some of them may have been 
misidentified as Arctics; however, the bird identified as an Arctic was 
distinctly different (DL; JSi and others).

        Nonbreeding WESTERN GREBES were regularly noted nearshore, but the 
CLARK'S GREBE with Westerns at Boiler Bay on 6/14 may be our first June 
record (KM).

        Bird Guide had several pelagic trips out of Depoe Bay (GG & MH); 
their results for tubenoses are given below.  See the following address 
for their results and pelagic trip info: 

Pelagic Trip Tubenoses    7/18   8/1  8/15
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS      5      7    29
NORTHERN FULMAR            14+   172    45
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER     52+    12    52
SOOTY SHEARWATER          108+    68    40
FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL    6+    78     6

        One STORM-PETREL and thousands of SOOTY SHEARWATERS were at Yaquina 
Head on 7/3 & 5 (BLM; JSe).

        BROWN PELICANS were noted on 6/3 off Newport (LH) and were present 
daily in June at Yaquina Head (BLM; JSe).  60 on the northernmost offshore 
rock at Seal Rocks on 6/5 (LO) is a high count for so early in the summer.

        PELAGIC CORMORANT nesting was poor this year.  RL reports that 
there were only 47 nests at Yaquina Head (down from about 250) and 68 at 
Cape Foulweather (down from about 400).  Worse still, RL only found two 
nests with young on 6/15.

        It is possible that GREAT EGRETS may have nested in Lincoln County 
this year or at least one nonbreeder oversummered at Yaquina Bay.  One was 
at Idaho Flats on 5/31 (DBa; KM).  On 6/14, one foraged at Sallys Bend, 
King Slough, and Idaho Flats (KM), but it is not clear if there was more 
than one bird or if one egret was just being very mobile.  On 6/28, one was 
at Idaho Flats, River Bend, and Winant (KM); again it is not certain how 
many were present.  Immigration may have occurred in early July as two were 
seen together at Idaho Flats on 7/1 (RL) and at Nute Slough on 7/5 (KM).  A 
sure sign of immigration is the 22 at Idaho Flats on 8/14 (RL); peak months 
are in September or October.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.46                            WATERFOWL

        Perhaps the ALEUTIAN CANADA GOOSE at Yaquina Head on 6/15 (JAn) may 
have been the same one that was seen there in early May.

        Grounded, nonbreeding BRANT put on their usual June showing with 
one at Yaquina Head on 6/5 (RL), 10 at Alsea Bay on 6/5 (LO), nine at YBSJ 
on 6/7 (DBa) and 6/14 (KM), 16 at Otter Rock and 6/13 & 14 (M&DS), three at 
Wandamere Beach south of Newport on 6/19 (BL), and 19 at the YBSJ on 6/28 
(KM). A flock of 15 flew north at Boiler Bay on 6/14 (KM).  Our only July 
or August record was of six at the Waldport breakwater on 7/18 (JW).

        Late or summering ducks at Eckman Lake include one BUFFLEHEAD in 
female-type plumage on 5/31 and 7/26 (KM) and an adult male CINNAMON TEAL 
on 6/8 (RL).  A subadult male or female COMMON GOLDENEYE was at Yaquina Bay 
on 7/19 (KM) and 7/31 (BT).

        A flock of 180 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and SURF SCOTERS were at 
Yachats on 7/19; about 80% were Surfs (KM).  All three scoters are 
nonbreeding, summer regulars along the coast; Black Scoters are the least 

        One male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER apparently oversummered and molted 
at Yaquina Bay; one was floating at the YBSJ on 6/14, near the HMSC on 
6/28, near Pooles Slough on 7/5, and at Sawyer's Landing on 8/2 (KM).

        A flock of 22 COMMON MERGANSERS (including 18 bright males) was 
flying north at Yaquina Head on 6/5 (RL); this seems unusual because they 
nest here.

        "Fall" arrivals include eight NORTHERN SHOVELERS in female-type 
plumage at Idaho Flats on 8/16 (KM), BLUE-WINGED TEAL or CINNAMON TEAL at 
Seal Rocks on 8/19 (WH), and NORTHERN PINTAIL and GREEN-WINGED south 
of Seal Rocks on 8/20 (DP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.47                        RAPTORS-BOBWHITE

        Three OSPREY visible at a time over Yaquina Bay on 7/22 (RO) is our 
high count, and the WHITE-TAILED KITE at the Salmon River on 8/10 (JAv) 
appears to be our only report of them this year.

        1-2 NORTHERN HARRIERS were near the YBSJ several days in late July 
(PL); did they nest there?

        On 8/11, 16, & 23, an adult COOPER'S HAWK hunted RC's feeders near 
Ona Beach.  On 8/9, CP noted that the fall migration flights of 
SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS and Northern Harriers appeared to have started.

        One adult PEREGRINE FALCON perched on a log at Idaho Flats on 6/7 
(DBa), and another was at Yaquina Head on 6/15 (BLM).  An immature 
unsuccessfully attacked Belted Kingfishers at Eckman Lake on 7/26 (KM).

        1-2 NORTHERN BOBWHITES were at Bayshore Beach north of Waldport on 
7/18 (SE) and just inland at Thiel Creek on 8/21 (BL).  These are probably 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.48                           SHOREBIRDS

        Shorebird departures include four SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and one 
DUNLIN at Idaho Flats on 5/31 (DBa).

        Shorebird arrivals are 32 WESTERN SANDPIPERS at Idaho Flats on 6/22 
(RL), a GREATER YELLOWLEGS near Toledo on 6/28 (KM), one 
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER at Sandpiper Village on 6/29 (DP), nine 
LEAST SANDPIPERS south of Seal Rocks on 7/7 (DP), an about a 10 day early  
SANDERLING at the Sandpiper Village beach on 7/12 (PS), SURFBIRDS, 
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, and BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER south of Seal Rocks on 7/13 
(DP), a WANDERING TATTLER at Yaquina North Jetty on 7/15 (RL), five WILLETS 
at Yaquina Head on 7/17 (BLM), a RUDDY TURNSTONE on 7/16 at Seal Rocks (LO) 
and Yaquina Head (RL), RED-NECKED PHALAROPES during the pelagic trip out of 
Depoe Bay on 7/18 (GG & MH), SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER at Yaquina Bay and a 
MARBLED GODWIT south of Newport on 7/18 or 19 (PS), one RED KNOT south of 
Seal Rocks on 7/21 (DP), five early PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Idaho Flats on 
Idaho Flats on 8/1, and a DUNLIN at Alsea Bay on 8/23 (SaL). 

        At Idaho Flats, there were thousands of "peeps" on 7/16 (CP) and 
570 on 7/19 (KM); about 600 were at Sandpiper Village on 7/21 (DP).

        On 8/19, a possible BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW (a lingerer from this 
spring's unprecedented vagrancy ?) flew by Seal Rocks on 8/19 (WH).  MP has 
examined DP's and EH's photographs of single ones at Yaquina Bay in May and 
concludes that they were definitely two different birds.

        70-80 immigrant WHIMBRELS were at Idaho Flats on 7/26 & 28 (WH; 
SD); some nonbreeders were present earlier.

        Nesting SPOTTED SANDPIPERS are often missed here in summer, but 
JSi found them along the Siletz River on 6/6.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.49                        JAEGERS AND GULLS

        Two POMARINE JAEGERS or PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen during the 8/1 
Depoe Bay pelagic trip, and a Parasitic and a Parasitic or LONG-TAILED 
JAEGER was also identified during the 8/15 pelagic (GG & MH).

        A GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL with cerulean blue on its back and chest 
that RW saw at Florence (Lane Co.) in late July was not part of a research 
project (RL)--it may have been painted by vandals or stuck its body into a 
paint can.

        1-4 HEERMANN'S GULLS lingered at Yachats (SaL) and Yaquina Head 
(JSe) in early June; the main fall immigration is in late June and July.

        We have two more dates for the rare FRANKLIN'S GULL seen in late 
May: one adult on 5/18 along the Newport Bayfront and two adults on 5/23 at 
Idaho Flats (TS).

        2-4 SABINE'S GULLS were seen during the 7/18 and 8/15 pelagic trips 
from Depoe Bay (GG & MH).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.50                        TERNS AND ALCIDS

        Two LEAST TERNS were reported at Lincoln City on 6/31 (MM, fide HN) 
but were not relocated.  On 7/26, WH found one at Idaho Flats on 7/26; it 
was corroborated by KM and then was relocated by many others until 8/10 
(WH).  This may be the most seen Least Tern in Oregon.

        ELEGANT TERNS had a good showing with one at Idaho Flats on 6/22 
(RR), five west of the Alsea Bay Bridge on 6/28 (KM), one at Yaquina Head 
on 7/15 (RL), and 10 at YBSJ on 8/5 (WH).

        90 CASPIAN TERNS resided at Idaho Flats on 7/28 (SD), and 4-12 
ARCTIC TERNS were spotted during Depoe Bay pelagic trips on 8/1 & 15 (GG & 

        One ANCIENT MURRELET was at Heceta Head (Lane Co.) on 6/22 (RR), 
two adults were at Yachats on 6/28 (KM), and 4-7 visited Yaquina Head on 
7/3 & 5 (BLM; JSe).  They have been found in June and July in other years, 

        The high count of MARBLED MURRELETS was 41 on the water at Seal 
Rock on 7/5 (KM).

        It has been another woeful year for COMMON MURRE nesting success; 
many abandoned colonies early, and few chicks appeared to have fledged.  On 
4.6 mi of beach near Thiel Creek, there were only five dead murre chicks in 
July (B&SLo; S&DB).  So few may sound like good news, but it is more a 
reflection of poor nesting success.  Fortunately, adult mortality has been 
relatively low so far, although the 19 that B&SLo and S&DB found in May is 
the second highest number since 1977.

        TUFTED PUFFINS were again rarely found; our only sightings were on 
6/2 & 7 at Yaquina Head (BLM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.51                       NIGHTHAWKS-MARTINS

        We had several COMMON NIGHTHAWK reports with the greatest count 
being six over the quarry on Table Mountain on 6/21 (RC).  DF notes that a 
good spot for them is over the upper end of Olalla Reservoir near Toledo in 
the mornings and late afternoons.

        Our only ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD record was of a male at  D&BM's feeders 
south of Waldport on 8/5; they may have been present earlier.

        RC saw a probable female YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER on 8/4 near Ona 
Beach; we also have a record of them on 17 July 1977.

        On 8/20, there were still seven PURPLE MARTIN nests with young at 
the HMSC; they were being fed some of the large flying ants or termites 
(EH).  EH writes: "I looked into over 100 nest boxes of active martin nests 
this year, and the parasite loads that some nestlings had was amazing.  
Fleas (large like a cat flea), mites (tiny, numerous, and quite annoying 
when they crawled onto me), and fly larvae (large pupae).  These birds are 
loaded with parasites.  It is no wonder that they are cooking themselves 
[by sunbathing where it is very hot]--that likely has a big effect on the 
parasites.  So all of you with nest boxes: make an attempt to clean them 
out this fall sometime after the birds are all gone.  The parasites 
overwinter in the old nests."

        BARN SWALLOWS can be annoying when they nest where they are 
unwanted, but their nesting can also be a joy to watch.  On about 6/28, 
four hatched in a nest inside RC's garage near Ona Beach.  On 7/5, she 
checked them out and wrote: "They are growing like popcorn!  In a week or 
less they have filled the nest and are hanging over the edges.  Their eyes 
are open, and pinfeathers have come through their down, so I guess in a day 
or so they will be cute little feather balls instead of gawky, bald little 
dinosaurs.  The parents have become increasingly aggressive toward 
predators; when they were incubating, they were mostly concerned with 
harassing the cat if he came near the garage.  Now the adult swallows are 
sounding the alarm and going after any jay who wanders by that side of the 
property, and yesterday, one went after a crow, who was minding his own 
business in the front lawn, nowhere near the nest.  Guess the parents are 
clearing the area for fledgling safety."  On 7/16, when they were about 18 
days old, two made their first flight.
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98.52                         JAYS-BLACKBIRDS

        One WESTERN SCRUB-JAY visited RO's feeder in Newport on 7/7.  At 
Yaquina Head on 7/22, an AMERICAN CROW killed and cached a nestling bird 
(possibly a sparrow) in the vegetation at the base of a mustard; it then 
covered the nestling with a beak full of dried grasses and departed (TM).  
SSc notes that a STELLER'S JAY at her Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) home fed on 
red elderberries by snapping off a branch, carrying it to a branch, 
positioning it under his feet, and eating the berries one by one.

Waldport in mid-June (JW).  MD saw and heard a calling CLAY-COLORED SPARROW 
at the HMSC on 6/6; this may only be our third record.

        For such a common bird, there is a lot we do not know about  
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.  They nest in marsh areas, but at many areas they 
disappear in July and August and sometimes re-appear in September.  Several 
years ago, we discovered large concentrations of them in July and August at 
Rock Creek Marsh south of Devils Lake.  This year, RC observed that the 
number of adults had dramatically declined by early July at her home near 
Ona Beach, but about 50-100 showed up in mid-July and were still present in 
early August.  On 8/23, 30 were counted and were accompanied by 2-3 
Brown-headed Cowbirds (RC).

        OBSERVERS.  Jon Anderson (JAn), John Avery (JAv), 
David Bailey (DBa), Sara & Don Brown, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at 
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Rebecca Cheek, Barbara Combs, 
Alan Contreras, Mike Denny, Steve Dowlan, Skye Etessami, Darrel Faxon, 
Greg Gillson, Louise Hemphill, Wayne Hoffman, Eric Horvath, Matt Hunter, 
Dave Lauten, Pat Linstromberg, Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob & Shirley (SLo) 
Loeffel, Roy Lowe, Mike Marshall, Kathy Merrifield, Dawson & Bobby Mohler, 
Terry Morse, Harry Nehls, Robert Olson, Laimons Osis, Mike Patterson, 
Chuck Philo, Dave Pitkin, Roger Robb, Shirley Schwartz (SSc), 
Jennifer Seavey (JSe), Melanie & Dave Seppeler, Tim Shelmerdine, 
Jamie Simmons (JSi), Stuart Sparkman (SSp), Paul Sullivan, Bill Tice, 
Ruth Warren, and Jean Weakland.

98.53            September 1998 Sandpiper Bird Field Notes 

        Comments in this column about abundance or seasonality refer to 

        Abbreviations and some Lincoln Co. site locations: Bayshore 
Beach=ocean beach along north Alsea Bay Spit, Beaver Creek=creek flowing 
through Ona Beach State Park, Eckman Lake=lake just east of Waldport along 
HWY 34, HMSC=Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats=large embayment 
just east of the HMSC, Ona Beach=State Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina 
Bay bridge along HWY 101, Sallys Bend=large embayment east of the LNG tank 
at Yaquina Bay, Thiel Creek=creek about 3.5 mi south of Yaquina Bay 
bridge, Thornton Creek=creek between Toledo and Eddyville, Wandemere=about 
1/2 mi north of Ona Beach along HWY 101, YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.54                        GREBES-TUBENOSES

        PIED-BILLED GREBES nest in some freshwater areas, but the first one 
of the fall at Eckman Lake (where they do not nest) appeared on 8/30 (KM).

        There were several recent pelagic trips.  On 8/29, ML (fide JS) 
journeyed on a tuna fishing trip up to 35 miles offshore of Depoe Bay.  On 
9/12, MH & GG led a Bird Guide pelagic trip from Depoe Bay to Heceta Bank 
off Lane County.  On 9/30, RO took a class on a short pelagic trip out of 
Newport.  Their tubenose results follow:

Pelagic Trip Tubenoses   8/29   9/12  9/30
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS     40    110     0
NORTHERN FULMAR             ?    213  many
SHEARWATER SP.            300      ?     ?
BULLER'S SHEARWATER        14    127     0
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER     0      2     0
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER    120    999     5
SOOTY SHEARWATER           60    266    12
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER     ?      3+    0
FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL    ?    200     0

        Additionally, an all-dark juvenile BROWN BOOBY was spotted during a 
Bird Guide pelagic trip about 15 mi off Depoe Bay on 10/3 (GG).  Results 
for all Bird Guide pelagic trip and information about future trips are at: 

        During the 9/12 trip, at least five of the albatrosses had USFWS 
bands on their legs, and birds had a wide variety of paleness in their 
plumages.  During the 9/12 and 9/30 trips, dark, intermediate, and light 
phase fulmars were noted.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.55                     BITTERN-HARLEQUIN DUCK

        One AMERICAN BITTERN skulked at the southeast corner of Eckman Lake 
on 9/15 (SaL & KH).  GREAT EGRETS have been very conspicuous with a peak 
count of 25 at part of Idaho Flats on 9/15 (RL).

        More waterfowl arrivals include AMERICAN WIGEON at Idaho Flats on 
8/30 (KM) and a female BUFFLEHEAD at Eckman Lake on 9/13 (KM).

        On 9/7 & 19 at Seal Rocks, there were 1-2  HARLEQUIN DUCKS (KM; 
LO et al.).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.56                        LARGE MERGANSERS

        From mid-June through September, RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS are rarely 
conclusively identified and flocks of five or more large mergansers are 
most likely COMMON MERGANSERS.  During mid-summer, flocks of 50 or more 
female and/or immature Common's often move lower in estuaries (especially 
at Alsea Bay) than they are in winter and can only be told apart from 
female Red-breasted's by bill and head shape and nostril position (Kaufman 
1990 Am. Birds 44:1203-1205).  In winter, female and/or immature Common's 
have a sharply contrasting neck and breast that looks like pictures in 
field guides and accordingly can then be easily distinguished from 

        On 8/30, KM had a good look at one Red-breasted near River Bend 
(Yaquina Bay) that probably oversummered (see last Sandpiper), and, on 
9/13, she spotted 19 Common's in female-type plumage at Idaho Flats; she 
identified the Red-breasted and Common's on the basis of bill shape and 
nostril position.

        On 9/28, WH saw 65 large mergansers at Idaho Flats.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.57                               RAPTORS-COOT

        Our last report of a TURKEY VULTURE was at Toledo on 10/4 (CP).  A 
COOPER'S HAWK was at Wandemere on 8/23 (RC), near the Toledo Airport on 
9/2 (PR & LO), and at South Beach on 9/9 (EH).

        A MERLIN visited Seal Rocks on 9/18 (J&ST), flitted over the HMSC on 
9/27 (B&DG; KM), and perched at Alsea Bay Spit on 9/28, where it was 
harassed by American Pipits  (DP).  

        A PEREGRINE FALCON was at Yaquina Head on 8/3 & 6 (BLM).  Near 
Thiel Creek on 8/21, a Peregrine killed a PIGEON GUILLEMOT on the beach 
and ate it (S&DB).

        A NORTHERN BOBWHITE continued at Bayshore Beach in early September 
(S&JT), and our first AMERICAN COOT arrived at Eckman Lake on 9/8 (RL).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.58                                SHOREBIRDS

        MARBLED GODWITS were regularly noted, with high counts of 12-13 at 
Idaho Flats on 9/6 (JS), 9/13 (KM), and 9/19 (BC).

        A dead LESSER YELLOWLEGS on the beach near Thiel Creek on 8/8 is 
the first one found on B&SLo's and S&DB's 4.6 mi beached bird count since 
BL started in 1977.

        A possible GRAY-TAILED TATTLER was spotted and photographed at 
Yaquina Head during Labor Day weekend (WH).

        A juvenile RED KNOT was at Yachats on 9/23 (SaL & KH), two 
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS visited Bayshore Beach on 9/2 (DF), and a very 
bright PECTORAL SANDPIPER was at Idaho Flats on 9/28 (WH).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.59                            SKUAS-ALCIDS

        Skuas, jaegers, terns, and gulls known to be offshore during the 
8/29 (ML, fide JS) and 9/12 (MH & GG) pelagic trips include:

Pelagic Birds         8/29    9/12
SOUTH POLAR SKUA         2       4
JAEGER SP.               0       2
PARASITIC JAEGER         0       1
POMARINE JAEGER          0       6
LONG-TAILED JAEGER       0       4
SABINE'S GULL           35      51
ARCTIC TERN            250      85

        Onshore, a PARASITIC JAEGER harassed COMMON TERNS along the YBSJ on 
9/19 (BC), and a FORSTER'S TERN was at Idaho Flats on 9/14 (WH).

        Arrivals include a HERRING GULL at Sallys Bend on 9/13 (KM) and 
MEW GULLS at Idaho Flats on 9/14 (SD); the Mew Gulls may have been here a 
month or more earlier.

        Two XANTUS' MURRELETS were reported offshore during the 9/12 
pelagic trip (JS, MH, GG), and 58 MARBLED MURRELETS were at Seal Rocks on 
9/7 (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.60                           DOVE-NUTHATCH

        Two MOURNING DOVES lingered near Toledo Airport on 9/2 (PR & LO).  
A rare LEWIS' WOODPECKER visited Thornton Creek on 10/1 (DF).  Another 
rarity, a TROPICAL KINGBIRD, was around the USFWS Building at the HMSC on 
9/26 (fide BG) and was first reported on 9/27 (B&DG); their timely report 
allowed several people to see it the next day (RL, RO).

        The last two PURPLE MARTINS flew over South Beach on 9/9 (EH).

        It appears that we had a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY invasion, with singles 
at Wandemere on 9/12, 25 & 26 (RC), at Toledo on 9/22 (CP), and at the HMSC 
on 9/27 (B&DG) & 28 (RL); a pair were at Wandemere on 9/27 (RC).  On 9/14, 
a pair of scrub jays or possible eastern BLUE JAYS were briefly glimpsed 
at Seal Rocks (J&ST).

        RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES arrived at Seal Rocks on 9/18 (J&ST) and 
have been vocal since then.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.61                        THRUSH-MEADOWLARK

        Chuck Philo spotted a HERMIT THRUSH at 2,000 ft on Grass Mountain 
(Benton Co.) on 9/12; it was such a surprisingly clear day that he could 
see mountains in Washington as well as the Oregon Cascades!

        A hypothetical BLACK-BACKED WAGTAIL was reported to be with House 
Sparrows at Embarcadero in Newport on 9/22 (fide CM).

        A flock of a dozen AMERICAN PIPITS at Seal Rocks on 9/6 (WH) was 
our first; others were at 2,000 ft on Grass Mountain on 9/12 (CP).  DP 
counted 11-34 in the beachgrass between Seal Rocks and Alsea Bay on 9/15, 
21, and 28.

        The fall's first TOWNSEND'S WARBLER was at Beaver Creek on 9/8 
(LO), where they have continued to linger (PP).

        Last reports include: WILSON'S WARBLER at Beaver Creek on 9/19 
(LO), HERMIT WARBLER east of Newport on 9/19 (BC), YELLOW WARBLER at 
Ona Beach on 9/19 (BC), and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT at the HMSC on 9/29 (RO).

        A female or immature LARK BUNTING graced RC's Wandemere home on 
9/13 &14; she promptly reported it, so it was subsequently seen by CP, WH, 
& SD.  SD photographed it and put pictures of it on

        First reports of sparrows include: DARK-EYED JUNCO (which also nest 
here in favorable habitat) at Wandemere on 9/6 (RC), FOX SPARROW in Toledo 
in mid-September (one was still singing there on 9/25)(CP), SLATE-COLORED 
DARK-EYED JUNCO at South Beach on 9/27 (WH), and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW at 
the HMSC on 9/28 (WH).  There are several subspecies of SAVANNAH SPARROWS 
that appear along the coast, and WH discerned both local and bright 
Alaskan migrants along the HMSC Nature Trail on 9/28.

        Our first WESTERN MEADOWLARK was at the HMSC on 9/30 (RO), and 
another was in a clearcut about a half mile east of Toledo on 10/3 (CP).

        OBSERVERS.  Sara & Don Brown, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at 
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Rebecca Cheek, Barbara Combs, 
Steve Dowlan, Darrel Faxon, Greg Gillson, Barbara & Dan Gleason, 
Wayne Hoffman, Eric Horvath, Karen Houston, Matt Hunter, Mike Lippsmeyer, 
Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Roy Lowe, 
Kathy Merrifield, Craig Miller, Robert Olson, Laimons Osis, Pam Parker, 
Chuck Philo, Dave Pitkin, Paul Reed, Jamie Simmons, Jim & Shirley Thielen.

98.62              October 1998 Sandpiper Bird Field Notes 

      Comments in this column about abundance or seasonality refer to 

      Abbreviations and some Lincoln Co. site locations: Beaver Creek=creek 
flowing through Ona Beach State Park, Eckman Lake=lake just east of 
Waldport along HWY 34, HMSC=Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho 
Flats=large embayment just east of the HMSC, Mike Miller Park=county park 
on east side of HWY 101 in South Beach, Ona Beach=State Park about 6.6 mi 
south of Yaquina Bay bridge along HWY 101, Thiel Creek=creek about 
3.5 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge, Thornton Creek=creek between Toledo 
and Eddyville, Wandemere=about 1/2 mi north of Ona Beach along HWY 101, 
YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.63                        LOONS-CORMORANTS

      Thousands of PACIFIC LOONS and many fewer numbers of 
RED-THROATED LOONS and COMMON LOONS were flying south at Boiler Bay on 
10/24 (MHu & PS); GG estimated that Pacifics were flying by at rates of 
50 or more per minute there on 10/24 & 25.  JG also saw many Pacifics 
flying past Otter Rock the first week of November.

      A CLARK'S GREBE visited Boiler Bay in early November (JG).

      On the 10/3 Bird Guide pelagic trip out of Depoe Bay, MHu, GG, and 
others saw Oregon's first BROWN BOOBY, 772 NORTHERN FULMARS, 
following address for all results and pelagic trip info: 

      On 11/4 and possibly on 11/5, JG reported a rare MANX SHEARWATER at 
Otter Rock.

      A nestling PELAGIC CORMORANT remaining at Yaquina Head on 10/18 (MC 
et al.) is very late--they usually start fledging in early August.  But it 
was a poor year for nesting for some seabirds.

      Each fall, some DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS fly south in flocks; these 
flocks can very easily be mistaken for geese, and I suspect that this has 
happened this year, too.  The only reports this fall of these cormorant 
flocks are of five on 10/14 and about 175 on 10/27 that were just over the 
ocean at Newport (RB); the latter flock was impressive and very 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.64                            WATERFOWL

      Two large flocks of geese were flying south over Lincoln City on 
9/29 (SS).  RL noted easily over 1,000 small CANADA GEESE along the 
Lincoln County coast on 10/17;  on 10/18, and CP saw waves of small 
Canadas flying eastward over the hills east of Eddyville and 10/18.  This 
trans-Coast Range flight has also been noted in other years.  500 Canadas 
in five flocks also passed over Boiler Bay on 10/25 (GG).

      Eight GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were grounded at the Salmon River 
on 10/17 (RL), and another was at the mouth of the Yachats on 10/27 (SaL).

      Other evidence for goose migration was one dead Canada and one dead 
white-fronted found beached near Thiel Creek in both late September and on 
10/4 (B&SLo, S&DB).

      A single BLACK BRANT on 10/1 & 4 at Yachats (BB) may have been a 
nonmigrant or part of the offshore vanguard.  Brant sometimes arrive in 
Humboldt Bay before Yaquina Bay, and the theory is that some fly past 
Oregon before alighting.  Support for this theory is the 50 seen flying 
south during the 10/3 Depoe Bay pelagic trip by MHu, GG, and others.  The 
first reported within Yaquina Bay were of six (including one family group 
of two adults and three young) at Idaho Flats on 11/5 (RL)--which is later 
than usual.

      Arriving waterfowl include a female LESSER SCAUP at Eckman Lake on 
9/27 (KM), a male CANVASBACK at Sallys Bend on 10/11 (KM), and a female 
OLDSQUAW in Yaquina Bay on 10/24 (J&KR).  The continuing migration is 
shown by a flock of 40 MALLARDS flying south at Yachats on 10/17 (JS).  
Several observers have reported on migrating or numerous SURF SCOTERS 
and/or WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS on the water at the coast: KM spotted 
3,100+ surfs and white-wings at Yachats on 10/4, GG counted 400 surfs and 
80 white-wings at Boiler Bay on 10/24, and JG noted large migrant flocks 
of surfs at Otter Rock in early November.

      A flock of 30 COMMON MERGANSERS were at Idaho Flats on 9/29 (MR); the 
Red-breasted Mergansers are due, and when they come, it appears that the 
few Commons that then remain move upstream.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.65                             RAPTORS

      Our latest OSPREY was at Yaquina Bay on 9/27 (KM).

      Like in other years, the number of COOPER'S HAWK and 
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK reports along the coast have greatly increased, with 
several favoring feeders.  

      An immature sharpie has been a regular at RC's Wandemere feeder, and 
RC writes: "First thing this morning (11/1), it was perched on the 
platform feeder outside the bedroom window, then it hid in the pine hedge 
where it still was waiting when I came out with the seed supply.  It moved 
down the fence line to a new perch, followed by the STELLER'S JAYS, and we 
watched it dive after a jay that came too close.  It missed.  From there 
it went to sit on the front platform and when the jays followed to harass 
it, it chased another jay across the yard and into the bushes.  Again at 
the platform feeder, the sharpie perched on one corner, and a jay on the 
other, until the sharpie lunged at the jay and set off a wild chase around 
and through the hedge.  The jays are clearly pestering the hawk just short 
of actual chasing or mobbing.  Their behavior indicates that they respect 
the hawk but don't regard it as a deadly threat.  For its part, the hawk 
seems not to regard the jays as primary prey, since it has been ignoring 
them unless they come within a couple of feet.  The chasing seems to be 
mostly a response to teasing, yet the sharpie seems very intent when it 
goes after a jay.  As a side note, AMERICAN CROWS have not paid any 
attention to the sharpie as far as I have seen, and it seems to stay quiet 
when the crows are near.  This is in contrast to the COOPER'S HAWK that 
the crows mobbed and chased every time they saw it."

      A MERLIN rested on JC's Toledo feeder on 10/16 and apparently caught 
a pigeon there two days earlier.  One also caught an AMERICAN ROBIN at 
Tidewater in October (BW), and another flew off with an European Starling 
in Newport but crashed into a garage door (MHo)--starlings exact their 
revenge in strange ways!  

      PEREGRINE FALCON sightings have also picked up along the coast, which 
is usual for this time of year.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.66                           SHOREBIRDS

      WANDERING TATTLERS have not been reported much this fall, but one was 
at the rocks at the HMSC Nature Trail bridge on 9/12 (CK).  MP examined 
slides of WH's possible GRAY-TAILED TATTLER reported last month and thinks 
it is a Wandering Tattler that hatched this year.  It is great that WH was 
able to take such good pictures and share them, so that they could be 
closely studied!

      Our latest MARBLED GODWITS were three at Idaho Flats on 9/27 (KM), 
and our first COMMON SNIPE was about two miles inland from the coast near 
Beverly Beach in a clearcut on 10/16 (CP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.67                          JAEGERS-TERNS

      One PARASITIC JAEGER and three POMARINE JAEGERS were noted during the 
10/3 Depoe Bay pelagic trip by MHu, GG, and others.  From shore, one 
Parasitic was at Boiler Bay on 10/24 (GG), and four Pomarines were spotted 
at Otter Rock in early November (JG).

      In September and October on hot days, flying ants and termites 
attract flocks of gulls and European Starlings.  This year, TM spotted a 
flock of about 50-100 WESTERN GULLS and/or GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS feeding 
on mating swarms of ants or termites at Yaquina Head on 10/8.

      An immature SABINE'S GULL at the YBSJ on 10/24 (J&KR) is the only one 
reported from shore this fall, although they tend to be seen onshore more 
in fall than in spring. 

      Hundreds of HEERMANN'S GULLS were flying south at Boiler Bay on 10/24 
(MHu & PS); GG estimated rates of about 10/min on both 10/24 & 25.  Many 
were still passing Otter Rock along with MEW GULLS, HERRING GULLS, 
first week of November (JG).  Several compact flocks of Bonaparte's were 
also passing Boiler Bay on 10/24 (GG).

      Two juvenile COMMON TERNS at Boiler Bay on 10/25 (GG) may be our last 
records this year, though we have three years with records in late 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.68                             ALCIDS

      JG saw a rare LONG-BILLED MURRELET at Boiler Bay on 11/6; it was 
distinguished from a Marbled Murrelet by not having a white collar, by the 
near absence of black extending down on the shoulder, and by the straight 
black division of the cap extending below the eye to the bill. 

      Seven ANCIENT MURRELETS were at Otter Rock in early November (JG).

      The 42 CASSIN'S AUKLETS and 32 RHINOCEROS AUKLETS counted during the 
10/3 Depoe Bay pelagic trip by MHu, GG, and others are record high counts 
for the Bird Guide fall trips.  10 Rhinos were at Boiler Bay on 10/24 
(GG), and Cassin's and Rhinos were still there on 11/4 (DP & SM).

      A smattering of PIGEON GUILLEMOTS have remained in recent falls and 
winters, and 1-2 were at Yaquina Head on 10/18 (MC et al.) and Boiler Bay 
on 10/24 & 25 (GG) and 11/6 (JG).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.69                        OWLS-HORNED LARKS

      A beached BARRED OWL found dead near Thiel Creek in mid-October 
(S&DB) and taken to the USFWS by BL is our first confirmed record, 
although I believe a Barred Owl was once heard in Lincoln County in 
October 1990.

      BARN OWLS are uncommonly reported, but JS heard one south of Waldport 
on 10/16 and JW flushed one while walking at Waldport on 11/1 & 2.  BL 
reported flushing another east of the Newport airport south of South Beach 
on 11/3, but upon reconsideration, the it may also have been a 

      The last sightings of the HMSC TROPICAL KINGBIRD were on 9/29 (MR) 
and 9/30 (CK).  Maybe it moved south, as AR found one in Yachats on 10/15, 
and JB confirmed it the same day.  Others searched for it unsuccessfully 
in the following days.

      Two rare HORNED LARKS visited Yaquina Head on 9/4 and 15 (BLM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.70                             CORVIDS

      This was an exceptional month for corvids in Lincoln County, though 
we had no reports of Gray Jays.  Besides the expected American Crows, 
Steller's Jays, and Common Ravens, we had some rarities.

      I get so many reports of blue jays that unless they are accompanied 
by good details, I assume them to be Steller's Jays.  This month, RC had a 
good study of an eastern BLUE JAY (which are rare in western Oregon) at 
Wandemere on 10/5; unfortunately, it didn't remain long enough to be 

      Single CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS at Yaquina Head on 10/5 (SG & MN) and near 
Thornton Creek on 10/15 (fide DF) are also rare here.

      This was a good fall for WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS with 1-2 at Lincoln City 
on 9/29 (SS), HMSC on 10/6 (RL) and 10/18 (MC et al.), Wandemere on 10/7 & 
19 (RC), South Beach on 10/20 (EH), Beaver Creek on 10/22 & 23 (LO), and 
CP's Toledo feeder on 10/23.

      AMERICAN CROWS don't get much respect as "shorebirds," but they can 
be important and numerous along ocean and estuarine beaches.  On 10/4, KM 
saw 10 crows in a tight group feeding on red polychaetes in the sand at 
Yachats, and the same day, RC watched 18 crows picking off beach hoppers 
near the high tide line at Wandemere.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.71                        NUTHATCHES-PIPITS

      PP, BW and others have noted the abundance of RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES 
this fall.

      The first VARIED THRUSHES were singing at SS's Neskowin (Tillamook 
Co.) home on 9/21, and the first in Lincoln County were at Mike Miller 
Park on 10/11 (BL).

      For their 47th anniversary (congratulations!), D&BM hiked along the 
Drift Creek Falls Trail east of Lincoln City on 10/6.  Their hike was 
graced by singing WINTER WRENS, and DM writes: "The trail is fantastic, 
ending in what I think may be the prettiest waterfall in the central 
Oregon coast.  Combined with the suspension bridge across Drift Creek, it 
is one of the most spectacular scenes."

      A rare NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD graced Yaquina Head on 10/23 & 24 (BLM), 
where 1-5 AMERICAN PIPITS lingered until 10/7 (BLM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.72                        WARBLERS-SISKINS

      The latest WILSON'S WARBLER was south of Waldport on 9/26 (DM).  
SPOTTED TOWHEES are permanent residents at some sites, but are winter 
residents at BB's Yachats home, where they first arrived on 10/1.

      Some SAVANNAH SPARROWS that appeared larger with more yellow on the 
head were at the YBSJ on 10/17 & 18 (JS; MC et al.); they may be migrants 
from Alaska that have also been seen in other years along the shoreline.

      A flock of five probable LAPLAND LONGSPURS visited a YBSJ turnout on 
9/29 (MR), and an earlier WESTERN MEADOWLARK than reported last month 
arrived at Yaquina Head on 9/28 (BLM).

      Our latest BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD was an immature with 
Red-winged Blackbirds at Wandemere on 10/13 & 18 (RC).

      DG, DM, LO, and others have noted that PINE SISKIN numbers are above 
average this fall near the coast, although they are not as widespreadly 
abundant as they were a few winters ago, when some banded siskins from 
Minnesota and Alaska were found in western Oregon.  But RC had 100+ at her 
Wandemere feeder in mid-October.  Because siskins can be so dense, it is 
important to clean feeders regularly, so that they don't get sick.

      OBSERVERS.  Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Jim Bowers, Sara & Don Brown, 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, 
Rebecca Cheek, Jesse Crabtree, Marcia Cutler, Darrel Faxon, Dave Gilbert, 
Jeff Gilligan, Greg Gillson, Steve Gobat, Mary Holbert (MHo), 
Wayne Hoffman, Eric Horvath, Matt Hunter (MHu), Carol Karlen, 
Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Roy Lowe, 
Sylvia Maulding, Kathy Merrifield, Dawson & Bobby Mohler, Terry Morse, 
Michael Noack, Laimons Osis, Pam Parker, Mike Patterson, Diane Pettey, 
Chuck Philo, Justin & Kent Rodecap, Art Rotter, Mark Rudolph, 
Paul Salaman, Shirley Schwartz, Jamie Simmons, Jean Weakland, and 
Bunny Wright.

98.73           November 1998 Sandpiper Bird Field Notes 

      Comments in this column about abundance or seasonality refer to 

      Abbreviations and some Lincoln Co. site locations: Eckman Lake=lake 
just east of Waldport along HWY 34, Eckman Slough=slough between Alsea Bay 
and Eckman Lake, HMSC=Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats=large 
embayment just east of the HMSC, Thiel Creek=creek about 3.5 mi south of 
Yaquina Bay bridge, Thornton Creek=creek between Toledo and Eddyville, 
Wandemere=about 1/2 mi north of Ona Beach along HWY 101, YBSJ=Yaquina Bay 
South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.74                  BIRD COLLISIONS WITH WINDOWS

        Birds hitting towers or windows is a major source of mortality in 
some areas, but we sometimes think that it doesn't happen here.  In 
mid-November, EH discovered an injured NORTHERN FLICKER and a dead 
FOX SPARROW by the Central Lincoln PUD entrance windows.  Since he had 
seen some dead birds in the same area before, he recognized that the PUD's 
windows may particularly be a problem for birds, so he suggested to the 
PUD that they do something.  EH noticed that they promptly put up 14 
falcon stickers on the windows that they had bought from the HMSC 
Bookstore.  Hopefully, this will solve the problem.  Kudos to EH for 
recognizing the problem and bringing it up and to the PUD for promptly 
acting once they became aware of the situation!
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.75                  CONGRATS TO KATHY MERRIFIELD

      JW mentioned how she enjoyed Kathy's article in Birdwatcher's Digest 
about the yearly cycle of murres and her response, too, to seasonal 
changes.  Thanks, Kathy, for your efforts!
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.76                          LOONS-HERONS

      A possible, rare ARCTIC LOON along with 20 PACIFIC LOONS visited the 
YBSJ on 11/22 (WH).  On 11/15 at Seal Rock, 130 loons flew south in 
5 minutes (one also flew north); some were definitely COMMON LOONS and some 
were probably PACIFIC LOONS, but none appeared to be Red-throated Loons 
(KM).  On 11/28 at Seal Rocks, many loons were flying south, with some of 
them being Common and Red-throated Loons (KM).  About 200 Pacific Loons 
flew south past Boiler Bay on 11/29 (PS & ML).

      An uncommon CLARK'S GREBE was found dead and beached near the HMSC on 
12/4 (WH).  Our first fall EARED GREBE report was of one west of the 
Yaquina Bay Bridge on 11/29 (DF); they are uncommon and were probably 
present weeks before.

      The six dead NORTHERN FULMARS were beached along 4.6 mi of beach at 
Thiel Creek in November is much lower than average (e.g., 88 were found in 
November 1992)(B&SLo, S&DB).

      A possible, rare BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER was reported at Boiler Bay 
on 11/15 (fide DF).

      A tight flock of 35, mostly immature DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were 
flying southward at Seal Rocks on 11/28 (KM) suggests a continued 

      Two GREAT BLUE HERONS were "fighting" at Alsea Bay in mid-October 
(LL).  They were probably two neighboring herons with feeding territories, 
who during a confrontation will fly at each or other or, at lower levels 
of aggression, one will stick out a wing or two, walk stately, and hold 
its head more closely to the vertical as it approaches the other; this is 
called the Spread-wings display and is more prevalent in the fall and 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.77                            WATERFOWL

      10 BLACK BRANT arrived at Idaho Flats on 11/6 (not 11/5 as reported 
last Month)(RL; MR)--the next day, DP counted 37.

      One red-phase female and two male EURASIAN WIGEON hung out with 
2,400 AMERICAN WIGEON at Idaho Flats on 11/15 (KM).  Female Eurasians 
aren't noted very often.

      1-2 OLDSQUAWS graced YBSJ on 11/21 (RK), 11/22 (an adult male in 
winter plumage and a female or immature male) & 11/23, and 11/27-12/4 
(WH), 11/28 (KM), and 12/2 (SM).  The female or immature male that WH saw 
on 11/27-12/4 differed from the one he saw earlier, so there are at least 
three Oldsquaws.

      20 HARLEQUIN DUCKS at the YBSJ on 11/21 (WH) is a record number 
there; five males and three females were noted there on 11/28 (KM).

      Many scoters were flying southward past Seal Rock on 11/15--about a 
quarter of them were WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS.  Many scoters were also flying 
south past Boiler Bay on 11/21 (RK), and 200 SURF SCOTERS and 20 
WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS flew south past Boiler Bay on 11/29 (PS & ML).

      HOODED MERGANSERS stage at favored locations in fall, and there are 
often large numbers at Eckman Lake.  On 11/18, OW spotted many there, and 
an additional 18 at Eckman Slough.  Most seem to depart by mid-December.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.78                       RAPTORS-SHOREBIRDS

      An adult and a nearly adult BALD EAGLE were at Yachats Bay in early 
November; the near adult had some brown feathers on its neck and a white 
tail (BB).

      An immature SHARP-SHINNED HAWK continued to hunt RC's feeders at 
Wandemere through November, and an adult visits there, too.

      For the second winter in a row, a white RED-TAILED HAWK is at 
Lily Lake (Lane Co.); SK spotted it on 11/12.

      One PEREGRINE FALCON patrolled rocky beaches at Yachats on 11/28 
(DBo), and 1-2 were at Yaquina Head during at least six days in November 

      A MERLIN was at north Alsea Bay on 11/1 (KM) and at SaL's Yachats 
feeder on 11/29.

      Four MOUNTAIN QUAIL were present daily in Yachats in early November 

      Our last MARBLED GODWIT was at Idaho Flats on 11/1 (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.79                          GULLS-ALCIDS

      At Boiler Bay, a single SABINE'S GULL passed on 11/21 (RK), and a few 
were also present on 11/29 (PS & ML).  Many BONAPARTE'S GULLS and 
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were passing Boiler Bay on 11/21 (RK).  Hundreds 
of mostly immature kittiwakes were passing southward on 11/29 past Boiler 
Bay (PS & ML) and Seal Rock over the surf line (DF).  A hundred gulls flew 
south in a minute past Wandemere on 11/21 (RC).

      Like in other years, SS heard MARBLED MURRELETS flying eastward near 
daybreak over her home near Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) on 10/15, 19, & 22 
and 11/6, 8, & 17.  I do not know why they fly inland now, but this has 
also been noted elsewhere along the Oregon coast.

      A winter-plumaged PIGEON GUILLEMOT was noted in Lincoln County on 
11/21 (RK), and a RHINOCEROS AUKLET remained at Boiler Bay on 11/29 (PS & 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.80                        TERRESTRIAL BIRDS

      A male ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD has been unsuccessfully competing with a 
bee or wasp at D&BM's feeder south of Waldport, but it chased away a 
female Anna's on 10/28, who has not yet returned.

      RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS appear to immigrate here in winter, and one 
was at Tidewater in early November (BW), and another that appeared to be 
of the daggetti race has been regularly at WH's South Beach home through 

      As in recent falls, GRAY JAYS arrived at Thornton Creek in mid-August 
and remained almost daily through mid-November (DF).  One was at SS's 
Neskowin home on 11/7, and a flock of eight was along Fall Creek east of 
Waldport on 11/6 (RL).  They are usually seen more in fall.

      Our first fall HERMIT THRUSH was detected on 11/10 south of Waldport 

      A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was again at Yaquina Head on 11/4 (BLM); they 
have not been noted elsewhere.

      A rare CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was at DF's Thornton Creek home on 12/3 & 
4; perhaps it will overwinter?

      200+ PINE SISKINS were devouring sunflower hearts and thistle seed at 
RC's Wandemere feeder on 11/21; another 40 at SaL's Yachats feeder on 
11/29.  Sick siskins have been reported in western Oregon, so please 
remember to regularly disinfect feeders and other areas that siskins 
frequent with bleach.

      OBSERVERS.  Betty Bahn, Don Boucher (DBo), Sara & Don Brown, Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, 
Rebecca Cheek, Darrel Faxon, Wayne Hoffman, Eric Horvath, Ray Korpi, 
Steve Kupillas, Lola Landis, Sally Lockyear (SaL), 
Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Maeve Lofton, Roy Lowe, Sue Martin, 
Kathy Merrifield, Dawson & Bobby Mohler, Dave Pitkin, Mark Randolph, 
Shirley Schwartz, Paul Sullivan, Jean Weakland, Orr Wieman, and 
Bunny Wright.

98.81           December 1998 Sandpiper Bird Field Notes 

      Comments in this column about abundance or seasonality refer to 

      Abbreviations and some Lincoln Co. site locations: Bayview 
Pasture=field east of junction of Beaver Creek Road and North Alsea Bay 
Road, HMSC=Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats=large embayment 
just east of the HMSC, Sallys Bend=large embayment east of the LNG tank at 
Yaquina Bay, Seabrook Lane=residential area just south of Waldport near 
HWY 101, Thiel Creek=creek about 3.5 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge, 
Thornton Creek=creek between Toledo and Eddyville, Wandemere=about 1/2 mi 
north of Ona Beach along HWY 101, YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.82                            COLD SNAP

      On about 12/19, things turned cold, with snow on the ground in 
Newport on 12/21.  Many birds were affected.  

      In Tidewater, the 12 F cold on 12/21 appeared to bring in MALLARDS, 

      Lots of shorebirds were flying over the Safeway store in north 
Newport on 12/23 (CP); many of these may have been DUNLIN, many of which 
were seen by DF (fide CP) during the cold weather.  The 55 DUNLIN at Idaho 
Flats on 12/27 (KM) seems higher than normal for this time of year.  These 
may have been immigrants from the Willamette Valley, where the ground and 
freshwater was frozen and unavailable for shorebird foraging.  In past 
winters, flocks of Killdeer have been seen along the coast during icy 
weather that were not present before.

      Many terrestrial birds were also hard hit.  At the HMSC as the snow 
was falling on 12/21, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, SPOTTED TOWHEES, and 
VARIED THRUSHES appeared (SK).  At Wandemere on 12/21, Varied Thrushes 
arrived en masse, too; and the snow also brought out lots of FOX SPARROWS 
and more than the usual number of Spotted Towhees (RC).  At Seal Rocks, 
Ruby-crowns and HERMIT THRUSHES seemed to have the most problems with the 
cold (J&ST).  Ruby-crowneds were even moving at night searching for warmth 
as RB found one on 12/22 at 11:30 PM fluffed up and huddled by a HMSC door, 
where one had not been earlier in the day--it did not resist being picked 
up and carried into a warm building.  Many TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS were also 
in CP's Toledo yard during the cold spell.  Varied Thrush numbers at 
Wandemere declined as soon as the weather warmed, and RC noted: "While 
here, they cleaned off most of the berried shrubs as well as packing away 
plenty of bird seed."

      ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS usually find enough to eat here in winter, so 
that they only use hummingbird feeders to supplement their diet, but the 
freezing weather appeared to make feeders essential for them.  At 
Wandemere, an immature male dominated two feeders and chased off an adult 
male, so RC moved one feeder to the opposite side of her house on 12/20 
and wrote: "The adult was so desperate that he lit on the feeder while I 
was carrying it to its new location.  I stopped in my tracks, and he fed 
for probably a minute before flying away.  Both birds spent 12/21 perched 
within a couple of feet of 'their' respective feeders, fluffed into little 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

98.83                         BAYVIEW PASTURE

      Oftentimes during fall-spring, Bayview Pasture, part of which is very 
wet, can be a mecca for geese and ducks, and sometimes appears to serve as 
a high tide roost for shorebirds.  However, on 12/6 at about high tide at 
2 PM, KM found no waterfowl or shorebirds, but two BONAPARTE'S GULLS, 
three MEW GULLS, 25 CROWS, and one adult GREAT BLUE HERON.
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98.84                          LOONS-EGRETS

      Loon migration seems unceasing.  Many PACIFIC LOONS continue to fly 
north in June, and loons often fly south in the middle of winter.  On 
12/13 at Seal Rocks, 13 loons flew south, and none flew north during 
5 minutes; most seemed to be Pacific Loons, and a few were 
RED-THROATED LOONS; the largest flock had nine birds, but most were flying 
alone (KM).

      A SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER flew remarkably close (about 20 yards) to 
the shore at Boiler Bay on 12/5--six others flew farther offshore (TB).

      Our latest BROWN PELICAN was an adult at the Newport Bayfront on 
11/28 (KM).

      A GREAT EGRET near River Bend (Yaquina Bay) on 12/13 (KM) and in the 
Gleneden Beach area the last weekend of December (AT) were our only 
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98.85                            WATERFOWL

      One BRANT was at Yachats on 12/5 (TB), and another flew south by 
itself past Seal Rocks on 12/13 (KM).  222 were at Idaho Flats and Sallys 
Bend on 12/13 & 27 (KM).

      Prior to the introduction of Western Canada Geese, domestic goose 
flocks sometimes acted as magnets and attracted singleton geese.  This 
still can occur as on 12/20, DB found a first-year 
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE with a flock of domestic geese at Devils Lake.

      Seven HARLEQUIN DUCKS at the YBSJ on 12/6 (KM) is typical for this 
time of year.

      Six REDHEADS, the first reported this winter, were at Sallys Bend on 
12/13 (KM), and 260-275 CANVASBACKS were also there on 12/13 & 27 (KM).

      KM saw about 143 scoters fly south in flocks of 1-40 birds, and none 
fly north during a 5 minute watch on 12/13 at Seal Rocks.  Seven of these 
were WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, and the rest were SURF SCOTERS or 
BLACK SCOTERS.  On 12/20, most or all of 650 scoters to the NE of Yaquina 
Head were Black Scoters, and 1,200 White-wings and 150 Surfs were west and 
southwest of the Head (KM).
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98.86                       RAPTORS-SHOREBIRDS

      A WHITE-TAILED KITE at the HMSC Nature Trail on 12/26 (DP) is the 
only one reported in several months.

      In early December, a BALD EAGLE picked up a dead bird off a Yachats 
beach and flew away (fide BBa).

      An adult and immature SHARP-SHINNED HAWK were picking off sickly 
Pine Siskins at Wandemere in early December (RC).

      One MERLIN visited BW's Tidewater home in mid-December, and another 
was in Newport on 12/31 (RB).

      An adult PEREGRINE FALCON was perched in a snag south of Beverly 
Beach on 12/5 (MH).  KM writes that an adult at Idaho Flats on 12/13: 
"Came in low and fast from downstream.  It was flying level at about 
1-2 ft off water and sand.  It flew straight at one large gull, stalled, 
pushed legs and feet towards gull, which evaded it.  The Peregrine barely 
slowed down and flew towards another gull--same scenario.  Then towards 
another gull--same.  The gulls kind of flapped out of the way.  No gulls 
or ducks were disturbed except the three targeted.  This was a very 
stealthy and precisely targeted attack."

      Usually every winter, we get reports of small flocks of up to 50 
BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS.  This winter our only reports of large flocks are of 
nine south of Yachats at about noon on 12/6, and of eight at Seal Rocks at 
about noon on 12/20 (KM).
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98.87                        KITTIWAKES-ALCIDS

      On 12/21, BL found a beached, headless kittiwake with some 
reddishness on its legs near Thiel Creek, so a Red-legged Kittiwake was a 
possibility.  However, WH identified it as an immature 
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE because of the black band on its tail.  Two 
Black-legged Kittiwakes also flew over the Boiler Bay parking area on 12/5 
(TB), and KM studied one at Seal Rocks on 12/6 and saw four fly south past 
there on 12/20.

      The puddles and gravel parking areas along the YBSJ are good areas to 
study gulls.  There, on 12/5, MH saw a first-year GLAUCOUS GULL, several 
Glaucous-winged Gulls, CALIFORNIA GULLS, and MEW GULLS.  MH writes: "The 
most interesting birds were the CALIFORNIA GULLS.  There were about 10 
adults at the time.  At least two of these were large, brighter birds, 
with yellowish bills and legs.  A couple of adult California Gulls next to 
these were much smaller in bulk and had typical winter-colored bare parts 
(greenish-yellow bill and legs); I have never seen this extreme amount of 
difference before; they seem like they should have been two different 
species and seemed more different to me than Herring and Thayer's Gulls."  
On 12/6, KM also found all species except the Glaucous Gull there.

      The wind and rain storms after the cold snap may have driven 
Herring Gulls onshore, since KM found 597 within Yaquina Bay on 12/27.  
She has been censusing gulls since 1997, with no more than 50 Herring Gulls 

      Devils Lake does not get birded for gulls very much, so a 
Thayer's Gull there on 12/20 (DB) is noteworthy.

      SS heard MARBLED MURRELETS flying over her Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) 
home the morning of 11/21; they regularly do so.
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98.88                      HUMMINGBIRDS-WARBLERS

      Before the freeze, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS were draining BBa's Yachats 
feeders every couple of days.  Two inland at BW's frozen fuchsias in 
Tidewater on 12/19 seem pretty inland for the winter, but the warmer 
coastal influence can extend up the Alsea Valley to Tidewater.

      A neighbor's cat grabbed a NORTHERN FLICKER off D&BM's feeder at 
Seabrook Lane on 12/11, and DM writes: "But before the cat could get a 
firm hold, I distracted it with banging on the window.  Thus, the bird 

      Our first (and only) PALM WARBLER of the winter was near Oregon Coast 
Aquarium on 12/11 (WH).  Five TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS were in north Toledo on 
12/8 (PD), and a MYRTLE YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was at the HMSC on 12/21 
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98.89                        REDSTART-SISKINS

      On 12/10, BBu had a 20-30 second view of a possible PAINTED REDSTART 
at Devils Lake, but it could not be relocated and studied.

      A few WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS are usually scattered around each 
winter, but our only report was of a singleton in South Beach on 12/17 

      On 12/5, MH visited DF's Thornton Creek home and studied the 
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW reported last month; MH noted that it looked like a 
Clay-colored on one side, but light and weather may have made the other 
side of the bird appear a bit different.

      On 12/3, two of 20 DARK-EYED JUNCOS at SS's Neskowin home appeared to 

      Four adult and one immature male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS visited D&BM's 
Seabrook Lane home on 11/22, and singletons were also noted there on 11/27 
and 12/10.

      Trips to the dentist are something that many of us endure rather than 
look forward to.  On 12/8, SaL's turn came, but she was pleasantly 
surprised to see a female NORTHERN ORIOLE at her dentist in Waldport!

      PINE SISKINS appeared and disappeared, then appeared again.  In early 
December, 50-100 were at Yachats (BBa), and "clouds" or "swarms" of them 
were at Wandemere (RC) and Tidewater (BW).  They were absent at Wandemere 
during 12/14-26 (RC) and at Tidewater by 12/19 (BW), but some were at 
Seabrook Lane through at least 12/16 (D&BM) and at Seal Rocks on 12/23 
(J&ST).  At Wandemere, siskin abundance again increased to about 50 on 
12/29 (RC), and, in north Toledo, a flock was noted on 12/30 (PD).

      OBSERVERS.  Betty Bahn (BBa), David Bailey, Range Bayer, Trent Bray, 
Bob Budz (BBu), Rebecca Cheek, Pat Dickey, Darrel Faxon, Wayne Hoffman, 
Eric Horvath, Matt Hunter, Steve Kupillas, Sally Lockyear (SaL), 
Bob Loeffel, Kathy Merrifield, Dawson & Bobby Mohler, Chuck Philo, 
Dave Pitkin, Shirley Schwartz, Anna Thaler, Jim & Shirley Thielen, 
Bunny Wright.
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