Menu of Jan.-May 1999 (sections 99.1-99.61) Bird Field Notes 
             by Range Bayer from the Sandpiper (a publication 
             of Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Lincoln County, Oregon) 
Section   Month of 
No.       Sandpiper, Volume 20
99.1       January 1999 
99.13      February 1999 
99.26      March 1999 
99.36      April 1999 
99.49      May 1999 

99.1                January 1999 Sandpiper 20(1)

      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, 
Lost Creek SP=park about 4.75 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge, Nute 
Slough=freshwater slough at about mile 9.3 along north Yaquina Bay Road, 
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, 
Wandemere=about 1/2 mi north of Ona Beach along HWY 101, YBCBC=Yaquina 
Bay Christmas Bird Count on 1/2, YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
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99.2                               YBCBC

      Sunshine and winds greeted 16 people, who  participated in this 
year's count on 1/2.  Compiler DF reported that 115 species were recorded 
and bird numbers seemed low.
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99.3               1998 THIEL CREEK BEACHED BIRD REPORT

      BLo continues to be exceptionally timely in his preparation of 
annual reports and making them available.  Thanks, Bob!

      B&SLo and S&DB completed the 21st year of surveys of 4.6 mi of beach 
at Thiel Creek in 1998.  BLo wrote that birds other than Common Murre 
chicks totaled 351, which is well below the average (469) for the 
previous 20 years.  NORTHERN FULMARS (70) and COMMON MURRES (65) were the 
most numerous.  Half of the fulmars along with 15 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES 
were found in early March when west winds put off-shore mortalities on 
the beach.  Most murres were found in May and June.

      The total of 13 murre chicks is a very low count; only 1992 and 
1996, when only two were found, had fewer chicks.  The sum of 10 
CASSIN'S AUKLETS is also well below the 20 year average of 89 and only 
exceeded counts in two other years.
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99.4                           LOONS-EGRETS

      A raft of 30 COMMON LOONS was near the first rock "finger" west of 
the Yaquina Bay Bridge at dusk during the 1/2 YBCBC; they often raft 
there at dusk.

      Four BROWN PELICANS lingered for the 1/2 YBCBC, and an adult was 
still at the Newport Bayfront on 1/10 (KM).

      Our only GREEN HERON skulked at Oregon Oyster rafts at about Mile 
Post 7.2 along North Yaquina Bay Road on 1/4 (CP).  1-2 GREAT EGRETS were 
at Alsea Bay or Eckman Lake on 1/3 & 18 (RC & WN; DF), and a total of 
four in the Newport-Beaver Creek area was noted during the 1/2 YBCBC.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.5                USFWS 1999 WINTER WATERFOWL SURVEY 

      RL conducted this count along the Oregon Coast on 1/8 & 9.  The 
total of 175 TUNDRA SWANS  (and no Trumpeters) was 43% less than last 
year, and none were found north of the Siuslaw River. 

      BLACK BRANT abundance was up slightly this year compared to last 
year's low; 206 of the Brant were at Yaquina Bay, which had slightly less 
than Netarts Bay and slightly more than Tillamook Bay.  (The 389 tallied 
during the 1/2 YBCBC represents the sum reported by all groups; some of 
the same Brant were re-counted because Brant move between group areas.)

      There was a significant increase in goose numbers that was 
attributed to the growing population of introduced WESTERN CANADA GEESE.

      Dabbling duck abundance was 19% above the 12 yr mean, with 63% of 
them in the Coquille Valley.

      The low numbers of AMERICAN COOTS at Devils Lake following grass 
carp introduction continues with only 94 counted this year, compared to 
the 1985-1992 mean of 3,989.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.6                      OTHER WATERFOWL REPORTS

      RO & others had a great look of a male EURASIAN WIGEON in good 
sunlight about 30 yards from shore in Sallys Bend during the 1/16 YB&N 
field trip.

      A pair of BARROW'S GOLDENEYES, including a female with a fully 
yellow bill, was at the Waldport port docks on 1/21 (WH), where there 
were also two pairs on 1/23 (SSh, TS, KS, & KF).  This is the only place 
in Lincoln County where a few have been regularly found, even though  a 
pair was shot there last January by a hunter.

      One OLDSQUAW was detected at Alsea Bay on 1/11 (DF) and 1/23 (SSh, 
TS, KS, & KF), and 1-3 were at Yaquina Bay on 12/28 (KJ & JS), 1/2 YBCBC, 
1/9 (JM & JC), 1/17-18 (DPe & MS), and 1/21 (CP).

      12 REDHEADS were at Sallys Bend during the 1/2 YBCBC, and five were 
also counted there on 1/10 (KM).  The high count of HARLEQUIN DUCKS was 
seven at the YBSJ on 1/18 (SSp).  The 722 BLACK SCOTERS during the 1/2 
YBCBC seems like a lot, but most were north of Yaquina Head, where they 
can be quite abundant at times during the winter.

      RO & others watched eight male and four female HOODED MERGANSERS 
just off Idaho Point in Yaquina Bay during the 1/16 YB&N field trip.  
Usually, they are in freshwater, so these Hoodeds were at an unusual 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.7                              RAPTORS

      One TURKEY VULTURE south of Toledo during the 1/2 YBCBC was a first 
for our CBC and a winter rarity here.  Perhaps the same one was at Nute 
Slough on 1/4 (CP).

      After being absent for months, a WHITE-TAILED KITE became a regular 
along the HMSC Nature Trail during 12/26-1/19 (DP; JL; RO; RL; CB, CPh), 
and presumably a different one was spotted at Nute Slough during 
Corvallis Audubon's 1/1 trip (MC & others), 1/2 YBCBC, and 1/3 (CP).

      Brownish female or immature male NORTHERN HARRIERS are winter 
regulars, but gray adult males are pretty rare along the coast, although 
DP spotted one at the HMSC on 1/29.

      Winter sunsets can be incredible along the coast, and when the sun 
is near setting, sunlight often no longer appears white.  On 1/9, DBo was 
at Otter Rock enjoying the sunset, when a BALD EAGLE flew by, and its 
white head and tail appeared to be coral colored!  In the past winters 
near sunset, RB has seen a Black-bellied Plover magically transform into 
a Golden-Plover.

      COOPER'S HAWKS were missed during the 1/2 YBCBC, but one was at 
Yachats on 1/13 (BB).

      AMERICAN KESTRELS have been our rarest reported falcon this winter, 
but three kestrels and two MERLINS were spotted during the 1/2 YBCBC.

      One PEREGRINE FALCON was at Otter Rock on 1/21 (SaL & KH); at 
Yaquina Bay on 1/1 (MC & others), YBSJ on 1/17 (DPe & MS), and another 
landed on top of the steel arches of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on 1/21 (RO).  
One was present at Yaquina Head during at least 13 days in December 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.8                            SORA-ALCIDS

      A very good find was two SORAS during the 1/2 YBCBC; we have so few 
Sora records, it is hard to determine their seasonal status.

      DP has a great photograph of a flock of 18 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS 
(including 3-4 immatures) roosting on a rock at Stonefield Beach (Lane 
County) at about 10 AM on 12/20.  About 10 were at Depoe Bay on 1/1 (MC & 
others), and 12 huddled together at Seal Rock on 1/17 (DPe & MS).  There 
seem to be many more here in winter than in summer, so perhaps some 

      Five ROCK SANDPIPERS were at Depoe Bay on 1/1 (MC & others).  
Wintering WHIMBRELS used to be a regular event at Yaquina Bay, but the 
one that DF spotted on the rocks of the YBSJ on 1/20 is now a rarity.

      HERRING GULLS seem to be more abundant this winter than normal; at 
the YBSJ, 50-75 were noted on 1/18 (DF; KM).  One BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE 
was with gulls at the YBSJ puddles on 1/17 (DPe & MS).

      ANCIENT MURRELETS have seldom been reported this winter but are easy 
to overlook.  One was at Boiler Bay on 1/1 (MC & others) and at the YBSJ 
on 1/12 (CP).

      MARBLED MURRELETS can be found nearshore along the open coast and 
seen and heard flying inland, but they are rare in estuaries.  However, 
one was near the eastern end of the YBSJ on 1/17 (DF).

      Seven COMMON MURRES and three PIGEON GUILLEMOTS were discovered 
during the 1/2 YBCBC, and a PG was also at Boiler Bay on 1/10 (RC & WN).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.9                         DOVE-HUMMINGBIRDS

      On 1/17, D&BM found a half dozen ROCK DOVES sheltering from the 
storm by standing in the lee on the steps going down to the Made In 
Oregon store in Depoe Bay.  DM writes: "They had figured out that each 
bird could have its own wall by each taking a different step.  Thus, 
there was this descending (step by step) row of birds huddled against the 
wall.  They were not about to move just because we chose to walk down 
their steps."

      A WESTERN SCREECH-OWL near Toledo was pointed out by CP's dog on 

      ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS were busy emptying BB's feeders about every 
three days in Yachats in mid-January.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.10                   GOLDEN & SUICIDAL FLICKERS

      NORTHERN FLICKERS with yellow or orangish-gold shafts regularly 
appear each winter that are yellow- or yellow- X red-shafted flickers, 
and one was near the Toledo Methodist Church on 1/25 (PD).

      In mid-January, CP received a report that a flicker was roosting 
under the peak of the roof of a house at Lost Creek every night by 
sticking its head into a hole while the rest of its body remained 
outside!  This sounds ostrich-like and bizarre, so CP visited and, sure 
enough, with a flashlight, he could see the flicker with its head inside 
a hole and its body outside.  Its feet and legs appeared to be supporting 
its body on the siding!  Strange . . .  On p. 280-281 and 298 of Bent 
(1939.  Life histories of North American woodpeckers), it is noted that 
flickers often will roost while perched on a wall under the eaves of a 
building and will excavate cavities to enter for winter roosts, but no 
one mentions flickers roosting with their body outside and their head in 
a hole.  Perhaps, the hole is not large enough for the Lost Creek flicker 
to enter completely, so it can only put its head inside.

      In the article "Purdin's Suicidal Flickers" in 1988 Oregon Birds 
14:260-262, GJ recounted an article by W. C. Purdin of Forest Grove in 
1895.  Purdin wrote: "The [Northern Flicker] goes to roost very 
early--before sundown generally--and does so by thrusting his head 
through a knot-hole in a wall or tree, or a crevice, fork of a limb, or 
such like, and hangs suspended by the head with its body hanging in the 
air. . .  Very often they may be seen at roost high up on a wall, with 
body outside the building and their heads inside."  GJ relates how some 
of Purdin's contemporaries mocked Purdin publicly in print because his 
report seemed so unbelievable.

      But Purdin may have been partially right--CP's observation confirms 
that a flicker can roost with its head in a hole and its body outside.  
Given that Purdin would not have had good binoculars and a powerful 
flashlight with a focused beam to aid in his observations, he might not 
have been able to see that such a flicker was supported by its legs and 
feet rather than hanging by its neck.

      But a roosting flicker with its head in a hole is something to 
ponder!  A jokester might say that this is why some flickers seem 
hot-headed!  :-)
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.11                             CORVIDS

      A WESTERN SCRUB-JAY has been a regular in Toledo from 1/1 (CP) to at 
least 1/29 (CP; YBCBC; PD). GRAY JAYS are often missed during the YBCBC, 
so four at Thiel Creek during the 1/2 YBCBC and another four that came to 
J&JG's suet feeder in Yachats on 1/21 are most welcome.

      On 1/15 at Seabrook Lane, DM watched two COMMON RAVENS perched near 
each other on a dead cedar.  DM writes: "One would croak a phrase; the 
other would answer.  Back and forth this went.  Sometimes they were both 
talking at once.  Their voices by the way, were distinguishable, one 
somewhat higher pitched than the other."  This sounds like courtship or 
maintaining pair bonds, which corvids can do in winter.  Another example 
is a pair of AMERICAN CROWS in mid-January in Newport perched on an 
overhead wire, with one preening the other's nape (RB).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.12                         KINGLET-SISKIN

      J&JG have a late-blooming Fatsia bush at their Yachats home that 
attracts insects, and, in early January, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS visited it 
to feed on the insects.

      On 12/19, SSc saw a HERMIT THRUSH fly into a window at her Neskowin 
(Tillamook Co.) home and fall to the deck--a second bird (its mate ?) 
landed and stood near it.  A moment later, both had left.

      AMERICAN ROBINS are present someplaces but not others here in 
winter.  Often there appears to be a "spring" immigration as BW noted for 
them at her Tidewater home on 1/4.

      CEDAR WAXWINGS are rare here in winter, but three were found during 
the 1/2 YBCBC.

      YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were eating wax myrtle berries that fallen on 
the ground in South Beach in early January (EH).

      DARK-EYED JUNCOS used to be subdivided into several species but were 
pooled because of some hybridization.  However, the trend now is to split 
"species" so who knows!  A junco that WH tentatively identified as a 
first-year intergrade between the Pink-sided and Slate-colored races 
first appeared at RC & WN's Wandemere home on 1/1 and was regular there 
through at least 1/27 (RC).

      An apparent immature WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was near the Toledo 
Methodist Church on 1/25 (PD).  They have been scarcer than normal this 

      As many as four WESTERN MEADOWLARKS were regulars at Yaquina Head in 
December (BLM).

      After being superabundant in early December, a grand total of only 
eight PINE SISKINS was counted during the 1/2 YBCBC, and they have been 
generally scarce or absent in early to mid-January in Yachats (BB) and 
Wandemere (RC).  At Seabrook Lane, there were 30 on 12/28, but, since 
1/4, only one siskin was seen rarely (D&BM).

      OBSERVERS.  Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Don Boucher (DBo), 
Sara & Don Brown, Charlie Bruce, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at 
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Rebecca Cheek, Jan Cornelius, 
Marcia Cutler, Pat Dickey, Kris Falco, Darrel Faxon, 
Jim & Janice Gerdemann, Wayne Hoffman, Eric Horvath, Karen Houston, 
George Jobanek, Karen Jones, Janet Lamberson, Sally Lockyear (SaL), 
Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Roy Lowe, Jerry Martin, Kathy Merrifield, 
Dawson & Bobby Mohler, Walt Nelson, Robert Olson, Diane Pettey (DPe), 
Carrie Phillips (CPh), Chuck Philo, Dave Pitkin, Kay Scheurer, 
Shirley Schwartz (SSc), Steve Shunk (SSh), Mary Anne Sohlstrom, 
Stuart Sparkman (SSp), Terry Steele, Jerry Sutherland, Bunny Wright.

99.13        February 1999 Sandpiper 20(2)

     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, Beaver Creek=creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park,
Eckman Lake=lake just east of Waldport along HWY 34, HMSC=Hatfield Marine 
Science Center, HMSC Lagoon=lagoon just north of HMSC Public Parking Lot, 
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, Wandemere=about 1/2 mi north of Ona 
Beach along HWY 101, YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
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99.14                        NEW CARISSA WRECK

      Oil spilled from the beached New Carissa north of Coos Bay on 2/4.  
In Lincoln County, according to articles on p. A1 & A9 of the Feb. 24 
Newport News-Times, some oil blobs and two oiled birds have been found on 
beaches since then, but laboratory tests have not been completed to 
determine if this oil is from the New Carrissa or another source.  In 
Lincoln County, volunteers for Oregon State Parks, Oregon Shores 
Conservation Coalition Coast Watch, and Oregon Coast Aquarium have been 
looking for oil or oiled wildlife as coordinated by SOLV (Stop Oregon 
Litter and Vandalism).  Others have also seen live, oiled loons (see 

      With the bow section of the New Carrisa washing ashore a mile south 
of Alsea Bay the morning of 3/3 and reports of oil and at least one oiled 
bird washing ashore, the saga continues.

      An article in the Newport News-Times indicated that reports of oiled 
wildlife should be made to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-452-7888 and 
of oil on the beaches to 541-888-8400.

      In my opinion, the Unified Command, which is in charge of the New 
Carrissa salvage and cleanup, has been very effective for a month so far 
in controlling information about the oil spills and in minimizing public 
scrutiny.  In my opinion, if a politician flip-flopped and stone-walled as 
much, the outcry would have been deafening.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.15                              LOONS

      February does not appear to have been a good month for loons, since 
the ocean seems to have been rougher than usual this winter.  Several 
unoiled and uninjured loons that had been found along the ocean beach too 
weak to escape were brought to the HMSC, and they were released into 
Yaquina Bay, where they would not have to fight the ocean waves and could 
forage.  BLo reports that more loons than normal were found along 4.6 mi 
of beach near Thiel Creek in February (B&SLo, S&DB).  

      A PACIFIC LOON and a RED-THROATED LOON that were both partially oiled 
and alive were observed at the HMSC Lagoon on 2/17 (SLa & EH); SLa wrote 
that the Pacific Loon appeared to make unsuccessful attempts to preen the 
oil spots on its breast.  It is unknown if these birds were oiled from the 
New Carissa spill.

      In the past, COMMON LOONS would have several raft sites at dusk 
throughout Yaquina Bay--they did not all raft together at one site.  The 
dusk raft west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge is well known, but other sites 
have not been recently reported, although KM found a tight flock of 25 in 
the main channel by Sallys Bend near dusk on 2/14.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.16                      GREBES-BROWN PELICAN

      JS observed what may have been an intermediate form of CLARK'S 
GREBE/WESTERN GREBE at the YBSJ on 2/15; it had a yellow-orange bill like 
a Clark's, but it had black down to the lower edge of the eye like a 
Western; it was with several Westerns, and the differences in its bill 
color and its gray flanks were very obvious.  On 2/21, KM saw two Western 
Grebes with bright yellow-orange bills at Idaho Flats.  Peterson's Western 
Field Guide indicates that Westerns have greenish-yellow and Clark's 
orangish-yellow bills, but this distinction may be tough in the field.

      One EARED GREBE was twice chased by a Western Grebe when it surfaced 
at Sallys Bend on 1/31, and three Eareds were there on 2/14 (KM).

      A harbinger of spring--a PIED-BILLED GREBE at Eckman Lake had the 
beginnings of the breeding season's black band around its bill on 2/7 

      Our latest report of BROWN PELICANS was of five at Yaquina Head on 
1/3 (BLM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.17                             SCOTERS

      JG saw a live SURF SCOTER on the pavement of HWY 20 at the eastern 
edge of Lincoln County on 1/31.  When it tried taking off once, it crash-
landed on the road, but it was successful when it tried the next time.  JG 
noted that the sun was shining on wet pavement and thereby may have made 
it look like open water.  In the past, grebes and scoters have also been 
found along roads, apparently after mistaking the road for water and being 
unable to take off.  When captured and released into a bay or body of 
water, they did fine.

      Scoter aggregations are common now, and species composition and 
numbers can differ greatly from one site to another.  For example, about 
315 BLACK SCOTERS and 135 Surf Scoters were NE of Yaquina Head and about 
800 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were in a line-shaped flock beyond the breaker 
zone at Yaquina Head on 1/31; the same day at Yachats, about 94% of 890 
scoters were Surfs, 5% were White-wings, and 1% were Blacks (KM).  On 2/14 
at Yachats, 2,400 scoters included many Surfs and White-wings, but some 
were too far out to see if there were any Blacks (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.18                         OTHER WATERFOWL

      Bayview Pasture can be a magnet for geese and sometimes shorebirds.  
On 2/7, the lower field was totally flooded from edge to edge, and there 
During the 2/20 YB&N field trip, there were 10 white-fronts and two 
duck-sized Canada Geese mixed in with larger Canadas (LO).

      The high counts of BRANT were 158 at Sallys Bend on 1/24, 162 at 
Idaho Flats on 2/7, and 195 at Sallys Bend on 2/14 (KM).

      CINNAMON TEAL are rare in winter, so a male at Beaver Creek on 1/26, 
2/11, & 2/20 (LO) is a find.

      Sallys Bend is the only place to regularly find REDHEADS and 12-13 
were there on 1/24 & 31 (KM), so the pair at the marsh along HWY 20 west 
of Toledo's Dairy Queen on 2/25 (BLl) is a rarity.

      HARLEQUIN DUCKS are often at Seal Rocks and the YBSJ in winter, but 
it is unusual to have any at Boiler Bay, so 2-3 three there on 2/6 (SSp) 
and 2/12 (EH) is extraordinary.

      A female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE at the mouth of Schooner Creek in North 
Siletz Bay on 2/14 (PS & ML) is the first at Siletz Bay in several years.  
They are only regularly found near the Alsea Bay boat docks, where a pair 
were noted on 1/31 (KM), 2/6 (SSp) and 2/14 (SaL), 2/15 (JS), and 2/20 
YB&N field trip (LO).

      One OLDSQUAW at the YBSJ that was sometimes very close to the south 
shore continued to winter through late January (RO; KM), 2/1 (RO), 2/14 
(AC, JMa, & LB; KM); but five were discovered there on 2/23 (EH).  A 
first-winter Oldsquaw was also at the Alsea Bay boat docks on 1/31 (KM), 
2/6 (SSp) and 2/14 (SaL), and 2/15 (JS).

      A female HOODED MERGANSER at Sallys Bend on 1/24 (KM) is out of place 
for this normally freshwater species.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.19                          COOPER'S HAWK

      COOPER'S HAWKS were only reported once in January, but this month 
they put on a show!  Singletons were at Beaver Creek in late January (LO) 
and in a field 10 miles east of Lincoln City on 2/10 (SaL).  On 2/22, one 
was in hot pursuit of a MOUNTAIN QUAIL at BL's Beaver Pond near Logsden.

      At dusk on 2/17, RC & WN were walking along a dirt road near 
Wandemere and saw nine ROCK DOVES perched on an overhead utility wire.  RC 
writes: "As we stood peering at them in the gloom to be sure they weren't  
Band-tails, a tight flock of 20 more circled in to perch with the others.  
The new arrivals were hardly settled on the perch when the entire flock 
blasted off in a panic, zoomed right over our heads and tore off in the 
direction of Ona Beach.  In the commotion, we heard a sharp thud and saw a 
pigeon somersault in the air and hit the ground; another bird also landed 
near where the pigeon fell, and as we got our eyes focused on it, it 
dashed off into the woods--an adult Cooper's Hawk.  I felt bad that it had 
abandoned its meal and thought maybe if we left the scene it would return 
for the pigeon, but no luck.  We passed by again about 10 minutes later, 
saw the pigeon still lying where it fell.  The Cooper's Hawk crossed in 
front of us further down the road, headed for your yard.  The rest of the 
pigeons were still circling around high overhead between Wandemere and 
Makai, looking for a secure spot to roost."

      On 2/4 near the HMSC, WH watched a male AMERICAN KESTREL hovering 
above a grassy area and wrote: "After several minutes it dropped to the 
ground behind some tall grass.  It remained there about one minute, then 
rose, carrying a vole [mouse].  It flew across the road and lit on a post.  
A few seconds later, an adult COOPER'S HAWK appeared and flew towards the 
kestrel.  The kestrel dropped the vole and flew up, and the Cooper's Hawk 
lit on the bare ground about one meter from the vole.  The kestrel swooped 
at the hawk twice, but did not make contact.  The hawk then hopped over to 
the vole, picked it up, and flew off.  A few seconds later, the kestrel 
was hovering again."  Perhaps the same kestrel was seen just west of the 
HMSC on 2/15 (JS).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.20                          OTHER RAPTORS

      A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was noted a number of times at LO's Beaver Creek 
feeder in late January.

      As reported last month, a TURKEY VULTURE was spotted twice the first 
week of January, but our only subsequent report was of one near River Bend 
in Yaquina Bay on 2/7 (KM).

      BALD EAGLES are becoming more regular, so only sightings that are 
more uncommon are included.  One adult that flew over RO's Newport home on 
1/31 is a first there.  Three were near the HMSC on 2/6 (SSp), and two 
adults appeared to be trying to mate on top of a piling in the middle of 
Sallys Bend on 2/14 (AC, JMa, & LB).  One adult was a "far speck west over 
the ocean" at Boiler Bay but flew inland overhead on 2/12 (EH).

      One WHITE-TAILED KITE was at the HMSC on 2/1 (RO), 2/4 (JL), 2/6 (EH; 
SSp), but perhaps then moved to South Beach State Park, where one was 
noted on 2/13 (WH) and 2/14 (PS & ML).

      A PEREGRINE FALCON was spotted at Yaquina Head during eight days in 
January (BLM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.21                          GROUSE-ALCIDS

      A RUFFED GROUSE was along Beaver Creek Road on 1/17 (DP & MS).

      A flock of 10 and two additional BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS were at Seal 
Rocks at mid-day on 1/31 (KM).

      Wintering shorebird use of Yaquina Bay continues to be important with 
830 and 950 peeps that were mostly DUNLIN, SANDERLINGS, and WESTERN 
SANDPIPERS/LEAST SANDPIPERS at Idaho Flats on 2/7 and 2/21, respectively 

      35 KILLDEER in a flooded pasture at Beaver Creek on 1/26 is a big 
concentration; they were accompanied by a few GREATER YELLOWLEGS (LO).

      COMMON SNIPE do not seem as common as they once were, but 1-3 were 
near the HMSC Nature Trail on 2/9 (EH) and at Beaver Creek on 2/7 (KM) & 
2/11 (LO).

      RO had two new "yard birds" for his north Newport home this month, 
besides a Bald Eagle, he also had a second winter GLAUCOUS GULL.  A 
first-winter Glaucous was not too far away from RO's home at Fred Meyers 
on 2/8 (WH).

      On 2/13, BLo found a dead, banded BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE along the 
beach at Wandemere; RL found that it had been banded as a nestling at 
Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1997, so it had done some travelling.

      One MARBLED MURRELET near the first rock finger west of the Yaquina 
Bay Bridge on 2/13 (WH) may be the same one as found in the same area last 
month.  Two in the channel east of the YBSJ weather station on 2/14 were 
close enough to hear squeak (AC, JMa, & LB; PS & ML; KM) and were also 
present the next day (JS).  They are generally rare in Yaquina Bay.  They 
are more common at Boiler Bay where one was very close to shore on 2/14 
(PS & ML).

      A PIGEON GUILLEMOT in winter plumage was at YBSJ on 1/24 (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.22                          SINGING BIRDS

      RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS occasionally tune up during the winter, and 
some were singing near Wandemere on 1/2 (RC).

      A WINTER WREN sang a soft song on 2/6 near Neskowin (Tillamook 
County)(SSc), a WRENTIT was singing along the HMSC Nature Trail on 2/9 
(EH), and a SONG SPARROW sang on 2/9 near Neskowin, even though there was 
snow on the ground (SSc).

      Two TREE SWALLOWS were singing and flying high in the morning 
sunshine over EH's South Beach home on 2/13.

      A few ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS have been found wintering in recent 
years, so those singing at South Beach on 2/16 (WH) are most likely winter 
residents than spring arrivals, which typically arrive about a month 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.23                         DOVES-FLICKERS

      Some MOURNING DOVES overwinter, so 14 on 2/15 at South Beach (WH) may 
not have been spring migrants, which usually arrive in April.

      A fresh roadkilled WESTERN SCREECH-OWL was at about Milepost 6 along 
HWY 20 east of Newport on 2/14 (EH).

      Our first spring RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, a male, arrived at J&LM's feeder 
near the east side of Sallys Bend on 2/17; our next report was at RC's 
Wandemere feeder on 2/27, where an immature male ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD has 
been wintering.

      Some NORTHERN FLICKERS appear to be "wasteful" of seeds at feeders.  
At her Wandemere feeders, RC has observed that flickers choose a feeder 
with millet and ignore those with sunflower seeds and wonders if when they 
seemingly dump sunflower seeds on the ground from feeders if they are 
searching for seed like millet.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.24                            GRAY JAYS

      Four GRAY JAYS have been January residents at BH's home within a mile 
of the coast, north of Waldport.  They have followed their "camp robber" 
reputation by eating the food of one cat, but they don't touch the food of 
the cat that chases them!  Once, BH saw a Gray Jay playing "possum" by 
lying apparently dead on the ground near his cat, but as soon as he tried 
to pick up the jay, it grabbed his finger with its bill and then flew away 
when he opened his hand!

      Our other Gray Jay reports include one perched atop a tall spruce 
tree near SSc's Neskowin home on 2/3 and six at Seal Rocks on 2/10 (SaL).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.25                      SCRUB JAY-MEADOWLARK

      The WESTERN SCRUB-JAY continues to reside in CP's Toledo feeder and 
neighborhood on 2/9, 15 (JS), & 26.  As SSc walked down her driveway near 
Neskowin on 1/13, she heard a COMMON RAVEN call from overhead, then 
another raven call, but the second one turned out to be an imitating 

      AMERICAN CROWS are often not appreciated as "shorebirds," but they 
can be quite numerous on mudflats.  For example, KM counted 270 crows on 
eelgrass beds at Sallys Bend on 2/14.

      Many observers have noted that this has been a good year for 
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES.  At Seabrook Lane just south of Waldport, this 
has been the first winter that they were at D&BM's feeder, although they 
would occasionally hear them in the woods.  DM notes that they ordinarily 
go for the sunflower seeds and not to the feeder platforms and writes: 
"There are at least three of them, usually coming one at a time.  They 
were all together on Feb. 14 when they were seen crawling on the branches 
of the currant and quince bushes (for insects ?) rather than the feeders.  
We have taken great pleasure in seeing them come by.  We now rate them 
well better than we ever thought of their White-breasted cousins in Iowa."

      A partially albino VARIED THRUSH was in South Beach on 2/16 (SB), and 
an AMERICAN ROBIN with a complete white breast below the dark throat was 
along HWY 101 a half mile north of Ten Mile Creek (Lane Co.) on 2/16 (TS).  
The first American Robin this spring at SSc's Neskowin yard arrived on 
2/13, and they had increased to a flock in the next few days.

      The rarest bird this month was a NORTHERN SHRIKE about a half mile 
east of Ona Beach along Beaver Creek Road on 2/28 (DF).  They used to be 
uncommon here each winter.

      An adult WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW arrived at RC's Wandemere feeder on 
2/3; it was the first adult since November.  Nevertheless, it could be a 
wandering, wintering bird rather than a spring migrant that typically 
arrives in the last days of March.  For example, at Seabrook Lane, two 
adults have been regulars this winter, though two immatures showed up on 
2/9 & 10 (D&BM).

      The possible Slate-colored X Pink-sided DARK-EYED JUNCO continued to 
hang out at Wandemere through 2/3 (RC).

      The only site where wintering WESTERN MEADOWLARKS are now regularly 
is Yaquina Head, where 1-2 were seen almost daily in January (BLM).

      OBSERVERS.  Luke Bloch, Sara & Don Brown, Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM) at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Rebecca Cheek, 
Alan Contreras, Darrel Faxon, Joel Geier, Bill Hanshumaker, Wayne Hoffman, 
Eric Horvath, Janet Lamberson, Skip Laubach (SLa), Bob Llewellyn (BLl), 
Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Maeve Lofton, Roy Lowe, 
John & Linda Mackown, Jeff Marx (JMa), Kathy Merrifield, 
Dawson & Bobby Mohler, Walt Nelson, Robert Olson, Laimons Osis, 
Diane Pettey, Chuck Philo, Shirley Schwartz (SSc), Jamie Simmons, 
Tom Snetsinger, Mary Anne Sohlstrom, Stuart Sparkman (SSp), Paul Sullivan.

99.26      March 1999 Sandpiper 20(3)

      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, Beaver Creek=creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park, 
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, 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 0.5 mi north of 
Ona Beach along HWY 101, YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.27                           NEW CARISSA

      The bow section of the New Carissa was removed from the beach near 
Waldport on March 8, towed offshore 325 miles, and, on March 11, a Navy 
destroyer failed to sink it with demolition charges and 69 five-inch 
shells, so a submarine downed it with a torpedo estimated by a TV reporter 
to cost about a million dollars.  As of March 12, 285 of 640 birds found 
dead were clearly oiled, and 172 live, oiled, birds (including Snowy 
Plovers) were captured and treated.  However, the total number of oiled 
wildlife will not be precisely known as some dispersed or were not 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.28                          LOONS-GREBES

      Eight dead COMMON LOONS were found along 4.6 mi of beach at Thiel 
Creek in February; the previous February high since 1977 was one, and none 
were found in most years (R&SLo; S&DB).  On 3/5, SK caught an oiled 
LOON SP. at Coquille Point, which is at the eastern edge of Sallys Bend.

      A RED-NECKED GREBE at the marsh/creek west of the Toledo Dairy Queen 
along HWY 20 on 3/2 (BLl) is a  surprise for that location.  Our latest 
EARED GREBE was near the Newport Bayfront on 3/14 (KM).

      Separating WESTERN GREBES from CLARK'S GREBES can be challenging.  On 
3/14, KM saw two Westerns together in the Yaquina River near Toledo.  One 
was a typical Western with dark back, dark sides, dark of head extending 
about two eye diameters below the eye, and a mostly dull yellow bill.  The 
other had a dark back, relatively light sides, the eye exactly on the line 
between light and dark, and a mostly brilliant yellow-orange bill.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.29                       ALBATROSSES-EGRETS

      Satellite transmitters have been placed on BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES 
nesting on an island west of Hawaii, and they have discovered that at 
least one visited Oregon in early March (fide GG).  It will be interesting 
to see if nesting albatrosses regularly visit our coast.

      During the 3/20 pelagic trip from Depoe Bay, MH, GG, & others saw an 
immature Black-footed Albatross, nine SOOTY SHEARWATERS, one 
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER, and eight NORTHERN FULMARS (one light, 1-2 dark, 
and the rest intermediate).  See the following address for all their 
results and pelagic trip info: 

      AMERICAN BITTERNS are rarely discovered here, although they may be 
regulars, so it was a welcome surprise to flush one at the Beaver Creek 
Log Pond during the 3/20 YB&N field trip (PR et al.).  We have so few 
records that it is not possible to tell if this bird is a spring arrival.

      GREAT EGRETS seem to be scarcer this winter than most; our only 
report this month was of two at Beaver Creek on 3/8 (LO).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.30                            WATERFOWL

      Bayview Pasture can be good for waterfowl and other birds.  On 3/7 at 
2 AMERICAN CROWS; at least one of the Mew and one of the Ring-billed Gulls 
were oiled.

      WOOD DUCKS can overwinter, especially where fed, but they are mostly 
migratory.  Apparent arrivals include two pairs at the middle pond of 
Newport Reservoir on 3/14 (SG), and two males near BW's Tidewater home on 

      One male CINNAMON TEAL remained at south Beaver Creek on 3/7 (KM), 
and our latest EURASIAN WIGEON was near River Bend in Yaquina Bay on 3/7 

      We don't get many HARLEQUIN DUCK reports from the Otter Rock area, 
but on 3/6&7, SD found as many as seven below the Inn at Otter Crest--that 
is more than has been documented there before.  We have few Harlequin 
records from Alsea Bay, but a female was on a log near the Port Docks on 
3/7 (KM).  At Seal Rocks, where they are regulars, there were five males 
and two females on 3/21 (KM).

      Newport Reservoir does not seem to be used a lot by waterfowl; a male 
RING-NECKED DUCK was at the middle pond and 10 BUFFLEHEADS were on all 
three ponds on 3/14 (SG).

      One OLDSQUAW lingered at YBSJ on 3/8 (LO).

      This is the first winter in which HOODED MERGANSERS have regularly 
been found in lower Yaquina Bay; six females/immatures were at King Slough 
on 3/7 (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.31                             SCOTERS

      Several SURF SCOTERS were perched on a log near the Alsea Bay Port 
Docks on 3/7--at least one was definitely oiled (KM).  Seven scoters 
flopping around on the beach at Seal Rocks on 3/14 (SaL) may have also 
been affected by oil.

      The relative abundance of scoter species depends upon where you go.  
On 3/14, 80% of 460 scoters on the water north of Yaquina Head were BLACK 
SCOTERS, and the remainder were SURF SCOTERS, but all of the 1,240 scoters 
on the water west of the surf zone at Yaquina Head were WHITE-WINGED 
SCOTERS (KM).  The same day at Seal Rocks and south of the Yachats River, 
about 50-60% of the 270-280 scoters on the water were White-wings, and the 
remainder were Surfs; north of the Yachats, 20 Black Scoters were with 
930 scoters, 90% of which were White-wings, and the rest were Surfs (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.32                           BALD EAGLE

      There have been many BALD EAGLE reports; the most unusual sighting 
was of two adults and three immatures feeding on something on the beach 
near the HMSC Nature Trail on 3/2 (JL); that is the largest concentration 
that I am aware of for Lincoln County.  

      Because of the concern about the nesting of eagles at Beaver Creek, 
it is significant to note sightings in the Ona Beach area.  An adult 
hovered over the surf at the mouth of Beaver Creek on 3/3 (SK), an 
immature perched in a tree overlooking the State Park on 3/3 (LO), a pair 
of adults were in the same tree on 3/4 (LO), an adult flew over the YB&N 
field trip at Ona on 3/20 (PR et al.), an adult flew along the Wandemere 
beach on 3/24 (RC), and an immature flew by Wandemere on 3/26 (RC).  An 
adult also flew over Thiel Creek on 3/14 & 15 (BH).  
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.33                      OTHER RAPTORS-ALCIDS

      A male NORTHERN HARRIER continued at the HMSC on 3/14 (KM), and a 
male harrier flew over a RED-TAILED HAWK east of the Newport Airport on 
3/23 (BLo).

      Our latest report of the WHITE-TAILED KITE in South Beach was for one 
at the HMSC on 2/24 (JL); the spring's first OSPREY carried a fish in it 
talons as it circled over the ocean by Newport on 3/19 (RB).

      An immature SHARP-SHINNED HAWK chased siskins and juncos at RC's 
Wandemere feeder until at least 3/18, where piles of feathers suggest that 
it has also fed on VARIED THRUSHES.

      One AMERICAN KESTREL was near Logsden on 3/5 (BLl).  A PEREGRINE 
FALCON cruised over the HMSC on 3/13 (JL); another was flying a few 
hundred feet below the lookout at Otter Crest on 3/20 (WH & CC).

      Newspaper reports indicate that many oiled SANDERLINGS were observed 
along ocean shores the first week of March.  Elsewhere, on 3/7, KM found 
three DOWITCHERS at south Beaver Creek, 70 DUNLIN at Sallys Bend, 600 
peeps (50% Western Sandpipers/Least Sandpipers, 25% Sanderlings, and 25% 
Dunlin) at Idaho Flats, and one SPOTTED SANDPIPER showing some small spots 
on its posterior underparts at Parker Slough, Yaquina Bay.  450 peeps were 
at Idaho Flats on 3/14 (KM).  A WHIMBREL gracing Boiler Bay on 3/28 (JK) 
is probably a spring migrant as we have only had one report of a Whimbrel 
this winter.

      Two SABINE'S GULLS and 157 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were spotted 
during the 3/20 pelagic trip from Depoe Bay (MH, GG, & others).

      A good nearshore find for March was a RHINOCEROS AUKLET at the YBSJ 
about 500 yards from the Bridge on 3/6 (JE).  The first PIGEON GUILLEMOT 
in breeding plumage was noted near the HMSC on 3/7 (KM); eight Rhinos and 
five Pigeon Guillemots were seen offshore during the 3/20 pelagic trip 
(MH, GG, & others).

      Two MARBLED MURRELETS were at the YBSJ on 3/6--one was obviously 
oiled (JE).  Others flew over SS's Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) home at 
daybreak on 3/10.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.34                         PIGEONS-RAVENS

      Our first BAND-TAILED PIGEON visited Coquille Point on 3/4 (J&LM), 
and another was sharing seed with a pair of MALLARDS under BW's Tidewater 
feeder on 3/12.

      Our only owl was a WESTERN SCREECH-OWL calling on 2/18 at Beaver 
Creek (LO).

      RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD co-existed along with ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS at 
various areas around Yachats during 3/2 to at least 3/16 (BB; J&JG) and 
also at Wandemere to at least 3/18, when a male Anna's was singing atop a 
shore pine (RC).  The first female Rufous of spring was at Neskowin on 3/9 
(SS).  Many observers commented on large numbers of Rufous' in early March 
at Yachats (BB), Waldport (RL), Tidewater (BW), Newport (SK), and 
Wandemere (RC).  Most departed Newport by the end of the month (SK) 
and Wandemere by 3/18 (RC), but there were still enough around RC's 
feeders in late March that they needed to be refilled about every two 

      The spring's first reported VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW was spotted at lower 
Beaver Creek on 3/5 (LO).

      A GRAY JAY perched atop a spruce near Neskowin on 3/1 (SS).  On 3/20, 
AMERICAN CROWS were carrying 2 ft long sticks into the trees at Wandemere, 
and, on 3/24, one of a pair preened the other's head and neck while they 
perched on a utility wire (RC).

      In early March, a pair of COMMON RAVENS often perched together at 
Seabrook Lane (D&BM).  DM writes: "We see a pair of ravens grooming each 
other.  Actually, one seems like a taker.  It grunts, ducks its head.  The 
other responds by poking through the first one's neck feathers.  But the 
second one rarely gets like attention from the taker."
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.35                        BLUEBIRDS-SISKINS

      During 3/2-6, WESTERN BLUEBIRDS were seen and heard flying around 
Thornton Creek (DF).  Several were also flying over and calling east of 
Toledo on 3/5, and three more flew over an area near Siletz on 3/14 (CP).

      A singing RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET graced north Toledo on 3/18 (PD).

      VARIED THRUSHES remained until at least 3/18 at Tidewater (DO; BW) 
and Seabrook Lane, where one was often singing his "steam whistle" song 

      Flocks of AMERICAN ROBINS were first noted in late February at some 
coastal sites, and a flock of 50 or so were at north Toledo on 3/4 (PD).  
The robin with a white breast reported in last month's Sandpiper was still 
along the Lane County coast on 3/7; this time it was in a yard across from 
Stonefield Beach along with normally plumaged robins (PS).

      Some days are better than others for seeing wintering warblers--on 
PD's Toledo backyard.  On 3/23, four Townsend's were coming to a Lincoln 
City suet feeder (G&PP).

      WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were scarce this winter, but an adult was 
found behind the Toledo Texaco station on Jan. 30 (PD).  The possible 
Slate-colored X Pink-sided DARK-EYED JUNCO continued to linger at 
Wandemere until at least 3/18 (RC).

      One WESTERN MEADOWLARK was along the HMSC Nature Trail on 3/2 (BLl), 
and six were along the YBSJ on 3/8 (LO).

      RED CROSSBILLS have been rare this winter, but three were at a 
Lincoln City feeder on 3/23 (G&PP).  PINE SISKIN numbers at Wandemere have 
resurged on about 3/19, with about 30 or so (RC).

      OBSERVERS.  Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Sara & Don Brown, Rebecca Cheek, 
Carol Cole, Pat Dickey, Steve Dowlan, Jesse Ellis, Darrel Faxon, 
Jim & Janice Gerdemann, Greg Gillson, Steve Gobat, Bill Hanshumaker, 
Wayne Hoffman, Matt Hunter, Jason Kirchner, Steve Kupillas, 
Janet Lamberson, Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Sally Lockyear (SaL), 
Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Roy Lowe, John & Linda Mackown, 
Kathy Merrifield, Dawson and Bobby Mohler, Dorothy Olson, Laimons Osis, 
Gary & Priscilla Patterson (Lincoln City Backyard Bird Shop), Chuck Philo, 
Paul Reed, Shirley Schwartz, Paul Sullivan, and Bunny Wright.

99.36     April 1999 Sandpiper 20(4)

      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, 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, 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 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach along HWY 101, 
YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.37                         LOONS-TUBENOSES

      During a 2.5 hr seawatch at Boiler Bay during the morning of 4/28, 
PP observed at least a thousand PACIFIC LOONS migrating north.  Other 
observers also saw many loons heading north as is usual for this time of 

      An intermediate WESTERN GREBE/CLARK'S GREBE rafted with 10 Western's 
in upper Alsea Bay on 4/4 (JS).  Four EARED GREBES were at Idaho Flats on 
3/28; one in breeding plumage just upstream of River Bend on 4/11 (KM)  
may be the furthest upstream that one has been found in Yaquina Bay.

      Tubenose numbers were down for most species during the 4/17 
Bird Guide pelagic trip from Depoe Bay (GGl, MHu, & others).  The absence 
of Northern Fulmars was unusual, but three BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES, two 
following for all results and pelagic trip info: 

      GGl reports that the Albatross Project has found that some 
radio-tagged albatrosses breeding about 2,700 mi away apparently 
regularly forage along the Oregon Coast; for more information, see

      One FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL was walking on water while trying to 
fly into a strong wind at the YBSJ on 3/28 (KM).  16 were noted as 
scattered individuals during PP's 4/28 Boiler Bay seawatch.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.38                        CORMORANTS-EGRETS

      Flocks of 13 and 45 faux geese (DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS) were 
migrating north at about 9:45-10 AM on 4/11 just offshore of SW Newport 
(RB); KM saw another flock of 17 flying north at about the same time 
approximately 0.15 mi inland over Newport.  KM also spotted six flying 
north over Colony Rock at Yaquina Head on 4/18.  Since they fly in "V" or 
line formations like geese, it would be easy to mistake them for geese.  
Such spring flights have been seen before, but they do not appear to be as 
common as southerly flights in fall.

      GREEN HERONS don't receive much attention--I can't remember a single 
record this winter, though a few have been reported in the past.  Our 
first spring report was at Wandemere on 4/4 (RC).

      1-3 GREAT EGRETS were regularly seen at Beaver Creek in April (LO; 
JS; KM; MC, DBo, GGb, & LG; DF).  One that possibly was one of the Beaver 
Creek egrets was at Bayview Pasture between south Beaver Creek and Alsea 
Bay on 3/28 (KM), and probably a different one was at Sallys Bend on 4/11 
and at Idaho Flats on 4/18 (KM).  
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.39                            WATERFOWL

      During at least 7-8 AM on April 25 at the YBSJ, many waterfowl were 
migrating, with CP seeing many flocks of up to 300 BRANT flying north.  It 
was a misty morning, and perhaps that caused many birds to hug the shore 
more closely than they normally would.  At 1 PM, when the cloud cover was 
still low, a flock of at least 150 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE passed over 
Newport (RL).

      Migration can make for disparate companions.  During his 4/25 
observations, CP saw two GREEN-WINGED TEAL flying north with many 
shorebirds.  The shorebirds decided to stop and landed on the sand beach, 
and the teal circled a couple of times as if they were attracted to join 
their traveling buddies.  But teal are not shorebirds and don't rest on 
beaches, and they finally flew off on their own.

      Beaver Creek was a favored site for waterfowl this month.  On 3/28, 
NORTHERN SHOVELERS were noted (KM).  On 3/31, 146 Green-winged Teal, 
143 mostly paired Mallards, and 32 HOODED MERGANSERS were observed (LO).  
On 4/4, there were at least 30 RING-NECKED DUCKS, a RUDDY DUCK, and a few 
Hooded Mergansers (JS).  On 4/17, LO noted three pairs of CINNAMON TEAL 
and one WESTERN CANADA GOOSE; perhaps, this is the year Canadas will start 
nesting there.  On 4/18, one immature and 14 adult white-fronted geese and 
12 Western Canada Geese were at south Beaver Creek (KM).  On 4/28, at 
least 16 Green-winged Teal remained, and the first downy Mallard was 
spotted (LO).  On 4/29, several hundred white-fronteds flew over LO's 
north Beaver Creek home.

      A beautiful male MANDARIN DUCK joined 15 WOOD DUCKS at A & FR's 
Devils Lake feed station on 4/3 & 5. The Mandarin is most likely an 
escapee from captivity.

      A pair of NORTHERN SHOVELERS was unanticipated in the channel at the 
YBSJ on 4/23 (RB).  More expected there were a male and two female 
OLDSQUAWS on 3/29 (JK) and single Oldsquaws on 4/3 (JG, JJ, & GL) and 
4/10 (MHu).

      Continuing their wintering pattern, 320 scoters northeast of 
Yaquina Head on 4/11 were 75% BLACK SCOTERS, 20% SURF SCOTERS, and 
5% WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS; but west of the surf line, there were 
245 White-winged Scoters (KM).  Scoter abundance declined greatly there by 
4/18, when there were only 60 scoters northeast of the Head and 60 west of 
the surf, but species composition was about the same (KM).

      Our latest COMMON GOLDENEYE was at Sallys Bend on 4/11 (KM).

      A female HOODED MERGANSER appears to be nesting in a Wood Duck box by 
a 40 x 40 ft pond at Seal Rocks on 4/13; in past years, EUROPEAN STARLINGS 
nested in the box (ML).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.40                             RAPTORS

      In recent years, BALD EAGLES have started hunting COMMON MURRES after 
they land on their nesting rocks at Yaquina Head.  Eagles were noted there 
during eight days in March (BLM), and, this month, two UW researchers saw 
an adult eagle fly in and carry off one murre in each talon (fide RC & 
DP).  A pair of adults was seen on the Beaver Creek nest in late March 
(TK & BBu, fide LO), and a single adult was flying in the area on 4/8 
(RC).  Inland records are uncommon, so an adult at Thornton Creek on 4/30 
is noteworthy (DF).  An adult was often at Yachats Bay in April (BBa), and 
a subadult caught a fish in Yaquina Bay near Oregon Oyster on 4/14 (CP).  
They were also noted at other areas where they have become fairly common.

      An unlucky OSPREY shook its feathers after diving and catching a 
fish at Idaho Flats on 4/30--the lucky fish escaped (JL).  Two were 
hovering and calling at Alsea Bay on 4/18 (KM) and over Wandemere 
on 4/29 (RC)--perhaps they will nest in those areas.

      A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK a mile north of the town of Siletz on 4/11 (CP) 
is the only one reported this season.

      Two NORTHERN HARRIERS were flying over the dunes south of the YBSJ on 
4/30 (JW), at least one of them was an adult male (RB).  Maybe they will 
nest in the area.

      The wintering SHARP-SHINNED HAWK at RC's Wandemere feeder continued 
to forage for small birds through 4/25.  But others appear to be 
migratory, and one flew north over the Yaquina channel west of Oregon 
Oyster on 4/14 (CP).  Perhaps it was migrating north along the north/south 
ridges that are interrupted by Yaquina Estuary.  Their rate of passage is 
only a few per hour, so their migration would be easy to miss.

      Our only COOPER'S HAWK flew over the HMSC on 4/15 (SK).

      A PEREGRINE FALCON was spotted at Yaquina Head during three days in 
March (BLM), another was a half mile off Depoe Bay during the 4/17 pelagic 
trip (GGl, MHu, & others), one flushed 35 GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Beaver 
Creek on 4/18 (KM), and one buzzed a pair of Mallards at Idaho Flats on 
4/29 (BC).  A MERLIN flew west from shore at Boiler Bay and disappeared 
about a mile offshore on 4/17 (GGl & TS), and another was at Idaho Flats 
on 4/25 (DF).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.41                        CHUKAR-SHOREBIRDS

      A CHUKAR at RO's neighbor home in Newport on 4/28 is out of place and 
undoubtedly an escapee from captivity.  MOUNTAIN QUAIL are residents, 
though not often seen, and one was at Seal Rocks on 4/19 (SaL & KH).

      On 3/28, a WILLET was near the HMSC, and 400 peeps of which about 
and 15% were DUNLIN were at Idaho Flats (KM).  During his 4/25 morning 
observation at the YBSJ, CP saw many RED KNOTS, DOWITCHERS, and 
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS heading north.  That afternoon, PSu also saw five 
Red Knots on the ocean beach at Newport's Shilo Inn, along with DUNLIN, 
Sanderlings, WHIMBREL, dowitchers, and Western Sandpipers.  That evening, 
PSu saw 10 Red Knots, four MARBLED GODWITS, 45 Whimbrels, and 265 
dowitchers at Idaho Flats.

      A flock of 67 WHIMBRELS was unexpected on the fairway at the 17th 
hole of the Salishan Golf Course on 4/29 (DP, EN, & MHo).  The very 
capable golfers restrained themselves and did not eagle, since an eagle 
would have spooked the birds!

      Sometimes we forget that shorebirds are also at freshwater marshes.  
GREATER YELLOWLEGS were noted several times at Beaver Creek on 3/28 (KM) 
and in April (JS; LO; MC, DBo, GGb, & LG), with a maximum count of 42 with 
a small flock of peeps on 4/28 (LO).

      A COMMON SNIPE winnowing at north Beaver Creek by Keady's on 4/25 
(DF) is a surprise because they are not known to nest there.  Winnowing 
has been most often noted at Lost Prairie, a mountain marsh in northeast 
Lincoln County. 

      220 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and one RED PHALAROPE were enumerated 
during the 4/17 pelagic trip (GGl, MHu, & others), and at least 
500 Red-necks were estimated during PP's 4/28 Boiler Bay seawatch.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.42                           GULLS-TERNS

      A SABINE'S GULL in nearly complete summer adult plumage was swimming 
along the Newport Bayfront on 4/3 (JG, JJ, & GL); probably the same bird 
was spotted the next day at the YBSJ (SaL & KH).  Six were also counted 
during the 4/17 pelagic trip (GGl, MHu, & others).

      BONAPARTE'S GULLS arrived at Wandemere on 3/31 (RC), and many have 
been spotted flying north alongshore since then.  The width of their 
migration appears to be broad because many were flying at least 600 ft 
east of the beach line at Wandemere on 4/14 (RC) and 236 were seen mostly 
farther than 15 mi offshore during the 4/17 pelagic trip (GGl, MHu, & 
others).  150 were also counted at Boiler Bay during PP's 4/28 seawatch.  
Offshore on 4/17, about 75% of the Bonaparte's were adults with black 
hoods (GGl, MHu, & others).

      An immature GLAUCOUS GULL was at Newport's Nye Beach on 4/24 (RO), 
and  a first-summer Glaucous Gull was also at Idaho Flats on 5/1 (DF).  
A possible HERRING GULL X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL was at the Yachats River 
mouth on 3/28 and 4/18 (KM).

      A few BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were at Rocky Creek Wayside (Whale 
Cove) on 4/3 (JG, JJ, & GL) and Boiler Bay on 4/10 (MHu).  Over 800 were 
mostly moving north in small flocks of 30 or less during PP's 4/28 Boiler 
Bay seawatch.  Inshore, our only report was of one at the YBSJ on 3/28 

      Our first CASPIAN TERN visited Seal Rocks on 3/31 (LO); that night at 
least three were calling as they circled above the Newport bayfront during 
the full moon (RB).  The peak count was 48 at Idaho Flats on 4/18 (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.43                             ALCIDS

      After the New Carissa oil spill, alcids, some of which were obviously 
oiled, found in March along the 4.6 mi of Thiel Creek patrolled by B&SLo, 
S&DB, & LO included two rare PARAKEET AUKLETS, 13 RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, two 

      Six MARBLED MURRELETS were at Seal Rocks on 4/11 (KM).  During his 
4/28 Boiler Bay seawatch, PP saw 12 Rhinos (including a pair close enough 
to see face plumes), 5 Cassin's Auklets, one TUFTED PUFFIN, and four 
Marbled Murrelets.

      At Yaquina Head on 4/18 in different samples of 120, 110, and 100 
Common Murres, KM saw five, two, and one murres, respectively, that were 
not in breeding plumage; on 4/11, she also saw at least three such murres.  
These were probably subadults because older murres molt earlier into and 
remain longer in breeding plumage than subadults.

      At Yaquina Head on 4/18, KM counted 274 PIGEON GUILLEMOTS and four 
Rhinoceros Auklets on the water; all were in breeding plumage.  KM has 
also detected similar large concentrations of PG's there in past springs.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.44                    BEACHED TERRESTRIAL BIRDS

      In mid-April, DL & KC found several dead beached  birds of several 
terrestrial species (including a YELLOW-SHAFTED NORTHERN FLICKER) along a 
Coos County beach.  As DL points out, these were possibly birds migrating 
out over the ocean.  However, this does not appear to have been a 
wide-spread phenomenon, as BL reports that the only terrestrial birds that 
he and others (SLo, S&DB, & LO) have found along their 4.6 mi of beach at 
Thiel Creek in March-April was a VARIED THRUSH in mid-April.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.45                          OWLS-SWALLOWS

      WESTERN SCREECH-OWLS were calling at Beverly Beach State Park on 3/31 
(EH) and at Beaver Creek on 4/17 (LO).

      VAUX'S SWIFTS first appeared on 4/22 at CP's chimney in Toledo where 
they have nested for several years.  Three were also seen in Newport on 
4/24, where they have also nested in a chimney (RO).

      No reports of ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS were received, and they have been 
absent at Seabrook Lane for over a month (D&BM).

      A pair of BELTED KINGFISHERS have been around a cliff on SE Fogarty 
Creek in Newport in mid- to late April; there is a cavity in the cliff 
about 6 ft from the top that either the kingfishers or a pair of 
ORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS seen on 4/28 may be using (SK).

      A female YELLOW-SHAFTED NORTHERN FLICKER visited CP's Toledo home on 
3/31, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER was calling at Beaver Creek on 4/28 (LO).

      A SAY'S PHOEBE was noted at Yaquina Head on 3/20, 30 & 31 (BLM).  DF 
discovered and reported another one at Thornton Creek on 4/8; JS & PSa 
visited the next day and also saw it.

      Our first BARN SWALLOW returned on 4/17 to Ona Beach State Park (LO) 
and Lincoln City (DH), and the same day the first Rough-winged Swallows 
and CLIFF SWALLOWS were also noted at Beaver Creek (LO).  A PURPLE MARTIN 
was heard at the HMSC on 4/30 (RB).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.46                        CORVIDS-THRASHER

      The WESTERN SCRUB-JAY near CP's Toledo home continued to linger until 
at least 3/31, and the first at BBa's Yachats feeder arrived on 4/16 and 
remained about a week.  A GRAY JAY visited Thornton Creek on 4/24 (DF), 
and another was a surprise at BBa's feeder on 4/30.

      AMERICAN CROWS are a continuing source of amazement.  On 4/5, RC 
writes:  "As I was walking to my vehicle in the Oregon Coast Aquarium 
parking lot, a crow flew past carrying what looked like a saltine cracker 
that it must have cadged from some visitor.  The crow went straight to a 
shallow puddle on the pavement, where it alighted and dropped the cracker 
into the water.  After a pause of a few seconds, the crow pecked the 
cracker, and finding it sufficiently softened, proceeded to break it up 
and eat it, washed down with several sips from the puddle." 

      At Wandemere, about a dozen STELLER'S JAYS were present at feeders 
this winter, but most have dispersed or migrated by 4/4 (RC).

      A CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE was removing wood chips from a cavity in 
an alder near Neskowin (Tillamook Co.) on 4/27 & 28 (SS).

      Our latest HERMIT THRUSH was at Yachats on 4/19 (SaL & KH).  VARIED 
THRUSHES seem to be lingering longer than normal at nonnesting areas and 
some have been singing where they have not been heard before, such as at 
Seabrook Lane on 3/16 & 17 (D&BM); seven were still at Thiel Creek on 4/23 
(BLo), and they finally departed Wandemere on 4/25 (RC).

      SaL saw a SAGE THRASHER along the HMSC Nature Trail on 4/22.  DF 
rediscovered and publicized it on 4/26, so it was also seen the next day 
(RL) and two days later (JS).  We have 4-5 records--all in spring near the 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.47                          SHRIKE-JUNCOS

      LO spotted a NORTHERN SHRIKE at Beaver Creek on 3/31, about a month 
after DF discovered it.  COMMON YELLOWTHROATS had arrived at Beaver Creek 
by 4/17 (LO), and WILSON'S WARBLERS were first discerned at Alsea Bay on 
4/18 (KM).

      The CLAY-COLORED SPARROW reported in December at DF's Thornton Creek 
home may have overwintered as one was also spotted there on 4/9 & 30.

      Although GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS overwinter at some sites, they are a 
spring and/or fall migrant at many sites; they arrived with a flourish in 
mid- to late April at Tidewater (BW) and Waldport (JW).

      A singing "gambelii" form of WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was at Beaver 
Creek on 4/3; that form does not nest here (JG, JJ, & GL).  Since this was 
about the time many White-crowns appeared, the gambelii could have been 
migrating rather than wintering.

      LINCOLN'S SPARROWS are not reported often, and the only recent ones 
included one caught at Beaver Creek by a cat that displayed it to LO on 
4/24 and another one along the HMSC Nature Trail on 4/28 (JS).  Our 
records indicate that they have been most frequently found in April.

      FOX SPARROWS were singing at Seabrook Lane on 4/6 (D&BM), and our 
latest sighting was at Wandemere on 4/29 (RC).

      A flock of 50 SAVANNAH SPARROWS was at a park in north Lincoln City 
on 4/17 but not the next day (DH).  15 were mostly scattered south of the 
YBSJ on 4/28 (JS).

      A junco that looked like a WHITE-WINGED DARK-EYED JUNCO visited 
Yachats the last week of March (SaL & KH), but White-wings are primarily 
in Montana and the Dakotas and distinguishing subspecies can be difficult.
      A SLATE-COLORED DARK-EYED JUNCO arrived at Newton Hill between Toledo 
and Siletz on 4/17--one seems to show up there each April (JL).  The 
possible SLATE-COLORED X PINK-SIDED DARK-EYED JUNCO was still at Wandemere 
until at least 4/22 (RC).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.48                       LONGSPUR-GOLDFINCH

      DF found a LAPLAND LONGSPUR in breeding plumage at a gravel parking 
lot at the HMSC on 4/18; they are most frequent in October.

      RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS have different patterns of seasonality.  They 
arrived near CP's Toledo home on 3/31, where they are spring migrants, but 
at Beaver Creek, they can be found throughout the year and at some 
sites they arrive in spring and depart by July. 

      The spring's first BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS returned to Wandemere on 
4/19 (RC) and a few days later to Tidewater (BW).  Although a few PURPLE 
FINCHES overwinter, most are migratory, with an arrival this year on 4/5 
at Wandemere (RC).

      On 4/25, 17 RED CROSSBILLS were at CP's Toledo feeder, where they 
have been absent for a long time, and, on 4/24, RO saw a flock of seven 
fly over his Newport home.  The seasonality of crossbills is erratic; they 
can vary in what season(s) they are present from year to year.

      Although a few AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES overwinter along the coast strip, 
they are mostly summer residents, and their arrival this year was first 
noted on 4/20 in Toledo (CP) and a few days later at Seal Rocks (J&ST).

      OBSERVERS.  Betty Bahn (BBa), Range Bayer, Don Boucher (DBo), 
Sara & Don Brown, Bob Buckman (BBu), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at 
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Kathy Castelein, Rebecca Cheek, 
Barbara Combs, Marcia Cutler, Darrel Faxon, Gary Gibson (GGb), 
Jeff Gilligan, Greg Gillson (GGl), Leslie Green, Dan Heyerly, 
Michele Holman (MHo), Eric Horvath, Karen Houston, Matt Hunter (MHu), 
Jim Johnson, Terry Keady, Jason Kirchner, Steve Kupillas, Janet Lamberson, 
Murphy Landels, Dave Lauten, Gerard Lillie, Sally Lockyear (SaL), 
Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Roy Lowe, Kathy Merrifield, 
Dawson & Bobby Mohler, Eric Nelson, Robert Olson, Laimons Osis, 
Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Dave Pitkin, Al & Fran Rice, 
Paul Salaman (PSa), Shirley Schwartz, Tim Shelmerdine, Jamie Simmons, 
Paul Sullivan (PSu), Jim & Shirley Thielen, Jean Weakland, Bunny Wright.

99.49      May 1999 Sandpiper 20(5)

      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, Eckman Slough=slough between Alsea Bay and Eckman 
Lake, 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, Seabrook Lane=residential area just south of Waldport near 
HWY 101, about 3.5 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge, Thornton Creek=creek 
between Toledo and Eddyville, Wandemere=about 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach 
along HWY 101, YBSJ=Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.50                          LOONS-GREBES

      1-2 COMMON LOONS in nonbreeding plumage lingered to at least 6/4 at 
Yaquina Bay where a few nonbreeders sometimes oversummer (RB).  

      365 PACIFIC LOONS flew north during one of KM's 5 min afternoon 
seawatches at Yachats on 4/25.  They can be numerous even into 
June--200+ were viewed during PP's hour-long seawatch on 5/25 at Boiler 

      MH discovered a CLARK'S GREBE with six WESTERN GREBES at Yaquina Bay 
on 5/22.  Our latest RED-NECKED GREBE was near the HMSC on 5/5 (DPe; PP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.51                    FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS

      FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS are generally rare onshore and have only 
been previously common during the springs of 1985 and 1995.  But they 
continued their unusual onshore display this spring with several off the 
mouth of D River in Lincoln City and off Beverly Beach north of Yaquina 
Head on 4/30 (TJ & others), up to 12 at Boiler Bay on 5/1 (TJ & others), 
5/2 (RR), 5/4 (MK), 5/5 & 7 (PP); about a dozen around the offshore buoy 
at Depoe Bay on 5/1 (TJ & others), 1-12 near the HMSC on 5/4 (RO), 5/5 
(CC; DPe; AM; TS; PP), and 5/7 (PP); 9-12 at the YBSJ on 5/7 (RB), and two 
at Sallys Bend on 5/9 (KM).  They were as far inland as the east side of 
Sallys Bend on 5/5 (PP).

      The most detailed Fork-tail observations were by PP on 5/4 at Boiler 
Bay; he noted: "From 7 to 8 AM there were as many as 30-35 Fork-tails in 
view at any one time.  They were mostly close in, and, although some were 
circling and zigzagging, the majority (I'd say 90%) were obviously moving 
south.  I was able to follow several individual birds, and they all ended 
up out of sight to the south.  There was a steady stream of birds over the 
breakers during that whole hour.  After 8 AM, they seemed to be in more 
reduced numbers, and I saw a greater percentage flying north, so I wasn't 
sure if I was seeing the same birds or not, but there were still about 
2-3 per minute passing.  A conservative estimate for the 2.75 hr I was 
there would be 300+ Fork-tails."

      During pelagic trips when Fork-tails are more to be expected, a few 
were a mile off Yaquina Head on 4/29 (BP), and many were at 600 fathoms 
off the Oregon central coast in mid-May (SK).  But none were observed 
during the 5/22 pelagic out of Depoe Bay (MH, GG, & others; [see for all results and pelagic 
trip info]).

      Unfortunately, the Fork-tailed onshore showing appears to have been a 
result of stress.  Since 1977, BLo has been conducting or coordinating 
beached bird walks along 4.6 mi of beach near Thiel Creek; this May 
appears to have been a month of great Fork-tailed mortality as 29 were 
found dead (B&SLo, S&DB, LO).  This is extraordinarily high as in most 
years the total is five or less; the two exceptions were in, you guessed 
it, the good onshore showing years of 1985 and 1995 when the yearly totals 
were 18 and 12, respectively.

      Perhaps, Fork-tails were stressed as a result of low offshore food 
availability.  Although May weather was often cold and wet, there did not 
seem to be any storms with strong onshore winds that could have resulted 
in their being blown onshore, like what sometimes happens during winter.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.52                         OTHER TUBENOSES

      Even rarer onshore were two LEACH'S STORM-PETRELS at Boiler Bay on 
5/7 (PP).  Four dead Leach's were also found in May along Thiel Creek 
beaches (B&SLo, S&DB, LO); this is also higher than normal as generally 
none are found during a year, although four were also counted in May 1996.

      Several BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES and one LAYSAN ALBATROSS were at 600 
fathoms off the Oregon central coast in mid-May (SK), and 17 Black-footeds 
were off Depoe Bay during the 5/22 pelagic (MH, GG, & others).  Three 
beached Black-footed and one Laysan Albatross were dead along Thiel Creek 
beaches in May (B&SLo, S&DB, LO); generally, 0-3 are found yearly.

      Thousands of SOOTY SHEARWATERS were noted during a ship cruise off 
Yaquina Head on 4/29 (BP), and one was near Depoe Bay on 5/1 (TJ) and at 
Boiler Bay on 5/4 (MK; PP) and 5/29 (TB & others).  50 Sooties and seven 
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS were noted during the 5/22 Depoe Bay pelagic trip 
(MH, GG, & others).  The six dead Sooties beached near Thiel Creek in May 
(B&SLo, S&DB, LO) are about normal.

      Two NORTHERN FULMARS were beached in May near Thiel Creek (B&SLo, 
S&DB, LO), and this is more than May's in all years except 1983, 1985, and 
1986 when 2-4 were found.  But no fulmars were noticed during the 5/22 
Depoe Bay pelagic trip (MH, GG, & others).

      Although more than normal Leach's Storm-Petrels, albatrosses, and 
fulmars were found beached in May, their numbers were low, so it is 
unclear if they suffered greater mortality or if other factors such as 
ocean currents were more favorable to deposit these dead birds this May.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.53                      BROWN PELICAN-BITTERN

      The first two BROWN PELICANS appeared at Yaquina Head on 4/20 (BLM).  
Other sightings include one on 5/4 at YBSJ (MK) and Yaquina Head (BLM), 
three at YBSJ on 5/7 (RB) and 5/8 (JGr), two at Seal Rocks on 5/12 (LO), 
five near Wandemere on 5/23 (RC & WN), and 3-9 almost daily at Yaquina 
Head during 5/24-29 (BLM).  The high count was 50+ during PP's 5/25 Boiler 
Bay seawatch.

      A flock of 20 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS migrated north over Newport 
on 5/20 (RB).

      A GREAT EGRET was still at Yaquina Bay on 5/8 (BC) and 5/26 (JL) and 
at Beaver Creek on 5/14 (LO).  This is the second year in a row where we 
have had multiple records during the nesting season--but are they nesting? 
      AMERICAN BITTERNS are stealthy and are not often reported, but DPi 
discovered a nest with five eggs at Neskowin Marsh (Tillamook Co.) on 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.54                            WATERFOWL

      During 30 min of seawatches in the early afternoon of 4/25, KM saw at 
least 290 BRANT heading north.  25 Brant were also noted at Boiler Bay on 
5/25 (PP), and four were standing on the beach at the mouth of the D River 
in Lincoln City on 5/28 (PP).  On 5/30, MR saw six BRANT on a sandbar at 
the mouth of the Yachats River, one of which appeared to be a 
white-bellied (Atlantic) Brant.  Since a Black Brant at the YBSJ on 5/14 
was already molting (RB), it is unclear if the apparent Atlantic Brant was 
a molting Black Brant.

      Goslings for the introduced WESTERN CANADA GOOSE were first noted at 
Eckman Slough on 5/4 (RL), and a pair of adults with seven downy goslings 
was spotted at Nute Slough (freshwater slough at about mile 9.3 along 
north Yaquina Bay Road) on 5/9 (KM).  Adult Western Canada Geese (failed 
breeders or nonbreeders ??) have in recent years regularly made northerly 
flights in late May.  The first  flock of 16 flew by Yaquina Head on 5/17 
(BLM), and RL spotted another flock over the HMSC the next day.  But the 
biggest movement appeared to be during 5/21-22, when several flocks flew 
over Nestucca Bay (Tillamook Co.), Newport, Yaquina Head, and Lincoln City 
(RB; RL; SG).  And on 5/26 & 27, RC also noted lots of Canadas flying 
north over Wandemere.

      35 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE passed Yachats on 4/25 (KM), and a 
flock of 200 migrated over Siletz Bay on 5/5 (RL).

      WOOD DUCKS are usually dispersed this time of year, but SG spotted 
eight males and three females on 5/15 and five males and three females on 
5/16 grazing on the lawn of Big Creek (Newport Reservoir) Park.  On 5/29, 
the first Wood Duck ducklings (12-14) accompanied a female at the middle 
pond of the Reservoir, where a hen and four duckling MALLARDS appeared on 
5/22 (SG).

      HARLEQUIN DUCKS regularly winter at Seal Rocks with three noted on 
5/4 (LO), but they are rare at Boiler Bay, which was graced by a bright 
male on 5/5 (AM).

      Last reports included a male EURASIAN WIGEON at Siletz Bay on 5/1 
(TJ & others), a male CINNAMON TEAL at Beaver Creek on 5/4 (LO), a REDHEAD 
at Sallys Bend on 5/12 (EM), and three NORTHERN PINTAILS at Idaho Flats on 
5/25 (PP).

      Some days are great for observing duck migration, such was the case 
during KM's 30 min of seawatches during the early afternoon of 4/25, when 
135 SURF SCOTERS, and 17 NORTHERN SHOVELERS flying north.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.55                       BALD EAGLE-FALCONS

      There were many BALD EAGLE sightings; only the most noteworthy are 
included.  1-3 were at Yaquina Head almost daily through 5/19, with one 
catching a COMMON MURRE on Colony Rock on 5/14 & 15 (BLM; NH).  1-2 adults 
were in the  Beaver Creek area on 5/4 (PPa; LO) and 5/8 (RC), and a first 
for Tidewater was an adult perched in a spruce on 5/13 & 14 (BW).  Yaquina 
Bay eagles do not appear to have nested this year as two adults were seen 
at Sallys Bend on 5/19 (RB) and at Idaho Flats on 5/31 (LH & others), when 
one should have been at the nest.

      OSPREY have been present daily at the Newport Reservoir in mid-May 
(SG), and one was apparently incubating at the Mike Miller Park nest in 
South Beach on 5/7 (RB).

      A NORTHERN HARRIER was mobbed by PURPLE MARTINS at the HMSC on 5/25 
(PP)--could harriers be nesting here this year?

      One MERLIN made a pass at numerous RED-NECKED PHALAROPES at the YBSJ 
on 5/4 (MK), and another Merlin was at RL's Waldport home on 5/9.

      A pair of PEREGRINE FALCONS was at Yaquina Head on 4/18, 5/1, and 
5/15 (BLM); singletons were also noted there until 5/22 (BLM; TS).  One 
also flew over Idaho Flats on 5/12 &13 (EM; PP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.56                        CHUKAR-SHOREBIRDS

      It was a month of tame, escapee CHUKARS in north Newport.  RO 
reported one on 4/28 and three on 4/30.  Perhaps one of these was caught, 
tailess, on 5/4 and taken to a veterinarian by KD, who reported that the 
ODFW had received several calls about Chukars.  Another was also seen 
later that day (JO), and PR had one on her porch on 5/5.  Our last was 
GS' report of one on 5/23.

      MOUNTAIN QUAIL are common, though underreported, in much of the 
county, but they are unexpected at the South Beach Peninsula, where one 
adult died after flying into the window of an HMSC classroom on 5/9 (RB).

      Two PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS were feeding in the old log dock area on 
the west side of the road to Newport's LNG tank on 5/12 (EM) and near the 
LNG tank the next day (PP).

      Two MARBLED GODWITS were along the HMSC Nature Trail on 5/4 (RO).

      WHIMBRELS were often reported, with the highest counts of 40 along 
the ocean beach south of South Beach on 5/5 (LO) and a total of about 
200 migrating north over Lincoln City on 5/6 (PP).  Three in a pasture at 
DF's Thornton Creek farm on 5/15 were a first for that site.

      On 5/7, PP discovered a LONG-BILLED CURLEW with 30 Whimbrels at Idaho 
Flats, and, on 5/24, he found another Long-billed with 20 Whimbrels in the 
Lincoln County portion of the Salmon River Estuary.

      Along the ocean beach south of South Beach, LO found a 
RUDDY TURNSTONE on 5/5, as many as 10 were at Yaquina Bay on 5/9-13 (KM; 
EM; PP), and one was at Yaquina Head on 5/15 (JA).

      Although SPOTTED SANDPIPERS nest along some rivers, in May they can 
be found almost anywhere along the coast where there is water.  This year, 
1-2 were at Idaho Flats on 5/4 (RO) and Sallys Bend on 5/19 & 20 (RB).

      Departures include six WESTERN SANDPIPERS at YBSJ puddles on 5/21 
(RB) and two RED KNOTS at Idaho Flats on 5/23 (DF).

      Some springs RED-NECKED PHALAROPES seem to be scarce, but they were 
widespread this year.  There were many reports in the customary estuarine 
and nearshore locations, with high counts of at least a thousand at Boiler 
Bay on 5/4 (PP), a hundred at Yaquina Head on 5/5 (TS), and 200 at 
Boiler Bay on 5/10 (PP).  But they also extended miles into freshwater 
with two as far inland as the mouth of Elkhorn Creek in the Beaver Creek 
Basin on 5/4 (LO), as many as 12 at Newport Reservoir on 5/5 (BLo), 5/7 
(SG), and 5/8 (BC); and three at Eckman Lake on 5/9 (SaL & KH).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.57                         JAEGERS-ALCIDS

      1-2 PARASITIC JAEGERS were at Boiler Bay on 5/4 (PP), 5/25 (PP), and 
5/29 (TB & others).  On 5/4, there were an additional 4-5 unknown jaegers 
that were most likely Parasitics (PP).

      As many as five SABINE'S GULLS were at Boiler Bay on 5/4 (MK; PP), 
5/7 & 5/25 (PP), and 5/29 (TB & others).  Three were also counted during 
the 5/22 Depoe Bay pelagic trip (MH, GG, & others).

      A GLAUCOUS GULL was at the mouth of D River on 4/30 (TJ & others) and 
5/28 (PP), at Idaho Flats on 5/9 (KM), and at Siletz Bay mudflats on 5/15 

      A pair of rare FRANKLIN'S GULLS in breeding plumage was at Idaho 
Flats on 5/23 (DF), and our latest MEW GULLS were three at Idaho Flats on 
5/13 (PP).

      During his 5/25 seawatch at Boiler Bay, PP noted 500+ gulls passing 
that appeared to be mostly WESTERN GULLS and CALIFORNIA GULLS.

      The high BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE count was 300+ at Boiler Bay on 5/4 
(PP), and the last were two near Waldport on 5/29 (TB & others).

      The only small tern reported was an ARCTIC TERN at Idaho Flats on 
5/12 (EM).

      TUFTED PUFFINS have been rarely spotted in Lincoln County in recent 
years, though a few still nest, out of sight from land, at Yaquina Head.  
Yaquina Head sightings include one on 5/14 (BLM) and two on 5/21 in the 
ocean north of the Light House Parking lot (MN).

      Three live CASSIN'S AUKLETS were at Boiler Bay on 5/1 (BLc), and RR 
watched one there on 5/2, when a WESTERN GULL "pounced on the auklet, 
grabbed it in its bill, pounded it on the water, and finally flew off with 
the bird"!  A dead Cassin's was on the road uphill from the Yaquina Head 
Light House Parking Lot on 5/13 (BLM).

      The 8-12 RHINOCEROS AUKLETS at Boiler Bay on 5/10 & 13 (PP) were high 

      In contrast to tubenoses, beached alcid numbers in May were very low 
with only two dead COMMON MURRES and one PIGEON GUILLEMOT (B&SLo, S&DB, 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.58                        DOVES-BLACK SWIFT

      MOURNING DOVES are uncommon, and singletons were observed near the 
HMSC on 5/9 (KM), at BW's Tidewater feeder on 5/17, and over the Yaquina 
Bay bridge on 5/23 (DF).

      Many people marveled at all the BAND-TAILED PIGEONS visiting feeders 
this spring.  RC writes: "The morning of 5/8, the Band-tails arrived in 
force.  There were at least 20, though we could never get an exact count 
because we couldn't get them all in view at once.  We had a lot of laughs 
watching them all try to get on the platform feeder--they kept landing on 
each other's backs, stepping on neighbors' tails, and shoving each other 
over the edge.  In spite of the jostling they stayed to eat ALL the seed 
and then flew over to clean off the second platform feeder too."

      VAUX'S SWIFTS were nesting in a Newport chimney in mid-May (SK).

      CP discovered 12-15 rare BLACK SWIFTS flying in overcast weather near 
the junction of North and South Beaver Creek Roads at 8:30 AM the morning 
of 5/15, but 45 min later the weather had cleared and they were absent.  
Terres' (1980:869) Encyclopedia of North American Birds indicates that 
they fly several thousand feet high when it is clear and would be nearly 
invisible from the ground.  Six Black Swifts were also reported over 
Siletz Bay the next day (fide HN).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *


      A rare BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD spent two hours at CP's Toledo 
feeder on 5/29.  Two RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS had hatched by 6/1 at a nest near 
a HMSC entrance door (RB), and our latest ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS were a 
female at Seabrook Lane on 5/13 (D&BM) and at Wandemere on 5/19 (RC).

      More rarities include a RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER at DF's Thornton Creek 
farm on 5/22, a SAY'S PHOEBE lingering at Yaquina Head until 4/6 (BLM), 
and an EASTERN KINGBIRD at Sandpiper Shores north of Waldport on 5/20 

      2-3 WESTERN KINGBIRDS were present almost daily at Yaquina Head from 
4/24 through 5/22 (BLM; MS), and 1-2 were at Sandpiper Shores on 5/14 
(JGr) and near Idaho Flats on 5/12 (EM), 5/15 (EH), and 5/23 (DF).

      A pair of OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were investigating a large dead 
hemlock tree in Yachats on 5/20 (J&JGe); hopefully, they will remain to 

      WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS had a good showing this month with singletons at 
LO's Beaver Creek feeder on 5/6&7, at CP's Toledo home on 5/9, at BW's 
Tidewater home on 5/9, at RC's Wandemere feeder on 5/23, and at SaL's 
Yachats feeder on 5/24.  In contrast, our only GRAY JAYS were two at 
BMi's home up the Yachats River on 5/25.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

99.60                   MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD-WARBLERS

      A possible, female MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD was reported at Yaquina Head 
on 4/14 & 15 (BLM), but no Western Bluebirds were reported.

      A female VARIED THRUSH lingered in a wintering area at Thiel Creek to 
at least 5/6 (BLo), as did a surprising number (15-20) of HERMIT THRUSHES 
at Cascade Head (Tillamook Co.) on 5/18 (PP).  In contrast, a 
SWAINSON'S THRUSH arrived at Ona Beach State Park on 5/8 (BC), and the 
first flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS were discerned at SS's Neskowin home 
(Tillamook Co.) on 5/27.

      Fledglings sometimes behave like nestlings; for example, a fledgling 
EUROPEAN STARLING was lying down in the grass of a Newport lawn on 5/26 

      More rarities at Cascade Head include a possible PLUMBEOUS VIREO on 
5/18 and an OVENBIRD on 5/24 (PP).

      Arrivals include a HERMIT WARBLER at Thornton Creek on 5/8 (BC) and a 
WESTERN TANAGER at SS's Neskowin home on 5/6.  On 5/18, PP counted 
25-30 WESTERN TANAGERS at Cascade Head and wrote that they were in a loose 
flock, most of which were adult males--quite a sight!  

      The latest TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS were at north Beaver Creek on 5/22 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *


      PINE GROSBEAKS are rare, but we had two reports: three males and 
three females near Yaquina Bay on 4/25 (BP), and two males and a female at 
a Tidewater feeder on about 5/3 and on 5/10 (DO).  Both observers ruled 
out Purple Finches or Red Crossbills.

      The first BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was noted on 5/8 at Beaver Creek (LO) 
and Thornton Creek (BC).

      Other rarities include a LARK SPARROW by 3 Rocks Road along the 
Salmon River in Lincoln County on 5/24 (PP) and a BLACK-THROATED SPARROW 
at a feeder at the See Vue Motel near Bray's Point (Lane Co.) on 5/24 
through at least 5/30 (LH, RLa, & ISG).

      LINCOLN'S SPARROWS seem to be often overlooked, and our only report 
was of one at Seabrook Lane on 4/28 (D&BM).

      Scattered SAVANNAH SPARROWS were noted, with a high count of dozens 
on the grass near Newport's LNG tank on 5/5 (PP).

      The first fledgling SONG SPARROWS appeared with their parents at JW's 
Waldport feeder on 5/18.

      Sparrow departures included CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at Thornton Creek on 
5/6 (DF), FOX SPARROW at Thornton Creek on 5/15 (DF), 
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW at Yachats on 5/17 (SaL & KH) and Wandemere on 5/27 
(RC), and this season's only CHIPPING SPARROW by 3 Rocks Road along the 
Salmon River in Lincoln County on 5/24 (PP).

      Speaking of sparrows at her Wandemere home, RC writes: "Another 
reason (do we need more?) not to have a manicured lawn--more food for 
birds and more fun watching them get it.  Our 'lawn' is really a mowed 
meadow, so besides grass there are many other plant species.  Right now 
numerous dandelions are blooming, and the White-crowned and 
Golden-crowned Sparrows are cleaning off the dandelion seed heads as fast 
as they open.  It's amusing to see the sparrows jumping up to snatch at 
an overhead dandelion puff, or sorting the seeds from a beakfull of dewy 
fluff and then trying to get the wet fluff off their face."

      1-2 BULLOCK'S ORIOLES were detected on 5/24 south of Waldport (DF) and 
by the Salmon River (Lincoln Co.)(PP).

      On 5/22, PP spotted a WESTERN MEADOWLARK on the grassy slope of 
Cascade Head--are they nesting there?

      Lincoln County's first detailed CASSIN'S FINCH report was of a pair 
at Wandemere on 5/16 (RC & WN).  The first report of a fledgling 
HOUSE FINCH was at a Wandemere feeder on 5/18 (RC).

      PINE SISKINS have varied greatly in abundance this winter, and they 
reappeared at Tidewater on 5/4 (BW), and a flock of at least 50 were at 
Wandemere on 5/16 (RC).

      The first AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES arrived near Ona Beach on 4/17 (PPa).

      Some EVENING GROSBEAKS overwinter in Toledo but flocks arrive in 
spring, and they arrived at Tidewater on 5/5 (BW) and were abundant in 
late May near Ona Beach (PPa) and near Newport Reservoir (SG).

      OBSERVERS.  Jack Alban, Range Bayer, Trent Bray, Sara & Don Brown, 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, 
Rebecca Cheek, Barbara Combs, Clay Creech, Kathy Dobson, Darrel Faxon, 
Jim & Janice Gerdemann (J&JGe), Greg Gillson, Steve Gobat, 
Ila Suzanne Gray (ISG), Jill Grover (JGr), Nathalie Hamel, 
Louise Hemphill, Eric Horvath, Karen Houston, Matt Hunter, Tim Janzen, 
Michel Kleinbaum, Steve Kupillas, Renee LaChance (RLa), Janet Lamberson, 
Bob Lockett (BLc), Sally Lockyear (SaL), Roy Lowe, 
Bob & Shirley (SLo) Loeffel, Alan McGie, Ed McVicker, Kathy Merrifield, 
Bob Miller (BMi), Dawson & Bobby Mohler, Harry Nehls, Walt Nelson, 
Michael Noack, Dorothy Olson, Robert & Jerryann Olson, Laimons Osis, 
Pam Parker (PPa), Bill Peterson, Diane Pettey (DPe), Chuck Philo, 
Phil Pickering, Dave Pitkin (DPi), Pat Reed, Roger Robb, Mark Rudolph, 
Gerti Schramm, Shirley Schwartz, Tim Shelmerdine, Mary Anne Sohlstrom, 
Jean Weakland, Bunny Wright.
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