Menu of Jan.-May 2004 Bird Field Notes 
             by Range Bayer from the Sandpiper (a publication 
             of Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Lincoln County, Oregon) 

      Comments about abundance or seasonality refer only to LINCOLN COUNTY.  

      If you have any field notes to share, please contact Range Bayer 
(PO Box 1467, Newport, OR 97365) by the 20th of the month.  

Month of 
Sandpiper, Volume 25
January    2004 
February   2004 
March      2004 
April      2004 
May        2004 

21 DECEMBER-27 JANUARY BIRD FIELD NOTES from the January 2004 Sandpiper 25(1) 

      Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations:  Bayview 
Pasture: pasture/field near creek about 0.4 mile east of junction of North 
Alsea Bay Road with South Beaver Creek Road, Beaver Creek: creek flowing 
through Ona Beach State Park, Boone Slough: freshwater slough at about mile 
8.9 along north Yaquina Bay Road, Eckman Lake: lake 2 mi east of Waldport 
along Hwy 34, HMSC: Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats: large 
embayment just east of HMSC, LNG tank: large green Liquefied Natural Gas 
tank on the north side of Yaquina Bay about 1.5 miles east of Yaquina Bay 
Bridge, Ona Beach: state park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge 
along Hwy 101 at Beaver Creek, Sallys Bend: large embayment east of the LNG 
tank, Tidewater: about 8 mi east of Waldport, Wandemere: about 0.5 mi north 
of Ona Beach near Hwy 101.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                        THANKS TO KATHY MERRIFIELD!

      We are grateful to Kathy for compiling and writing the 2001-2003 Bird 
Field Notes for the Sandpiper.  Great job!
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
               Jan. 3 YAQUINA BAY CBC SUMMARY by Compiler RC

     Neither rain, nor wind, nor sleet, nor hail, nor combinations of all 
four at once, dissuaded 27 intrepid field observers from carrying on with 
the Yaquina Bay CBC.  The 6 feeder counters had a much more comfortable day 
of it.  Under difficult conditions, we recorded 117 species with three 
feeder counters still to report. Notable finds were SHORT-TAILED 
seawatchers, one adult GLAUCOUS GULL at the south jetty gull roost, 
stakeouts, and GRAY JAYS and a PILEATED WOODPECKER in the hills.

      The field teams did experience enough sun breaks through the day to 
sustain them until the countdown buffet (the best count down party on the 
coast and maybe anywhere, even if we do say so ourselves). Thanks to all 
the hardy (and hearty) souls who turned out to make this a great event 
again this year.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      An EARED GREBE at Yaquina Bay on 1/16 (YBNFT) is to be expected but 
not the 2 at Eckman Lake on 1/8 (DF).

      The number of NORTHERN FULMARS beached along 4.6 miles of beach north 
of Ona Beach was still high in December (97), but much less than for 
November; a record total of 505 were recorded during October-December 
(BLo&SLo, LO).  Other tubenoses found that they found in December included 

      The only site with GREAT EGRETS was Eckman Lake with 1-3 on 12/27 
(JS), 1/8 (DF), and 1/9 (RL). 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      We had more than the usual number of swan reports--swans are uncommon 
to rare in Lincoln County in winter.  A probable TRUMPETER SWAN was first 
seen at Eckman Lake on 1/6 (RL) and first reported on 1/8 (DF).  A debate 
ensued about whether it might be a Tundra, as it seemed to have some 
characteristics not typical of Trumpeter's, but the consensus seems to be 
that it was a Trumpeter, based particularly on calls that DF heard.  It was 
also seen by D&LF, SL, and J&BG through 1/14 (BB).  Size alone is not a 
good characteristic as it has been documented that Tundras of a large 
subspecies sometimes occur along the Oregon Coast, and it can be difficult 
to identify some swans (e.g., 1988 Oregon Birds 14[1]:40-42;  Another TRUMPETER SWAN was 
reported just north of the Salmon River Bridge on 1/10 (WH, RC, WN).

      3 TUNDRA SWANS visited Idaho Flats on 12/24 (JS).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                          OTHER WATERFOWL-RAPTORS

      On 1/12 at Wandemere, RC observed: "This morning a lone CACKLING 
CANADA GOOSE spent about 2 hours grazing on our front lawn.  We've had many 
fly-bys of large and small Canada Goose races, but this is the first time 
one thought to stop in."

      A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE lingered with some domestic geese at 
Depoe Bay on 1/11 (JH & BT).

      2 REDHEADS were at Sallys Bend on 12/30 (DS), and 5 were at "Yaquina 
Bay" on 1/4 (JF & SD); several at Boone Slough during the 1/3 Yaquina Bay 
CBC were very unusual for that site--they typically are at Sallys Bend.

      A pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS graced Seal Rock on 1/4 (JF & SD).

      We had a good variety of locations for WHITE-TAILED KITE reports: 
1 at Logsden on 12/29 & 30 and 1/3 (BLl); 1-2 at the HMSC on 12/26 (JS), 
12/31 (JL), 1/8 (RL), and 1/11 (JH & BT); and 2 near Yaquina Bay's LNG tank 
on 1/4 (JF & SD).

      An adult RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was discovered near Eckman Lake on 1/10 
(B&JG) and 1/15 (DR).

      A light-phase adult male ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK perched on the post at the 
east end of the large rain puddle often used by gulls along the Yaquina Bay 
South Jetty on 1/18 (DF); they are not found every year.

      AMERICAN KESTRELS are uncommon in winter, but 1 was at North Beaver 
Creek on 12/27 (JS) and at Logsden on 12/30 (BLl).

       RO remarked: "I watched a MERLIN harassing flocks of EUROPEAN 
STARLINGS at 5 PM on 1/13.  First over the HMSC library and meeting-dining 
hall and then moving to several flocks of 50-100 starlings flying high over 
the bay.  They were so high that I couldn't always see the Merlin, but the 
evasive action of the flocks showed where it was and I caught glimpses of 
it off and on.  I watched for about 5 minutes before I lost track of the 
birds in the gray-darkening sky."

      WH, RC, & WN were conducting a Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey at the 
Waldport Docks on 1/10 when an immature PEREGRINE FALCON flew by them, then 
flew back a couple of minutes later with a bird that "could have been a 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      Rare for Yaquina Bay, a BLACK OYSTERCATCHER flew in to bathe at the 
rainwater pool along the Yaquina Bay South Jetty on 12/30, WH commented: 
"About half the pool surface was ice, and the oystercatcher was pretty 
comical slipping and sliding around."

      Shorebirds sometimes roost at Bayview Pasture, and 3 GREATER 
YELLOWLEGS were there on 12/27 (JS).

      JH & BT spotted a LONG-BILLED CURLEW at Siletz Bay on 1/11, but there 
were no Whimbrel reports.

      2 ROCK SANDPIPERS were at Depoe Bay on 1/11 (JH & BT), a regular 
haunt for them.

      Usually we only get a fleeting glimpse of WILSON'S SNIPE, but they 
are quite an attractive bird if one gets a chance to study them.  BLl had 
the wonderful opportunity to see 6 bathing at the Logsden Store Pond on 

      A flock of 240 adult THAYER'S GULLS at the Yachats River  mouth on 
12/29 is the largest concentration of Thayer's that WH has seen in Oregon, 
but before he could census the immatures a dog flushed the flock.

      2 unseasonal live PIGEON GUILLEMOTS were at Yaquina Bay on 1/4 (JF & 
SD), and 2 CASSIN'S AUKLETS and 1 RHINOCEROS AUKLET washed ashore during 
December along long 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (BLo&SLo, LO).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A MOURNING DOVE at BB's Yachats home on 1/17 is unseasonal.  ANNA'S 
HUMMINGBIRDS regularly winter along the coast strip, but 1-2  collecting 
cotton, presumably for a nest, on 1/20 & 27 about 4 miles east of Waldport 
(J&KC) seem to be starting early.

      Our only RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER greeted BLl at Logsden on 12/30, and 
a SCRUB JAY at Logsden on 12/29 (BLl) is a surprise.

       Is the status of COMMON RAVENS changing at lower Yaquina Bay?  
Ravens used to be rare at Idaho Flats, but on 12/29, JL saw a raven along 
the HMSC Nature Trail and wrote: "It landed in a spruce tree, and commenced 
eating a mole that it had brought -- there was probably a story there, I 
wonder how it got the mole?"  Before the 1/16 YBNFT began, a croaking raven 
flew by the HMSC Visitor's Center, and later during the field trip, one was 
spotted on the western side of Idaho Flats.  Is this a trend or just one 
unusual raven challenging the crow's supremacy?
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                            HORNED LARK-SHRIKE

      A HORNED LARK, rare in Lincoln County, was feeding in the gravel near 
the gull puddle on the Yaquina Bay South Jetty on 1/24 (DF).  Thanks to 
DF's prompt communication, BB also got a chance to see it, and she 
commented that: "it was about 100 feet past the gull puddle late yesterday 
afternoon, 1/26.  Easy ID.  It was on the top of the bush and did a little 
flycatching activity and then pecked around on the ground.  This particular 
one had some visible pale yellow; the blackface and chest markings were 

      An unseasonal BARN SWALLOW flew over a Beaver Creek marsh a half mile 
east of Ona Beach on 1/10 (WH, RC, WN).  3 TREE or VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS 
flew over a ridge east of Siletz Bay on 1/11 (JH & BT) are several weeks 
early compared to records compiled through 1992.

      JS detected our only BROWN CREEPER at Eckman Lake on 12/27, and the 
only NORTHERN SHRIKE this month perched on small alder near the road going 
to Yaquina Bay's LNG tank on 1/16 (YBNFT).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was in South Beach near the gravel alley 
connecting Ferry Slip Road and Idaho Point Road on 1/18 (DF) and was also 
in the same area on 1/22 (EH).

      JF & SD found the only PALM WARBLER at the HMSC on 1/4 , and 2 tan-
type WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS  were at Toledo on 12/30 (DS).

      A WESTERN MEADOWLARK was at  the Yaquina Bay South Jetty on 12/24 
(JS), another has made daily visits to look for insects in the lawn and 
pick up seed  under RC & WN's Wandemere feeders from mid-December to at 
least 1/12, and  one was appreciated near the HMSC Nature Trail during the 
1/16 YBNFT.

      Rare for Oregon, a MCKAY'S BUNTING was well detailed and photographed 
at Depoe Bay on 1/3 by KMa and four members of his family.  KMa reported it 
on 1/8, but it was not resighted.

      4 COMMON REDPOLLS at north Alsea Bay Road near the junction with 
South Beaver Creek on 1/4 (JF & SD) is unexpected, though this species also 
showed up on 12/21 near the Astoria Airport in Clatsop County (LC).

      Flocks of PINE SISKINS began appearing at Tidewater on 1/5 (B&PW) and 
at Yachats on 1/9 (BB).

      Observers:  Betty Bahn, Lee Cain, Rebecca Cheek, Jorrie & Ken Ciotti, 
Steve Dinsmore, Darrel & Laura Faxon, Joe Fontaine, Joel & Becky Geier, 
Jeff Harding, Eric Horvath, Wayne Hoffman, Janet Lamberson, 
Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Sally Lockyear (SL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley 
Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, Kenneth Mahouski (KMa), Walt Nelson, Robert Olson, 
Laimons Osis, David Robinson, Jamie Simmons, David Smith, Bill Thackaberry, 
Bunny & Pat Wright, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT).

          BIRD FIELD NOTES from the February 2004 Sandpiper 25(2) 

      Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations:  Beaver 
Creek: creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park, Boone Slough: freshwater 
slough at about mile 8.9 along north Yaquina Bay Road, HMSC: Hatfield 
Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats: large embayment just east of HMSC, LNG 
tank: large green Liquefied Natural Gas tank on the north side of Yaquina 
Bay about 1.5 miles east of Yaquina Bay Bridge, Ona Beach: state park about 
6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along Hwy 101 at Beaver Creek, Rock 
Creek SP:  about 3 mi N of Otter Rock and 3 mi S of Depoe Bay along Hwy 
101, Sallys Bend: large embayment east of the LNG tank, YBSJ: Yaquina Bay 
South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      COMMON LOONS continue to raft west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge near 
dusk.  On 2/15, KM counted 30 in 2 flocks--one raft nearly under the Bridge 
and the second near the first rocky finger.

      A possible ARCTIC LOON was noted at Yaquina Head on 2/5 (MK), but as 
TJ observes: "Identification of Arctic Loons in Oregon should be made with 
great caution.  Multiple field marks should be noted and photos or video 
should be obtained if at all possible of any birds suspected of being 
Arctic Loons."

      Evidence of the NORTHERN FULMAR die-off continued, with 35 found in 
January along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach; this is 7 more than 
the previous high during 1978-2002 (B&SLo, LO).

      On 2/15 at YBSJ, at least 2 BRANDT'S CORMORANTS had the neck plumes 
of breeding plumage visible as they flew by, and at least one PELAGIC 
CORMORANT already had the white flank patch of breeding plumage (KM).

      There were 4 GREAT EGRETS at Alsea Bay and 1 at South Beaver Creek on 
2/15 (KM), and 1 at Beaver Creek during the 2/19 YBNFT.  
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      What do BRANT do at night?  We know a lot about the day-time 
activities of birds because we can watch them, but this is not possible at 
night.  Brant, in particular, are a puzzle because in some areas they fly 
out from an estuary to roost on the ocean at night.  Fortuitously, the 
calling of Brant is very distinctive, so RB was surprised to hear a flock 
of them flying in the darkness from east to west over the Yaquina River 
channel near the HMSC at 6:31 PM and 9:03 PM on 2/11 & 24, respectively.  
Both times, they sounded like they were less than 500 ft high because their 
calls were very clear and near.  Since they are migrating now, it is not 
clear if these night flights are migratory or flights out to the ocean to 

      A SNOW GOOSE flying with Canada Geese at Seal Rocks on 2/14 (MAS & 
PB) is very unexpected.  Our high count of male EURASIAN WIGEON was two at 
Sallys Bend during the 2/21 ASCFT (MC), and a LONG-TAILED DUCK was west of 
the Yaquina Bay Bridge in early Feb. (CP) and on 2/15 (JC).

      March is sometimes the best month for HARLEQUIN DUCKS at the YBSJ, 
and 6 were near first rocky finger west of Yaquina Bay Bridge on 2/11 (SK & 
PR) with 2 at the YBSJ on 2/17 (PD) and the 2/21 ASCFT.  At Seal Rocks, 9 
were found at the end of the 2/19 YBNFT, and 5 males and 1 female were 
surveyed on 2/15 (KM)--of these, a pair was by themselves in the north 
lagoon, and KM writes: "In water, both preened.  At one point, the female 
did a short 'low rush' display, chugging quickly forward towards shore, 
creating a wake, with her head and neck stretched forward along the water 
surface; and the male followed, just swimming.  On land, both preened 
again, and then the male followed the female as they walked back into the 
water."  Such is courtship.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      On 2/5 at the HMSC, JL spotted our only WHITE-TAILED KITE, and PD 
viewed our only OSPREY in a tree along the Newport Bayfront on 2/14.

      On 2/19, RO watched a BALD EAGLE and a RED-TAILED HAWK soaring 
together over Yaquina Bay without obvious signs of interaction.  But were 
they "eyeing" each other?

      During the 2/19 YBNFT, EH reports that they saw 1 adult Bald Eagle 
perched in the trees overlooking Ona Beach and "we saw it take off and fly 
fast and direct toward the surf and pull out an 8 inch fish!  From our 
vantage point, we were unable to see the fish in the surf, and the eagle 
was farther from the fishing spot than we were.   Hence we were quite 
impressed with its 'eagle eye' visual acuity."

      At Sally's Bend on 2/15, KM observed "1 adult Bald Eagle on the 
central piling.  Another adult flew from the mudflats to join the first.  
Upon arrival, the eagles rubbed bills with one another and opened their 
bills and moved their heads forward as if calling."

      In recent years, adult Bald Eagles are often seen, with a high count 
of 5-6 during the 2/21 ASCFT--2 near Boone Slough, 2 at Idaho Flats and 2, 
though possibly just one at Ona Beach (MC).  A pair copulated on an Idaho 
Flats mudflat perch on 2/11 (RL).  In contrast, our only immature eagle was 
at the HMSC on 2/6 (JL).

      Adult male NORTHERN HARRIERS continue to be more commonly seen than 
brown females/immature males at the HMSC in early February (JL).

      An AMERICAN KESTREL was in Toledo on 2/1 (PD).  A PEREGRINE FALCON at 
Idaho Flats on 1/30 was the first good bird that JL saw with her first 
spotting scope; she wrote that "In binocs, it was just a brownish blob."  
On 2/6, HS saw a Peregrine take a Rock Pigeon at the HMSC and fly off to 
the dunes with it. Another was at the HWY 20 stoplight at the east end of 
Newport on 2/13 (CP).  
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A very early SEMIPALMATED PLOVER was at Ona Beach during the 2/21 
ASCFT.  3 ROCK SANDPIPERS were below the Depoe Bay seawall on 2/3 (CK), and 
another was at Seal Rocks at the end of the 2/19 YBNFT.

      A live BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE graced Seal Rocks on 2/15 (KM), and two 
dead ones were along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach in January 
(B&SLo, LO).

      On 2/20, PB was sitting in her car at Sallys Bend at low tide 
enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and: "I heard a plopping sound 
that corresponded with my sighting just a few seconds prior of a gull with 
a rock in it's mouth (which made me wonder - just what the heck is that 
bird doing with that rock?).  I realized that the 'rock' was a clam.  The 
gulls were dropping the clams onto the mud flat and sometimes succeeding in 
cracking them, most often not, so they'd pick them up again and fly over 
another rocky area and drop it again."  Western Gulls at Idaho Flats and 
Sallys Bend at low tide often find short-necked clams (steamer clams and 
cockles) that are near the surface that they can't peck open but can break 
by dropping them during one or more tries on sand, rocks, or parking lots 
at the HMSC.

      A winter-plumaged PIGEON GUILLEMOT was west of Yaquina Bay Bridge on 
2/14 (MAS & PB; JC), and a CASSIN'S AUKLET was beached north of Ona Beach 
in January (B&SLo, LO).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      At her Toledo home, DG participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count 
( in mid-February and found 2 unseasonal 
MOURNING DOVES.  BAND-TAILED PIGEONS 4 miles east of Waldport on 2/8 
(J&KC), were early--most will probably be arriving later.  ROCK PIGEONS are 
to be expected in urban areas, but 50 were at Ona Beach during the 2/19 

      BARRED OWLS are back near LO's north Beaver Creek home--calling 
"who-cooks-for-you" first on Feb. 19 and then at about 5 PM on 2/23.  A 
GREAT HORNED OWL hooted near CP's Toledo home on 2/6.

      Our first male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was detected at the mouth of Alsea 
Bay on 2/10 (LL) and the next day 4 miles east of Waldport (J&KC).

      On 2/25 in Newport, RF & CG write: "A female ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD is 
busy gathering fluff from last year's Pearly Everlasting, but we have not 
been able to find the nest yet.  We have at least 2 female and 2 male 
Anna's which have been here all winter.  We're looking forward to seeing 
the young ones!"  J&KC observed a female Anna's collecting cotton on 2/22 
near their home 4 miles east of Waldport.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was near Criteser's Moorage west of Toledo 
on 2/5 (SK), and another was appreciated at Beaver Creek during the 2/19 

      The status of COMMON RAVENS at Idaho Flats has changed in recent 
years. Previously, they were very rare, but 1-2 were at Idaho Flats on at 
least 3 days in early Feb. (JL), and TW notes that he has seen 1-2 "fairly 
regularly over the past year or two" at Idaho Flats at low tide, and that 
"one has been regularly chasing crows around the HMSC" the first week in 
February.  Crows and ravens often interact, which is why I don't think 
ravens were present at Idaho Flats in the past.

      Our only swallow report was of TREE or VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS at the 
YBSJ on 2/4 (SB--fide BLl).  In Toledo, PD noticed that there have been few 
CHICKADEES this winter, though they used to be around almost daily.

      HORNED LARKS are rare in Lincoln County, but 3-4 continued from last 
month along the YBSJ just west of "gull puddle" on 2/14 (MAS [which is 
fitting as her email address is] & PB; CP),  2/15, and 
2/18 (JC; DS; JL).

      An AMERICAN DIPPER sang 8.5 miles along North Beaver Creek Road on 
2/20 (EH).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      We had a cold snap in January--along the coast it was brief, and a 
question often asked is how it affected birds.  DF writes: "I live about 
ten miles inland, east of Toledo, at Thornton Creek, and I don't think the 
ice and snow were severe enough to make much difference with the birds.  
During that period I noticed a reduction of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, but 
nothing else.  I don't doubt that Ruby-crowned Kinglets can survive low 
temperatures well, but I don't think that extreme temperatures are really 
the reason behind their disappearance from western Oregon during such 
times.  I think it is food related.  Kinglets normally feed in trees, but 
during periods of extreme cold they can often be found foraging in the 
grass or even on the open ground, which suggests their normal food sources 
are unavailable.  I have also noticed that after a few days of such 
behavior, Ruby-crowned Kinglets are often very weak.  Sometimes they can 
even be caught in the hand."
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                             ROBIN-HOUSE FINCH

      Whitish AMERICAN ROBINS are sometimes found, but DF provided good 
details about the one he & LF saw about eight miles up Beaver Creek from 
Ona Beach on 2/15: "it looked almost pure white, but upon closer 
examination showed a hint of light rufous suffusion on the breast, a few 
blackish flecks around the eye, on the tips of the primaries and tip of the 
tail.  The eyes were dark.  All together, a very striking bird, and the 
first I had ever seen."

      On 2/11, RO wrote: "Believe it or not, I have slightly more respect 
for EUROPEAN STARLINGS after watching their evening synchronized flock 
flying extravaganza over the Yaquina Bay several times.  The first time a 
Merlin was involved, but other times they seem to have been doing it 
without outside stimulus.  Amazing to watch as the sun goes down!"  RB has 
also seen their synchronized flights at dusk near the HMSC, and, like the 
synchronized flights of small shorebirds, it is amazing how fast they can 
change direction in unison.  While they can form "balls" in the sky in 
response to a falcon, no raptors are visible for the dusk flights.

      About 13 AMERICAN PIPITS in short grass at Rocky Creek State Park on 
1/10 (CP) is a high concentration for here.  Our only ORANGE-CROWNED 
WARBLER was at Toledo on 2/5 (CP).

      A SNOW BUNTING was at YBSJ west of the "gull puddle" on 2/14 (CP), 
but was not relocated in spite of many observers trying.

      2-6 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS were at the HMSC on 4 days in early Feb. 
(JL), and another was at the Yachats 804 Trail on 2/9 (Sal).

      Our other odd-plumaged bird of the month was a yellow HOUSE FINCH at 
Toledo in mid-February (DG); this variation is a result of a dietary 
deficiency in carotene pigments.

      Observers: Audubon Society of Corvallis field trip (ASCFT) led by 
Paula Vanderheul, Range Bayer, Patty Bernardi, Scott Blackman, 
Patsy Brookshire, Jim Carlson, Jorrie & Ken Ciotti, Marcia Cutler, 
Pat Dickey, Darrel & Laura Faxon, Roy Filby, Dawn Grafe, Cathy Grimm, 
Eric Horvath, Tim Janzen, Carol Karlen, Michel Kleinbaum, Steve Kupillas, 
Janet Lamberson, Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Sally Lockyear (Sal), Bob Loeffel 
(BLo) & Shirley Loeffel, Roy & Laurie Lowe, Kathy Merrifield, Robert Olson, 
Laimons Osis, Chuck Philo, Polly Rankin, David Smith, Mary Anne Sohlstrom 
(MAS), Heather Stout, Paula Vanderheul, Tom Wainwright, Yaquina Birders & 
Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT) led by Eric Horvath.

           BIRD FIELD NOTES from the March 2004 Sandpiper 25(3) 
      Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations: Beachside 
State Park: park between Waldport and Yachats along HWY 101, Beaver Creek: 
creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park,  Eckman Lake: lake 2 mi east of 
Waldport along Hwy 34, HMSC: Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats: 
large embayment just east of HMSC, LNG tank: large green Liquefied Natural 
Gas tank on the north side of Yaquina Bay about 1.5 miles east of Yaquina 
Bay Bridge, Ona Beach: state park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge 
along Hwy 101 at Beaver Creek, Tidewater: about 8 mi east of Waldport.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                       YELLOW-BILLED LOON-WATERFOWL

      A YELLOW-BILLED LOON was in the Yaquina Bay "jaws" on 2/27 (CP) but 
was not relocated.

      Along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, LO), the number 
of beached NORTHERN FULMARS finally declined in February to "normal" levels 
(2); high numbers were found from October through January.

      3 GREAT EGRETS were at Beaver Creek during the 3/20 YBNFT, and 2 were 
at Idaho Flats on 3/23 (JL).  Will they nest in Lincoln County this year?

      A male EURASIAN WIGEON was spotted at Beaver Creek during the 3/20 
YBNFT, and 8 pairs of WOOD DUCKS were scouting Eckman Lake in mid-March 
(RL).  A female LONG-TAILED DUCK graced Yaquina Bay west of the Bridge on 
2/27 (CP) and 3/21 (TG & LS).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

                           [image not included]

      Kathy Merrifield's field sketch of a female Common Merganser's 
display as the hen merganser swam towards a male in the Yaquina River near 
the Toledo Boat Ramp on 29 February 2004.  The hen's double-crest was 
erect, which made her head appear triangular with the widest side on top.  
Such field sketches are useful in more clearly learning & documenting 
details of displays.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      On both 2/26 & 3/3, a WHITE-TAILED KITE at the HMSC flew across the 
bay to the field near the LNG tank (JL), so kites seen at these two areas 
may be the same.

      Our first TURKEY VULTURE was at Eckman Lake on 2/29 (KM)--another 
circled South Beach's Rogue Brewery on 3/9 (JL).

      The ratio of adult male (gray) to female/immature male (brown) 
NORTHERN HARRIER sightings was 10:1 at the HMSC in late February and early 
March (JL).

      1 OSPREY was west of Toledo on 3/12 (DM), and a pair were nesting at 
an Eckman Lake power pole on 3/19 (RL).

      On 3/4, TD wrote: "While kayaking down Beaver Creek, it's pretty 
exciting to see and hear (lots of vocalizing)" BALD EAGLES near their 
nesting area; one was sitting in the nest during the 3/20 YBNFT.  A 2nd or 
3rd year Bald Eagle flew over Idaho Flats on 3/8 (JL), and one of an adult 
pair at Yachats in early March was noticeably larger than the other (BB) 
and thus was the female.  Another was perched on the mudflats near Boone 
Slough (about mile 8.9 along north Yaquina Bay Road) on 3/19 (SK).

      On 3/10, a RED-TAILED HAWK was unable to gain altitude as if flew 
across the road with a brush rabbit dangling in its talons in front of CP's 
pickup driving along Elk City Road.

      An AMERICAN KESTREL foraged at Beaver Creek on 3/20 (LO).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      On 3/6, JW visited the Yaquina Bay South Jetty and writes: "a 
VIRGINIA RAIL piped up from the weedy pools on the south side of the road, 
and repeatedly called for a good 15 minutes or more."

      2 AMERICAN COOTS near Sawyer's Landing in Yaquina Bay on 2/29 (KM) 
were the only ones reported.

      2-4 ROCK SANDPIPERS moved among other "rockpipers" on the Yaquina Bay 
South Jetty on 2/27 (JC) and 3/6 (JW).  Another 1-2 were at Seal Rocks on 
3/13 & 24 (NB).

      SPOTTED SANDPIPERS are most often seen along rivers or in estuaries, 
though they regularly appear along the open coast during their May 
migration.  On 3/2, SaL saw one "near the northernmost end of the 804 trail 
in Yachats.  The bird was close to beach sand, but actually in Cinquefoil 
(Silverweed) and grasses under some honeysuckle.  The area is only a few 
feet above the oceans edge, and there is a great deal of seepage in this 

      Uncommon for here, 2 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS flew over the Yaquina Bay 
South Jetty at dusk on 3/21 (TG & LS).

      On 3/10, CP saw a flock of 11 GREATER YELLOWLEGS standing on one leg 
near Yaquina South Bay Road.  I wonder if most were standing on their right 
or their left leg?
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      On 3/9 & 10, RC observed "a thin but steady movement of gulls flying 
north, at a rate of several hundred per hour for most of the daylight 
hours.  By my Wandemere house [just north of Ona Beach], some are following 
Hwy 101, and others are traveling a quarter-mile inland.  On 3/9, most 
looked like WESTERN GULLS and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS, but during the mid-
afternoon of both days there have been several groups of CALIFORNIA GULLS."

      A first-winter GLAUCOUS GULL was on the ocean beach north of the 
Yaquina Bay North Jetty on 3/27 (WH).

      Our first PIGEON GUILLEMOT in breeding plumage was reported at 
Yaquina Bay on 2/27 (JC).

      400 COMMON MURRES and a RHINOCEROS AUKLET were detected during an 
early morning Boiler Bay seawatch on 3/19, while 1,500 murres were flying 
south and 2 Rhinos were spotted there during a 3/27 seawatch (PP).

      One CASSIN'S AUKLET was found along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona 
Beach (B&SLo, LO) in February.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      The first BAND-TAILED PIGEONS were at BB's Yachats feeders on 3/3.

      On 3/3, J&KC found what appears to have been a live juvenile ANNA'S 
HUMMINGBIRD on the ground at their home 4 miles east of Waldport; they 
nursed it, and it flew off.  This seems early, though p. 342 of the 2003 
Birds of Oregon reports that young Anna's hatched at a Medford nest in mid-

      Male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS arrived on the coast in February, but the 
first male was at Newton Hill (2 mi south of Siletz) on 3/2 (JL).  The 
first female arrived at Tidewater on 3/6, where "last year we were filling 
up a quart feeder daily by early summer" (B&PW).

      C&DS regularly have hummingbirds at their feeders about a half mile 
from the beach, but 3/20 was exceptional, and CS writes: "Late this 
afternoon, my husband called me to look at the 4-port feeder that hangs 
just outside the living room window.  There were 4 birds sharing it, a very 
rare sight for us as the most we generally see at the same time feeding is 
two or rarely and only briefly 3.  The real surprise was that while we 
watched there were suddenly many more!  We were able to count 10 birds all 
at once moving in and out to grab a drink but staying at the feeder.  They 
made several forays over a period of about 1/2 hour until darkness fell.  I 
always envied those in the East for their Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and 
the way they feed in groups and never thought I'd see it here.  These were 
all male Rufous.  I snuck outside to get a better look and the whirring of 
the wings was amazing."

      4 miles east of Waldport, J&KC also had a mass influx of Rufous with 
over 20 hummers at 10 feeders during 3/20-22 (see following photo).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

                           Image: not shown

20 March 2004 photo of 10 Rufous Hummingbirds at one of Jorrie & Ken 
Ciotti's feeders, 4 miles east of Waldport.  Also see Jorrie's QuickTime 
video of them at and her "A 
Focus on Nature" ( for much better color 
images of local birds.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      One NORTHERN FLICKER had pecked away a roosting area under one of 
MN's barn eaves near Fox Creek area, south of Seal Rocks, in late February, 
and, using a flashlight, MN saw it roosting there one night.  BLACK-CAPPED 
CHICKADEES, and EUROPEAN STARLINGS were contending over a nest box at the 
USFWS building at the HMSC on 3/1 (DG).

      Along the HMSC Nature Trail on 3/19, RF & CG spotted a flicker with 
yellow-shafts on its tail feathers, and perhaps the same one was near the 
USFWS building at the HMSC on 3/26 (DG & RL)--see following photo.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

                           Image: not shown

26 March 2004 photo of 1 yellow-shafted (top) and 2 red-shafted NORTHERN 
FLICKERS clinging to the dry side of a wooden post at the HMSC.  Photo 
taken at 1:30 by Roy Lowe during heavy rains, and the flickers kept dry 
there during the storm to at least 3 PM.  Photo courtesy of Dawn Grafe.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A COMMON RAVEN was near the HMSC on 2/19 (JL).  On 3/14, MR observed 
"two ravens on the beach near Beachside State Park filling their beaks with 
cedar bark strips from a log.  A lot of tugging and pulling for what will 
be a lovely, aromatic and probably pest free nest!"

      A RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET at Eckman Lake on 2/29 was "hawking insects in 
a leafless shrub, but instead of flying into the air, it flew/climbed very 
fast up branches and then went back down to its resting station" (KM).

      VARIED THRUSHES left J&KC's home on 3/7, but they were still at BB's 
Yachats home on 3/26.  The first "evensong" of AMERICAN ROBINS at the HMSC 
was appreciated on 3/7 (RB).  They were also singing at Eckman Lake on 3/20 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      On a 3/21 hike in Cummins Creek Wilderness (Lane Co.), DG saw and 

      Some WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS overwinter along the coast, but most are 
migratory along the coast as well as inland.  The first graced P&BW's 
Tidewater feeders on 3/12.

      Our only SLATE-COLORED DARK-EYED JUNCO visited Beaver Creek on 3/20 

      10 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS were in the Fox Creek area south of Seal Rocks 
through mid-February (MN), and up to about 20 were at the HMSC through 2/27 

      On 3/15, MR writes: "We have a number of HOUSE FINCHES coming to our 
feeders who have an  inflammation/feather loss around their eyes.  
According to, it looks like there is a 
widespread outbreak of conjunctivitis - they recommend removing & 
disinfecting feeders to avoid spreading the disease.  They also talked 
about avian pox, but what I am seeing looks more like the photos of birds 
with conjunctivitis.  Not good news for our House Finches."

      On 3/11 at Tidewater, PINE SISKINS "are still traveling around in a 
large flock of nearly 200 strong, wiping out the sunflower seeds at our 
feeders quickly" (P&BW).

      EVENING GROSBEAKS arrived at J&KC's home 4 miles east of Waldport on 

      Observers: Betty Bahn, Norman Barret, Range Bayer, Jim Carlson, 
Rebecca Cheek, Jorrie & Ken Ciotti, Todd Dunkirk, Roy Filby, Dawn Grafe, 
Cathy Grimm, Troy Guy, Wayne Hoffman, Steve Kupillas, Janet Lamberson, 
Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel, Roy Lowe, David 
Mellinger, Kathy Merrifield, Michael Noack, Laimons Osis, Chuck Philo, Phil 
Pickering, Maggie Rivers, Lisa Sheffield, Carol & Doug Shillitto, Jay 
Withgott, Bunny & Pat Wright, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip 
(YBNFT) led by LO.

           BIRD FIELD NOTES from the April 2004 Sandpiper 25(4) 

      Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations:  Beaver 
Creek: creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park, Boiler Bay: State 
Wayside about 0.5 mi north of Depoe Bay, Eckman Lake: lake 2 mi east of 
Waldport along Hwy 34, Fox Creek: about 1 mile south of Seal Rocks, HMSC: 
OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho Flats: large embayment just east 
of HMSC, LNG tank: large green Liquefied Natural Gas tank on the north side 
of Yaquina Bay about 1.5 miles east of Yaquina Bay Bridge, Ona Beach: State 
Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along Hwy 101 at Beaver 
Creek, Sallys Bend: large Yaquina Bay embayment east of the LNG tank, 
Tidewater: about 8 mi east of Waldport.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      PACIFIC LOONS were not flying past Boiler Bay on 4/5, but 500 passed 
during PP's 4/10 seawatch, and large numbers have continued since then, 
with PP's peak count of at least 27,000 on 4/27.

      An EARED GREBE was in the channel off Sallys Bend on 4/18 (KM).

      A rare MANX SHEARWATER was amongst the loon stream during PP's 4/27 
seawatch at Boiler Bay.  Also at Boiler Bay, PP first saw a SOOTY 
SHEARWATER on 4/17, with a peak of at least 4,000 flying by on 4/20.

      2 NORTHERN FULMARS (a "normal" number) were found in March along 
4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, LO).

      The first BROWN PELICAN was an immature at Boiler Bay on 4/22; four 
immatures were also there on 4/27 (PP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                     NEVER FEAR, THE SQUAWKER IS BACK!

      On 10/21 near the HMSC, TW was the most recent observer to report the 
GREAT BLUE HERON that continuously squawks, sounding something like a gull.  
I thought it was drawing way too much attention to itself if it wanted to 
survive.  Then at about 8 PM on 4/21, while walking between HMSC buildings, 
I was surprised to hear what sounded like a barnyard goose flying.  I 
looked, and there was a GBH flying north over the HMSC Apartments, calling 
like a barnyard goose for the entire 25 seconds that I could see it.  
Evidently, its voice has changed as I can't imagine another continuously 
calling GBH--I wonder what its young will sound like or if it can find a 
mate because of its continuous calling?
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      3 GREAT BLUE HERONS were also spotted flying north together about a 
half mile off Boiler Bay on 4/24 (PP & WH).  Could they have been migrants?  
Local GBH eggs usually begin hatching in mid-April, so it would seem that 
they are late, if they are migrants.

      3 GREAT EGRETS were at Yaquina Bay in early April with 5 at Idaho 
Flats on 4/19 (RL; TW) & 4/21 (TW).  Is this the year that they will nest 

      On 4/10 at Yachats, SaL "saw about fifty CANADA GEESE headed north 
along the Pacific shoreline about 8:30 AM.  They were in two V formations, 
but looked like they were consolidating to one...really was a joy to watch 

      RL spotted the first brood of WESTERN CANADA GEESE at Eckman Slough 
between Eckman Lake and Alsea Bay on 4/22, and a hen MALLARD with her 
12 ducklings at Eckman Lake the same day.

      A flock of about 250 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE passed to the 
northwest over RL's Eckman Lake home on 4/21.  On 4/27, SS saw 300 geese 
that did not sound like Canadas flying north, in five waves over her home 
near Neskowin (Tillamook Co.); they may have been white-fronteds.

      On 4/18, CS spotted 6-8 HARLEQUIN DUCKS below the Inn at Otter Crest, 
an area with few reports.

      At least 300 BUFFLEHEADS were at Sallys Bend on 4/18--many were 
giving courtship displays (KM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

                           [image not attached]

      Kathy Merrifield's field sketch of an immature male BUFFLEHEAD 
molting into adult, breeding plumage at Yaquina Bay on 4/18.  The white on 
the body was smudged extensively with diffuse dark brown.  The white patch 
on the head did not meet at the top or back, so it was framed in black like 
a Hooded Merganser.  (Field sketches aid your memory.)
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      On 4/17, R&TN saw a pair of BALD EAGLES in a courtship display over 
Cape Foulweather: "they were flying together and reaching their talons for 
each other's in the air."  A Bald Eagle and an OSPREY soared above the 
Toledo boat ramp on 3/31 (SK), and an Osprey was back at their nest pole at 
the Port of Toledo on 4/9 (fide PD).  On 4/5, JL saw an Osprey carrying 
nesting material (dried eelgrass from the beach near the HMSC Nature Trail) 
and flying south over the South Beach Industrial Park, and TD observed 
2 building a nest on power poles heading up north Beaver Creek on 4/25.

      A COOPER'S HAWK perched in an alder near the Yachats River on 4/9, 
and BB noted that the edge of his tail feathers were quite worn.

      A MERLIN buzzed P&BW's feeders at Tidewater on 4/13.

      On 4/12 at the HMSC, JL saw a WHITE-TAILED KITE "sitting in a tree 
but not looking too good, wings not folded completely, and one of his feet 
seems injured.  An injured foot would be bad for a bird that gets food with 
its talons.  He dived on something in the grass but missed, and the crows 
are bothering him."

      A MOUNTAIN QUAIL called at Fox Creek on 3/12 & 13 (MN).

      On 4/22, MC visited Beaver Creek Marsh and saw an adult VIRGINIA RAIL 
or SORA that was "followed by 3 black chicks swimming toward the parent in 
response to its call.  What a treat on Earth Day!"  While kayaking in 
Beaver Creek just east of the boat ramp on 4/22 & 25, TD also heard or saw 
both species.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A BLACK OYSTERCATCHER browsed for food with some gulls at the mouth 
of Starr Creek in Yachats on 4/23 (SaL).  KILLDEER were nesting on the lawn 
south of the HMSC Library on 4/15 (JL).  A pair of LONG-BILLED CURLEWS that 
are uncommon here were noted flying north at Boiler Bay on 4/27 (PP).

      WHIMBRELS were very conspicuous.  On 4/18, flocks of 30 and 50 were 
between Newport and Yachats (JM), and another 8 were on the beach below The 
Inn at Otter Crest (CS).  At Surfside south of Newport, LO counted 73 on 
4/22, and DD saw 26 at Beverly Beach State Park on 4/22.  KM saw 5 foraging 
"together" at Sallys Bend on 4/18; when one caught a large prey item 
covered in seaweed, "it kept shaking off seaweed and looking around 
furtively to make sure the others weren't sneaking up on it before 

      A RED KNOT flew by Boiler Bay on 4/24 (PP & WH).  Many WESTERN 
SANDPIPERS were first noticed flying past Boiler Bay on 4/22, and counts 
increased thereafter, with a peak (as of 4/28) of 22,000 during a 2 hour 
seawatch on 4/25 (PP).

      1 PARASITIC JAEGER and 1 FRANKLIN'S GULL passed Boiler Bay during 
PP's 4/16 seawatch at Spanish Head in Lincoln City.  Another Parasitic was 
noted at Boiler Bay on 4/27 (PP).

      3 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were beached during March along 4.6 miles 
of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, LO).

      The first CASPIAN TERN was heard calling the evening of 3/31 at the 
HMSC (RB), and the only TUFTED PUFFIN report was of one flying north at 
Boiler Bay on 4/27 (PP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      At Fox Creek, a MOURNING DOVE in early March was joined by a second 
on 3/30 (MN).  On 4/1 at her Yachats home, SaL notes: "When I was about to 
leave my home early this morning to hike with the dogs, a Mourning Dove was 
quietly sitting on the front porch.  I watched her for a bit and then spoke 
to her gently.  She flew across the road into a dense thicket of Black 
Twinberry, Salal, and Red Alder." 

      The first flock of BAND-TAILED PIGEONS was at Tidewater on 4/13 
(B&PW), and, at Yachats, BB had about 25-30 feeding twice a day at her 
feeder on 4/18.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                              RAVENS & OTHERS

      On 4/7, JL writes: "Four crows were diving at a COMMON RAVEN over the 
HMSC Nature Trail beach, with the raven using skillful defensive/evasive 
aerobatic flight maneuvers.  The raven settled on the beach to chow down on 
a freshly dead and partially disemboweled female SCAUP while the AMERICAN 
CROWS kept watch from a tree.  I wonder how the scaup met her fate?"

      About an hour later: "All the Yaquina gulls and BLACK BRANT flew 
north, followed by a young BALD EAGLE, who then settled on the beach to 
work on the female scaup.  Maybe that's how she died!"

      "Later on, the raven was sitting in the dead alder, while the crows 
brought in all their relatives, and 20 of them were carrying on in the 
spruce, complaining about the raven.  So the raven flew over to the spruce, 
and the 20 crows flew up and settled in the alder.  The raven, amused, flew 
back to the alder and scattered the crows again who rearranged themselves 
back in the spruce, complaining all the while.  Meanwhile, two TURKEY 
VULTURES came in and finished off the scaup.  I didn't see the eagle again.  
Life in the real world!"
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                      GRAY JAY-BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK

      A GRAY JAY that landed at PPa's Makai home, just north of Ona Beach, 
was an unusual spring sighting.

      The first spring PURPLE MARTINS were 2 singing loudly and staking 
claims to nest boxes in the cove just north of the HMSC on 4/23 (JL).  
Other firsts include BARN SWALLOWS at Tidewater on 4/26 (B&PW), and 

      Our latest VARIED THRUSH was at Fox Creek on 3/19 (MN).  A one-legged 
AMERICAN ROBIN has been residing at B&PW's Tidewater home and often lies 
down in the grass to rest; it seems healthy otherwise, though it will be 
interesting to see if it finds a mate.

      At his home near Criteser's Moorage downstream of Toledo on 4/12, SK 
"heard the call of an Osprey, yet when I looked in the sky I could find 
none there.  Then I noticed a EUROPEAN STARLING sitting on the power pole 
across the road with an obvious identity crisis going on.  Years ago in 
Corvallis I witnessed one imitating a Valley Quail.  As much as I loathe 
starlings, I find them very interesting at times." 

      1-2 AMERICAN PIPITS were at Boiler Bay on 4/24 (PP & WH) and 4/27 

      Every spring when B&PW's vine maple blooms at Tidewater, flocks of 
warblers show up.  This year, as of 4/13, it has been mostly YELLOW-RUMPED 
WARBLERS that seem to eat the maple blossoms, but they may be poking 
through the petals to get at insects attracted to the sticky material in 
the flowers.

      Our first BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK visited J&KC's home east of Waldport 
on 4/26.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                               NESTING JUNCO

      At her & WN's Wandamere home about 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach, RC 
writes:  "For the past 3 years we have had a pair of Dark-eyed Juncos nest 
in various hanging fuchsia baskets around our patio.  We are as certain as 
one could be without banding that this is the same pair, because of their 
highly eccentric choice of building site, the male's habit of battling with 
windows, and the general summer absence of other juncos in the near 
vicinity.  Each spring these two have started nesting earlier than the year 
before, to the point that the fuchsia baskets aren't ready when they are.  
Last year the first nest was started 4/08/03 and since there was no fuchsia 
basket available, the female put the first nest in a large rosemary bush 
next to the patio. (For unknown reasons, she abandoned the nest after 
several days incubation, then went on to build 2 subsequent nests - both 
successful - in fuchsia baskets. We speculated that she gave up on the 
rosemary bush after sitting out in the rain for a couple of days - the 
fuchsia baskets are sheltered under the roof overhang.)

      "I am pleased (I think) to report that they are back for a FOURTH 
year.  We saw the first sign of nesting on 3/21/04.  As there were no 
fuchsia pots available, the female had selected the only other surface in 
the nesting territory that was sheltered under a roof overhand - the bare 
roof of a swallow nest-box that hangs under the eave, 12' off the ground!  
She spent 3 days in a futile race to haul in nest materials faster than the 
wind blew the pile off the sloping nest box. Luckily the swallows didn't 
seem especially bothered, since they are only checking by once a day to 
establish ownership and will not nest for a while yet.  Meanwhile I got the 
fuchsia pots out, trimmed and hung them out, sparse though they are.  On 
3/24, I saw both juncos checking out the various fuchsia baskets, and on 
3/25 the male was singing and whacking the dining room window while she 
hauled grass and moss into the bushiest of the fuchsias.  As of 4/01 the 
nest appears complete with a cozy lining of dog hair, courtesy of our 
perpetually shedding mutt, and we are waiting for the first egg to appear.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      SAVANNAH SPARROWS were at Boiler Bay on 4/10 (PP).  Some clearly 
migrate very close to the coast, and they put on a good showing this month.  
A flock of 3 at the Yaquina Bay South Jetty at the "Big Pullout" on 4/18 
flew to the jetty rocks when disturbed and were in "bright, crisp breeding 
plumage" (KM).  A tight flock of 35-40 were working the lawn and rocks 
along the fence at Boiler Bay on 4/25 (PP), and another was hopping around 
the HMSC on 4/27 (RO).

the first spring arrivals for both were on 4/5 at Tidewater (P&BW).

      A CHIPPING SPARROW arrived at Toledo (CP), our latest 
WESTERN MEADOWLARK was at Boiler Bay on 4/27 (PP), and our first 
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS arrived at Tidewater on 4/14 (P&BW).

      A first for CP's Toledo feeder were 2 LESSER GOLDFINCHES feeding on 
niger seed bags on 4/8.

      Observers: Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Maxine Centala, Rebecca Cheek, 
Jorrie & Ken Ciotti, Dick Demarest, Pat Dickey, Todd Dunkirk, 
Wayne Hoffman, Steve Kupillas, Janet Lamberson, Sally Lockyear (SaL), 
Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel, Roy Lowe, Jim Maloney, 
Kathy Merrifield, Robin and Tom Nelson, Walt Nelson, Michael Noack, 
Robert Olson, Laimons Osis, Pam Parker (PPa), Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, 
Shirley Schwartz, Carol Shillitto, Tom Wainwright, Bunny & Pat Wright.

            BIRD FIELD NOTES from the May 2004 Sandpiper 25(5) 
                  for Observations Received Through May 31

      Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations:  Beaver 
Creek: creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park, Boiler Bay: State 
Wayside about 0.5 mi north of Depoe Bay, Eckman Lake: lake 2 mi east of 
Waldport along Hwy 34, HMSC: OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, Idaho 
Flats: large embayment just east of HMSC, LNG tank: large green Liquefied 
Natural Gas tank on the north side of Yaquina Bay about 1.5 miles east of 
Yaquina Bay Bridge, Ona Beach: State Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay 
bridge along Hwy 101 at Beaver Creek, Sallys Bend: large Yaquina Bay 
embayment east of the LNG tank, Tidewater: about 8 mi east of Waldport, 
YBSJ: Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      We tend to look to exotic locations as being significant, so we may 
take Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (YHONA) for granted because it 
is nearby.  But YHONA is a jewel for seabird nesting and education that has 
been recognized as a Globally Important Bird Area.  The opportunities for 
seabird and natural history education at YHONA are immense.
      The following information about seabird nesting at YHONA is excerpted 
from a May 12 report by Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast 
National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  His report makes it clear that seabirds 
have responded positively to protection from intrusion at YHONA.  In RB's 
experience, intruders that can have a negative impact in seabird nesting or 
potential nesting areas include the general public, bird watchers, 
photographers, or dogs.  We may not wish to harm but may do so through our 
unawareness of our impact.

      Roy writes (in part):
      "In 1985, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Coast Guard entered into a formal agreement 
through a Memorandum of Understanding to protect the natural resources of 
Yaquina Head and the adjacent rocks within Oregon Islands National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR) and Oregon Islands Wilderness.  ... the management techniques 
employed by BLM to reduce human disturbance and colony intrusions have 
provided seabirds with breeding opportunities that were previously 
unavailable.  Seabirds have responded positively and in some cases 
dramatically to the protection afforded them at Yaquina Head, despite the 
increase in public visitation.

      "Yaquina Head is a success story for wildlife resource protection and 
for environmental education and interpretation.  It is now one of the 
premiere seabird viewing areas in the country.  The credit for the benefits 
afforded seabirds at Yaquina Head through management actions and protection 
rests squarely on the shoulders of the onsite BLM staff. ... Data collected 
by the USFWS for breeding populations of pelagic cormorants, Brandt?s 
cormorants and common murres at Yaquina Head, along with 19 years of 
personal observations, does reveal benefits of proper management of human 
uses at Yaquina Head.  ... 

      "More than any other species, Brandt?s cormorants have benefited from 
BLM management actions at Yaquina Head and these benefits continue today.  
mainland portion of Yaquina Head, in 1992 and have nested there every year 
since, except for 2002.  In 1995, a total of 844 Brandt?s cormorant nests 
were recorded in colony 243-016 making it one of the largest colonies in 
the entire Pacific Northwest.  This is a very unusual nesting site for 
Brandt?s cormorants because the topography makes it easily accessible to 
humans and mammalian predators.  However, the fencing and efforts of BLM 
employees in preventing access and human disturbance here allows this 
colony to exist.  ...  

      "Beginning in 1998, Gull Rock, approximately 5.5 miles north of 
Colony Rock [the island west of the Light House], was abandoned by common 
murres as a breeding colony due to continued harassment by bald eagles and 
it appears that common murres displaced from Gull Rock may have begun 
joining breeding colonies at Yaquina Head.  This particularly appears to be 
the case since 1999, when record numbers of common murres began to be 
recorded at Yaquina Head. ...  Management of Yaquina Head by BLM has 
benefited murres as well as cormorants.  From 1979-1989 only Colony Rock 
supported a common murre colony.  From 1990-1997, four new colonies of 
common murres became established at Yaquina Head, which constitutes 50% of 
all new common murre colonies established in Oregon during that period.  
Three of these new colonies now number in the thousands and would be 
accessible to humans without management protection provided by BLM.    The 
common murre population remained stable from 1987-1997 at Yaquina Head, but 
has now increased significantly as birds immigrate from Gull Rock and other 
areas.  The formation of new colonies and increasing numbers of nesting 
birds while accommodating hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, 
reflect positively on BLM management actions at Yaquina Head in providing 
seabirds with relatively undisturbed nesting areas.  The common murre 
colonies at Yaquina Head are located closer to managed public access than 
any other location in the eastern Pacific Ocean yet they continue to do 

      Roy's report indicates that there were 316 Pelagic and 1,203 Brandt's 
Cormorant nests in 2003. In 1999, there were an estimated 39,000 breeding 
Common Murres (which is more than in Washington and British Columbia 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                          BAITFISH & BIRD FLOCKS

      On 5/13, WH saw about 400 gulls and 50 Harbor Seals feeding on 
baitfish in the mouth of Siletz Bay.  WH writes: "The gulls were mostly 
WESTERN GULLS but included immature GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS, and about 15 
were wading on the point on the south side of the channel, and I saw them 
catch several fish.  The seals were rolling onto their sides or even over 
onto their backs on the surface--I think to look under water and watch for 
prey.  They were feeding very close to the shores as well as in the middle 
of the channel.  The fish I could see in gull bills were not herring, not 
salmon smolts.  They were 4-6 inches long, and I suspect they were Surf 

      On 5/11 at Sallys Bend, RB saw 20+ GREAT BLUE HERONS leap-frogging 
along the channel near a feeding flock of spiritedly diving cormorants.  It 
appeared that they were feeding on small, unidentified fish, but the action 
was too frenzied to get a good look at the fish.

      The afternoon of 5/12, JL "saw 29 GREAT BLUE HERONS standing together 
out at the edge of Idaho Flats near the Bald Eagle piling.  Some of them 
were flapping and dancing around."  Based on their behavior, RB suspects 
that these herons were also part of a feeding flock on a baitfish school.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      PP estimated 2,500-4,000+ PACIFIC LOONS flying north past Boiler Bay 
during his 4/28, 4/29, and 5/10 seawatches.  On 5/18, PP noted about 1,500+ 
during his Boiler Bay seawatch with about half in nonbreeding or 
intermediate plumage.  A Pacific was also near the Yaquina Bay Bridge on 
4/28 (SW), and 1 with an obviously injured foot was near the HMSC on 5/21 & 
27 (JL).

      On 5/2 at a beach south of Waldport, JGei "was surprised to see a 
COMMON LOON heading straight inland over the beach and shore pines, but 
then it turned and made two wide circles over me, before heading north 
parallel to the shore.  I wonder if it was using thermals to gain a bit of 
altitude, the way raptors do (but with considerably more exertion)."  There 
have been previous reports of high altitude flights of Common Loons along 
the Oregon Coast; for example, while flying in an airplane, RL observed 
three flights (2 in April, 1 in November) near Cape Blanco (Curry Co.), 
where the loons were about 1,000-3,000 ft above ground level (1992 Oregon 
Birds 18[3]:77).  Such flights may regularly occur but are high enough that 
we don't even look for them!  When was the last time that you looked for a 
loon flying a thousand or more feet overhead?

      On 5/21, RH saw 4 CLARK'S GREBES and 75 WESTERN GREBES on the north 
side of Yaquina Head.  Nonbreeding Westerns commonly oversummer along the 
Lincoln Co. coast (SemiL).

      In April, there were few birds along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona 
Beach, perhaps the most notable being 1 NORTHERN FULMAR (B&SLo, LO) that 
may be remnant of the large die-off late last year.  1 of 5 SOOTY 
SHEARWATERS found on their beach in late May had a stainless steel band 
from New Zealand (B&SLo, LO)!  In the last week of May, they also found 
5 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES, which is a high number (B&SLo, LO).

      PP detected 2 rare MANX SHEARWATERS flying north about 500 yards 
offshore of Boiler Bay on 4/28, and WH spotted a rare FLESH-FOOTED 
SHEARWATER about 20 miles offshore of Newport on 5/13.

      BROWN PELICANS put on a good show!  Prior to 1982, they were rarely 
reported in April or May (SemiL).  This year, sightings included: an 
unspecified number at Yaquina Head (BLM) and 1 at Boiler Bay (PP) on 4/28, 
2 at the mouth of Siletz Bay and 3 at the mouth of Lincoln City's D River 
on 4/30 (TJ, LG, WG, & JPo), 2 flocks at Yachats on 5/1 (B&WGei), 4 at 
Salishan Spit the first week of May (GC), 1 at Boiler Bay on 5/10 & 18 (PP) 
and 5/12 (TJ, CM, DM, & JWi), and at least 1 at Yaquina Head on 5/21 (BLM).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                              SCOUTING EGRETS
      GREAT EGRETS were first reported in Lincoln Co. in 1965 and were 
first noted in May or early June during the nesting season in 1974 (SemiL).  
1-2 have been reported most years since then during the nesting season, 
especially in the Beaver Creek area.  However, they have not been confirmed 
nesting north of Coos Bay along the Oregon Coast (Oregon Breeding Bird 
Atlas), and those present here in May and June may be nonbreeders. "Fall" 
arrivals start on about 6/26 (SemiL).

      But this is the first year in which there was evidence that they 
might be trying to nest!  In late April, as many as 5 Great Egrets were 
noted at Idaho Flats (JL; TW; RL).  On 5/6, JL made the exciting discovery 
of seeing 7 perched in a small Great Blue Heron colony near Yaquina Bay; 
4 were also perched there the next day.  Great Egrets and GBH's often nest 
together, so the egrets' presence at a heronry is a sign that the egrets 
may have been scouting the heronry for nesting.  Local ODFW & USFWS 
biologists were notified, but a general alert was not sent out because the 
heronry is in a sensitive location near housing and industry.  Alas, the 
egrets were not seen again at the heronry, in spite of observations by JL & 
RB, and only 1-2 were later seen sporadically at Idaho Flats on 5/11 & 21 

      In RB's opinion, the egrets may have abandoned that heronry because 
it had too few trees and no suitable nesting sites for the egrets--the good 
nesting sites were probably occupied by GBH's.  The presence of humans 
nearby may also have discouraged the egrets.

      Perhaps the egrets nested at another Lincoln County heronry because 
some have remained (e.g., DF found 4 Great Egrets at Beaver Creek on 5/17 
and 1 was also there during the 5/22 YBNFT).  But the only heronry that 
appears to be monitored is the one that JL & RB were watching.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      On 5/20, DP heard a strangely, continuously calling GREAT BLUE HERON 
near the Little Nestucca River (Tillamook Co.).  DP noted that it sounded 
like the strangely calling GBH at Yaquina Bay that was last heard on 4/21 
(RB).  It is hard to believe that there are 2 strangely calling herons, so 
is one moving such long distances?

      An AMERICAN BITTERN was between Siletz & Toledo on 5/18 (JPl); they 
are probably regularly here but rarely found.  JL notes that the red of a 
GREEN-BACKED HERON near the log pond south of the HMSC on 4/27 was more 
apparent than the green--a Red-Green Heron?

      The ODFW introduced WESTERN CANADA GEESE near Florence (Lane Co.) in 
1983.  Since then, they have scattered and nest along the coast.  In recent 
years, a northward flight in late May has become apparent and may be 
immatures and failed breeders.  This year, the first flocks were noted at 
Eckman Lake and Newport on 5/16, and flocks with 8-25 geese were noted 
through 5/25 (RB; RL; JL).  RL reports that SC spotted a flock at Harbor 
(Curry Co.), which is the furthest south along the Oregon Coast that these 
late May, northerly migrating Western Canada Goose flocks have been noted.

      Our latest BLACK BRANT was a singleton at Seal Rocks on 4/29 (TJ), 
4/30 (TJ, LG, WG, & JPo), 5/1 (JGei), and 5/22 (YBNFT), though straggling 
nonbreeders will probably appear during the summer (SemiL).

      On 5/1, RL saw the first brood of WOOD DUCKS at Eckman Lake; "a hen 
with 6 tiny young just out of the nest.  I saw them again the afternoon of 
5/3, and she still has six young."

      On 5/17, DF found a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Beaver Creek, and 
Keady's Pasture at Beaver Creek was a bonanza for waterfowl during the 5/22 
(YBNFT) with many WOOD DUCKS, 2 pairs of CINNAMON TEAL, a pair of BLUE-
MALLARDS, and CANADA GEESE.  Cinnamon Teal and either Cinnamon or Blue-
winged Teal nested near the Logsden Store in the mid-1980's, but this is 
one of our latest dates for shovelers (SemiL).

      HARLEQUIN DUCK records include 10 at Stonefield Beach (Lane Co.) on 
4/28 (SW), 2 at Otter Rock on 4/29 & 30 (TJ, LG, WG, & JP), a male at 
Devils Punchbowl on 5/9 (JPl, AC, & SC), 1-2 at Seal Rocks on 4/29 (TJ), 
5/2 (JGei), 5/22 (YBNFT), & 5/25 (JPl & GV); and a singleton at Yaquina 
Head on 5/21 (RH).

      During his 4/29 seawatch at Boiler Bay, PP saw 1,900 SURF SCOTERS 
flying north, including one flock of 800! 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      BALD EAGLES often visited Yaquina Head during April and May (BLM)--
there were also many other eagle sightings, one of the more interesting 
occurred at the upper lake of Big Creek Reservoir (Newport) on 5/19, when 
BLo observed a Bald Eagle chasing an OSPREY; the Osprey dropped its trout, 
and the eagle caught the trout as it was plummeting into an alder tree!

      OSPREY were often noted, with the most uncommon sightings being one 
fishing the Yaquina River near Criteser's Moorage, downstream of Toledo on 
4/29 (SK) and another at Lint Slough at Alsea Bay on 5/23 (JWe).

      At Newton Hill between Siletz and Toledo, JL remarked on 5/4: "I 
think we have an Osprey nest in the trees in our back yard.  It can't be 
seen from the ground, but we hear the Osprey skreeking up there every now 
and then, and when he came in with a fish on 5/2, I heard peeping, like 
there might be osprey-lets up there.  The strange thing is, there doesn't 
seem to be a lot of activity around the nest.  We hear or see the osprey 
once or twice every few days, not as often as I would expect if he is 
caring for a family."  On 5/5, JL comments: "Apparently we do have a nest.  
PL went up to the base of the tree that we thought the nest was in, and 
there on the ground were two Osprey-chick-sized balls of white fluffy 
feathers.  I guess at least two of them didn't make it, but I think there 
is still one in the nest.  Maybe the adults are inexperienced in raising 
young, and don't bring enough food.  It will be interesting to see how this 
nest fares - the Ospreys were up there for awhile last year, but I don't 
think they actually hatched any young.  Maybe next year!"

      The afternoon of 5/10, D&LF visited Yaquina Head, and DF writes: "We 
were treated to some behavior I had never before observed from a RED-TAILED 
HAWK.  We were parked on the turnout at the end of 60th St north of the 
Head, looking out at the ocean and the murre colony rock.  We saw two Red-
tailed Hawks hovering in the breeze over the headland to the east of the 
lighthouse.  That in itself was not unusual.  Red-tails in that location do 
it all the time.  However, as we watched, one of the birds dropped down 
into the grass onto some prey.  After a few seconds, it lifted off, and 
continued to hover in the wind.  However, I noticed that it seemed to be 
sort of leaning over in an odd position, so looked more carefully through 
my binoculars.  The hawk was holding the prey (which, judging from the size 
of it, was somewhat larger than a mouse) in its left talon, and reaching 
forward to bite off chunks with its beak.  I had never seen this before.  I 
know kites are supposed to do that, but it surprised me to see this 
behavior from a buteo.  Perhaps in the right wind and topographical 
conditions it is more common than I suppose."

      2 COOPER'S HAWKS were vocalizing high overhead (courting?) at Beaver 
Creek on 5/21 (LO), and another was at Drift Creek (Lincoln City) on 5/25 

      An adult male NORTHERN HARRIER hunted at the HMSC on 4/27, 5/3 & 4, 
and 5/11 (JL; JM).  They may be nesting in the South Beach area.

      Singleton PEREGRINE FALCONS were at south Siletz Bay and Boiler Bay 
on 4/29 (TJ).  A MERLIN was near the HMSC on 4/27 (JL), and one took a 
HOUSE FINCH on 5/4 at a feeder near the USFWS building at the HMSC (DP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      Many male BLUE GROUSE were booming on Marys Peak (Benton Co.) on 5/14 

      A flock of 9 GOLDEN-PLOVER SP. flew north past Boiler Bay on 4/28 
(PP), and a KILLDEER was on the EPA roof (unlikely location!) at the HMSC 
on 5/22 (JL).

      At Boiler Bay, 950 WHIMBRELS and 11,000+ WESTERN SANDPIPERS passed on 
4/28, and 600 Whimbrels and at least 7,000 Western Sandpipers migrated 
north on 4/29 (PP).  Their numbers had greatly declined by 5/10, when only 
5 Whimbrels and 150 Western Sandpipers were noted passing there (PP).  On 
5/5, TW counted 100 resting WHIMBRELS in the pickleweed near the boardwalk 
at the south end of the HMSC Nature Trail, with another flock of about 20 
further north.  About a 100 Whimbrels were also at Idaho Flats on 5/11 
(JL), and 51 remained on the beach at Surfland near South Beach on 5/21 
(LO); some regularly oversummer (SemiL) as nonbreeders.

      An uncommon LONG-BILLED CURLEW passed Boiler Bay on 5/18 (PP).

      TJ found that 4/29 was a great day for MARBLED GODWITS with 8 at 
Siletz Bay, 4 at Nye Beach (Newport), 6 in Yaquina Bay, and 3 at Seal 
Rocks.  The next day, singletons were at Mooloch Beach north of and at 
Agate Beach south of Yaquina Head (TJ, LG, WG, & JPo), 1-2 were at Siletz 
Bay and Idaho Flats on 5/12 (TJ, CM, DM, & JWi), and 2 remained at Idaho 
Flats on 5/21 (JL).

      1 RED KNOT was at Nye Beach, 10 were on beach north of Yaquina Bay 
North Jetty, and 2 were on the beach at the northwest side of the Yaquina 
Bay Bridge on 4/29 (TJ).  On 4/30, 2 were at Agate Beach (TJ, LG, WG, & 

      RUDDY TURNSTONE records include: 1 at Seal Rocks on 4/29 (TJ), 1 at 
Depoe Bay on 5/2 (JPl), and another at Boiler Bay on 5/12 (TJ, CM, DM, & 

      WANDERING TATTLERS were at Seal Rocks on 4/29 (TJ) and Yaquina Head 
on 5/3 & 5 (BLM).

      DF found an uncommon SOLITARY SANDPIPER in a marsh along Beaver Creek 
about 1/4 mile east of Ona Beach on 5/24.  This is late as our previous 
late record was 5/13 (SemiL).

      During their May migration, SPOTTED SANDPIPERS appear in many areas 
where they normally are not found, including rocky intertidal areas.  On 
5/4, RL spotted one at the south end of Eckman Lake, and JL found another 
in Wecoma Cove at the HMSC on 5/22.

      Our latest COMMON SNIPE was moving at Yachats on 5/1 (SaL); they 
probably nest in upland marshes in the NE corner of the County.

      Some springs, RED-NECKED PHALAROPES can be very numerous onshore, but 
our only reports this spring were of 6 offshore of Newport on 5/13 (WH) and 
8 flying past Boiler Bay on 5/18 (PP).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A PARASITIC JAEGER was at Boiler Bay on 5/2 (JPl), and a Parasitic, a 
FRANKLIN'S GULL in nonbreeding plumage, and 2 early, first-summer 
HEERMANN'S GULLS were also there on 5/18 (PP).  Our latest HERRING GULL 
flew north past Boiler Bay on 4/28 (PP).  On 5/16 at Spanish Head in 
Lincoln City, PP noted that the normal May/June flight of CALIFORNIA GULLS 
had started with small groups of immatures going by.

      On 12 August 1987, RL banded 9 unfledged PIGEON GUILLEMOTS at Yaquina 
Head.  In December 2003, EB found one of them in the sand at Seal Rocks 
that was very decomposed and that had likely died last summer (fide RL).  
So it lived 16 years!

      At Boiler Bay, 400+ RHINOCEROS AUKLETS passed on 4/28 & 4/29, along 
with a single TUFTED PUFFIN on 4/29 (PP).  At Boiler Bay, PP noted 130 
Rhinos and 3 murrelets on 5/10, and WH counted 80 Rhinos flying mostly 
north on 5/15.  On 5/13, a shipborne TG saw a Tufted Puffin near Newport, 
and, on 5/18, PP counted 450 Rhinos and 3 Tufted Puffins passing Boiler 

      On 4/29, TJ observed about 30 MARBLED MURRELETS, not all of which 
were in breeding plumage, at Boiler Bay, with another two at Seal Rocks.  
On 5/21, 1 beached Marbled Murrelet was found north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, 
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                          DOVES-DUSKY FLYCATCHER

      2 MOURNING DOVES were eating cracked corn at DG's Toledo home each 
morning in early May, and 1-2 were regularly near the east side of Sallys 
Bend at J&LM's Coquille Point home in mid-May.  Another showed up at J&KC's 
home east of Waldport on 5/19.  A flock of 26 BAND-TAILED PIGEONS also were 
emptying DG's Toledo feeders in early May, and 36 were still at J&KC's home 
east of Waldport on 5/22.

      JPl detected single BLACK SWIFTS flying over timber in hills west of 
Siletz on 5/10 & 17; the second was 3-4 miles north of where the first was 
seen.  JPl comments: "I had good views of both and heard the second as 
well.  Neither appeared to be foraging, as they both flew above the canopy 
in a straight northerly direction."  VAUX'S SWIFTS are the usual swift, and 
they nest here, but our only report was of one in an area where they 
sometimes nest in chimneys near RO's home in north Newport on 4/30.

      In mid-May, J&KC were going through 12 cups of sugar water every day 
at their hummingbird feeders east of Waldport, and JC writes: "We've never 
seen so many hummers and we love it."  Most were Rufous Hummingbirds, but 
they also had Anna's Hummingbirds gathering cotton on 5/9 & 10.  Note that 
juvenile (hatched this year) Rufous are probably out and about as WG 
observed a fledged female on 5/11 in Multnomah Co., and MP mistnetted a 
juvenile in Clatsop Co. on 5/16.  Yet, a female Rufous was gathering cotton 
for a nest at J&KC's home on 5/21, so nesting is continuing.  Some have 
been inquisitive as Jim Gerdemann assisted one out of their Yachats living 
room on 5/24; J&JGer also have Anna's Hummingbirds coming to Jim's 
tropical, tubular flowers.

      1 PILEATED WOODPECKER was in a dead tree in Toledo in mid-May (LF & 
JP), and a probable Pileated was 1.5 miles east of Waldport on 5/19 (CN).

      On 5/22, JC writes: "The tail-less female NORTHERN (Red-shafted) 
FLICKER is still here [at our home east of Waldport] and still without a 
tail.  It's been over a year now, and she just won't let her tail grow out.  
We see her with small feathers growing back and then she pulls them out.  I 
don't know why she won't let them grow.  It's a very strange sight to watch 
her fly as she almost looks like a starling.  She was doing the mating 
dance with a male Red-shafted in late December."

      The season's first OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was near Siletz Bay on 4/30 
(TJ, LG, WG, & JPo).  SaL notes that the one she heard in Yachats on 5/31 
had a song that sounded more like "Hick three beers."

      JPl detected a rarely reported DUSKY FLYCATCHER in hills upriver of 
Logsden on 5/6.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                             WESTERN KINGBIRD

      On 5/4 or 5, DG, LO, RO, and GM had "tremendous looks at a beautiful 
WESTERN KINGBIRD" during the USFWS' Shorebird Sister Schools Program field 
trip at Idaho Flats.

      On 5/23, DF spotted our only other WESTERN KINGBIRD near the HMSC and 
writes: "This one had me looking twice.  For a long time I was unable to 
detect any white on the sides of the tail, and the tail appeared blackish 
brown.  However, in other respects it looked suspiciously like a Western, 
and after about ten minutes I was able to see a very fine white edge on the 
outer tail feathers.  I've seen that pattern before on fall birds, but it 
struck me as being unusual in spring."

      We often have had several sightings each spring from April 20 through 
May with 4 years of records in early June (SemiL).  The few Western 
Kingbird sightings this spring may be because of the closure of the main 
entrance to the HMSC Nature Trail, which is the source of many of our 
kingbird sightings.  Access points other than the main entrance are 
difficult to find, so it hasn't been birded as much as usual.
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      A RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET with a grub in its bill flew into a window in 
Newport the last week of May (fide CP).  After a few minutes the kinglet 
flew away without its grub, but a mystery remains.  Ruby-crowns are rare 
from late May through August in Lincoln County (SemiL), and the Oregon 
Breeding Bird Atlas does not show any Confirmed breeding records for them 
west of the Cascades, though there are Possible and Probable breeding 
records.  One carrying a grub could be doing so to feed young and thus 
could confirm breeding.  CP is going to try to re-locate the kinglet to see 
if it may be nesting.

      The partial albino STELLER'S JAY was gone from J&KC's home east of 
Waldport for about a month, and then reappeared on 5/4 for a few days 
before leaving again.

      On 5/25, BLo "saw an AMERICAN CROW next to a neighbor's garage door; 
the crow had a 15 inch snake on the ground in front of it.  As I 
approached, the crow picked up the now-seen-to-be-alive snake and flew off.  
This is the second time I have seen a crow with a live snake."

      A COMMON RAVEN was at Idaho Flats on 4/28 (JL).

      Our first reports of SWAINSON'S THRUSH were on 5/15 at north Newport 
(RO) and Tidewater (B&PW) and shortly thereafter near Seal Rocks (JT).

      One AMERICAN PIPIT was at Boiler Bay on 4/29 (PP).

      The spring's first WESTERN TANAGERS were a female and 2 males feeding 
in western red cedars in B&PW's Tidewater yard on 5/8.

      While halibut fishing on 5/13 at the Rockpile, 19 miles west of 
Newport, RL was surprised by an exhausted female TOWNSEND'S WARBLER that 
landed onboard.

      On 5/18, DS spotted an unusual bird at her South Beach feeder.  She 
recorded enough details to determine, with JGi's and GG's help, that it was 
a first year male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK.  A very good find!
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                     GROSBEAK VS. WINDOW.  NO CONTEST.

      A male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was found dead below the windows along 
the breezeway between the HMSC Library and Education Wing just before our 
5/20 YB&N meeting.  The breezeway has falcon black silhouettes in the 
windows that were commercially made to try to deter birds, but birds 
continue to fly into these windows.  DG has found that hanging shiny, 
plastic strips or spinners outside windows seems to work better.  The 
combination of shining light and movement appears to get the attention of 
birds better than a stationary silhouette.

      Live BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS were often noted, with several visiting 
feeders near Lost Creek north of Ona Beach in mid May (OW & SL).
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

      At RC and WN's Wandamere home about 0.5 mile north of Ona Beach, RC 
continues from last month the saga of DARK-EYED JUNCOS nesting in hanging 
fuchsia pots.  RC writes:

      "The "potted junclets" (so named last year by Kathy Merrifield) 
hatched around 4/16, judging by parental behavior.  I checked the nest 4/21 
and the nestlings appeared to be a few days old already.  There were 2 
chicks produced by this nesting and 2 unhatched eggs remained after they 
fledged. The first baby left the nest early morning 5/02 and hid in nearby 
shrubbery, so parents spent the day guarding the patio area and feeding 
both chicks, while trying hard to lure the laggard out of the nest.  
Despite their encouragement, it remained in the nest all day and overnight, 
finally taking its first fluttering flight early the next morning (5/03).  
At the same time I discovered that Mama junco was already constructing nest 
#2 in a different fuchsia pot.  The new nest was completed with the usual 
dog hair lining by 5/06 and the first egg was in it 5/07.  She is sitting 
on the nest this morning (5/25) and the eggs should be hatching any day.  
Meanwhile, Papa junco has been singing and tending the two youngsters in 
the brushy area between our yard and the neighbor's.

      "With the hatching of the first brood, there was a significant 
escalation in the nutty activity by the parents.  Since their very first 
nest 4 years ago, the male has battled his reflection in windows (earning 
the name Macho Junco). As this year's first brood approached fledging, the 
FEMALE also took up the habit, only more so!  Several times I saw her stop 
to thwack a window as she was on the way back to the nest with a beak full 
of insects for the babies.  Not only did she battle windows, she also 
rushed into the garage at every opportunity to attack the side mirrors on 
our parked cars.  Chasing her out didn't work.  On one occasion I found 
both birds together in the garage, one attacking a mirror on Walt's truck 
and the other having it out with the mirror on my car.  Since we couldn't 
close the garage because a pair of Barn Swallows are nesting in there 
(another story), we were reduced to covering the side mirrors so she would 
leave them alone.  That worked, sort of--she turned her aggressions on the 
car windows instead.  We gave up and let her fight all she wanted.  Now 
that she is incubating she has given up fighting reflections for the 

      On 5/26, RC updates: "I suppose this morning marks the end of the 
junco series.  Sometime this morning a Steller's Jay found the junco nest 
in the fuchsia basket.  By the time I noticed, the damage was done--nest 
torn apart, eggs/nestlings gone, and the jay was hopefully looking in the 
other fuchsia baskets for more nests.  When I shooed it away from the 
patio, it flew straight to the chickadee nest box and was trying to figure 
out how to get in, much to the distress of the chickadee parents. Three 
nesting seasons without tragedy is a good record for the junco pair; maybe 
4 was too much to hope for."
*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *
                         SPARROW-EVENING GROSBEAK

      Fledgling WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were out at the HMSC on 5/21 (JL).

      CK observed a male LAZULI BUNTING at her feeder near Nashville in 
eastern Lincoln County (fide DF).  They have been reported about every 
other spring (SemiL), but may be more common in the eastern part of the 
county that isn't birded very much.

      A male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, a regular spring vagrant (SemiL), was 
at a farm about 5 miles up the Yachats River during 5/12-16 (fide BB).

      BLl put up thistle and sunflower feeders at his Logsden home on 5/9 
and was pleasantly surprised to have 40 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and several 
EVENING GROSBEAKS within the next two days.  The goldfinches have remained 
through 5/30 (BLl).  J&KC had 36 American Goldfinches "lined up on the 
power line" near their home east of Waldport on 5/15.  At Yachats, Evening 
Grosbeaks also graced BB's feeders in early May, and J&JGer's home on 5/25.

      Observers/Sources: Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Bureau of Land Management 
staff at Yaquina Head (BLM), Emily Burton, Gert Carey, Sheila Chambers, 
Rebecca Cheek, Jorrie & Ken Ciotti, Anne Condon, Susan Cooper, Todd 
Dunkirk, Darrel & Laura Faxon, Leah Feinberg, Joel, Becky, & Wil Geier 
(JGei, B & WGei); Jim & Janice Gerdemann (J&JGer), Jeff Gilligan (JGi), 
Greg Gillson, Larry Gohl, Dawn Grafe, Wink Gross, Troy Guy, Wayne Hoffman, 
Rich Hoyer, Tim Janzen, Carol Krog, Steve Kupillas, Janet & Phil Lamberson, 
Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley 
Loeffel, Roy Lowe, John & Linda Mackown, David Mandell, Craig Miller, June 
Mohler, Guy Monroe, Walt Nelson, Colleen Nickerson, Robert Olson, Laimons 
Osis, Mike Patterson, Jay Peterson, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Dave 
Pitkin, Jon Plissner (JPl), Johnny Powell (JPo), Donna Saxon, SemiL 
(semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at 
(ScholarsArchive@OSU)), Jim Thielen, Gerrit Vyn, Tom Wainwright, Jean Weakland (JWe), 
Otto Werner, Shirley Williams, Jay Withgott (JWi), Bunny & Pat Wright, 
Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT led by LO).

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