These field notes are from the Sandpiper. This is a publication of Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Lincoln County, Oregon; this group is independent of the Audubon Society of Lincoln City. Comments about abundance or seasonality refer only to LINCOLN COUNTY.
Many Lincoln Co. sites are in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide (http://www.oregoncoastbirding.com/).
------------------------------- Month of Sandpiper, Volume 27 ------------------------------- August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006
Semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 at (ScholarsArchive@OSU).
Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations: BEAVER CREEK: creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park, ECKMAN LAKE: lake 2 mi east of Waldport along HWY 34, HMSC: OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, HY=hatch year (bird hatched in the current calendar year), 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, MIKE MILLER PARK: county park 1.2 miles south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on the east side of Hwy 101, 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, THORNTON CREEK: about midway between Toledo and Eddyville along HWY 20, WANDEMERE: about 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach near HWY 101, YBSJ: Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
Thanks to the many observers who have shared their observations for June-August! I have 52 pages of emailed notes (343K) plus another 15-25 pages of mailed notes and about a dozen telephone calls with sightings. Needless to say, there is not room to include everything in this column! I can only include what I think are the highlights of the highlights! Thanks for your patience!
All notes received are useful and are stored in the hope that they will be compiled to give more information about the Birds of Lincoln County. So please don't be bashful--share your sightings! Our shared observations can help, even if they are not included in the Sandpiper.
LN found a YELLOW-BILLED LOON along with a COMMON LOON at Sallys Bend on 7/24. Both were relocated on 7/27 (RH & BBl).
While doing the Salado Breeding Bird Survey on 6/11, JS discovered a PIED-BILLED GREBE with four grebelets at the pond across from the Logsden Store.
30-65 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES were noted during pelagic trips from Newport on 8/8 (BD) and 8/19 & 20 (BGPT). Also noted were NORTHERN FULMARS, SOOTY, and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, as many as 500 FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS, and, during the 8/19 &20 trips, 35 BULLER'S SHEARWATERS (BGPT).
[Image Not Included: Dave Pitkin's cropped photo from a boat of a faintly visible normal-plumaged and an all-white Pelagic Cormorant atop a nest white-washed with droppings and a normal-plumaged Pelagic Cormorant at a nest to the lower left at Cape Foulweather on 16 August 2006.]
During nesting seabird surveys from a boat off Cape Foulweather on 8/16, DP & KS's attention was drawn to an all-white PELAGIC CORMORANT. Interestingly, AS reported a white Pelagic Cormorant in the same area on 4 & 5 August 2004--could it be the same bird two years later?
BROWN PELICANS were often appreciated.
HS discovered an AMERICAN BITTERN at Mike Miller Park on 7/15--they may be a common species that are rarely seen.
RB heard the continuously squawking GREAT BLUE HERON flying again over the HMSC just after dusk on 6/5, 8, & 14.
This could be the year that the number of GREAT EGRETS at minus low tides is greater than the number of GREAT BLUE HERONS at Yaquina Bay embayments. Embayments include Sallys Bend, Idaho Flats, and the embayments south of Sallys Bend. Heron numbers peak in July and August, but egret numbers in the past have peaked in September-October. RB's peak heron count this year was 156 on 7/28, and he counted 141 herons and 79 egrets on 8/13. On 7/14, BLl counted 40 flying over the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and 72-76 were just at Idaho Flats on 8/16 (JL; TW). On 8/27, KM counted 92 egrets. Will this be the year?
There were also 2 GREAT EGRETS at Yachats Bay on 8/17 (BBa).
RN found a SNOWY EGRET south of Cutler City in Siletz Bay on 7/12.
On 6/28, two fledgling GREEN HERONS along with one adult were at the south end of Eckman Lake (RL). Unlike Great Blues, adult Green Herons remain with fledglings away from the nest for a while.
WESTERN CANADA GEESE appear to have done extraordinarily well at Yaquina Bay with 22 at Yaquina Bay embayments on 7/30 (KM), 65 on 8/13 (RB), and "probably at least 150" on 8/27 (KM). The first flock of southbound Westerns was noted at Newport on 7/25 (RB).
[Image Not Included: Kitty Brigham's photo of 9 Brant along the ocean shore at Seal Rocks on 26 June 2006. View is looking west towards the ocean and sun.]
Nonbreeding BRANT often linger during summer, and KB found 7-11 along the beach almost daily during 6/24-7/3 just north of Seal Rocks near her home, but none thereafter. A dead BRANT was found along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach on 7/13 (B&SLo, L&VO)--could this be one of the 11?
An unseasonable LONG-TAILED DUCK was along the YBSJ during the 7/1 BG pelagic trip.
A HOODED MERGANSER with 5 chicks and a WOOD DUCK were admired during the 6/17 YBNFT to Mike Miller Park.
9 COMMON MERGANSERS were at Idaho Flats on 6/5 (RL). On 8/21, JL detected 3 Common or Red-breasted Mergansers at Idaho Flats. Common Mergansers nest here and often show up in summer in the lower estuaries where they are not found in winter. Red-breasteds do not nest here. Common Merganser females and immatures in summer can look very similar to female Red-breasteds and can only be safely told apart then by bill and head shape and nostril position (Kaufman 1990 Am. Birds 44:1203-1205 and in his "A Field Guide to Advanced Birding"). Red-breasteds should be arriving in mid-October, although a few Red-breasteds identified on the basis of their bill have occasionally been found lingering in summer. In winter, female Commons and Red-breasteds can be easily distinguished as shown in most field guides.
JW knows of 3 active OSPREY nests in the Waldport area: Eckman Lake power pole, High School light pole, and a snag west of HWY 101 in the Bayshore area.
On 7/22, ML watched an adult PEREGRINE FALCON kill and eat a young California Gull at Idaho Flats. A juvenile (HY=hatch year) Peregrine perched on a utility wire near the HMSC on 7/29 (TD & SS), and a Peregrine was also at Yaquina Head on 7/28 & 29 (BLM).
One CALIFORNIA QUAIL calling at RL's Eckman Lake home on 6/4 is a first for that location as is one calling at JL's home about midway between Toledo and Siletz near HWY 229 on 8/21. One was in the dead alder between the EPA Building and HMSC Nature Trail on 6/5 (JL) is more expected as they have occasionally been noted in recent years in the HMSC-Mike Miller Park area.
Oversummering, nonbreeding shorebirds included a MARBLED GODWIT in worn plumage and 36 WHIMBRELS on 5/28 about a mile south of Ona Beach (WH). On 6/9, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Eckman Lake flew south and may have been nonbreeders or failed breeders (RL).
Signs of shorebird migration: 1 Greater Yellowlegs at Eckman Lake on 6/28 (JW), 600-800 "peeps" (TW; PL) or at least 500 WESTERN SANDPIPERS (DD) at Idaho Flats on 7/3, 93 WHIMBRELS at a Seal Rocks beach on 7/22 (KB & RB), a MARBLED GODWIT at Nye Beach in Newport on 7/27 (TM), and a RUDDY TURNSTONE and 4 MARBLED GODWITS at Seal Rocks on 7/30 (KM).
On 8/12, JL spotted four RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in the channel near the HMSC, and some have lingered throughout the month.
On 8/20, the BLM's JW told CA about some Red-necked Phalaropes at Cobble Beach at Yaquina Head, and CA counted 22 floating around in the water. They are not the first to find phalaropes there. A 1902 paper by Bernard J. Bretherton (who was an assistant keeper at what was then called the Cape Foulweather Lighthouse) noted "a merry little band of seven" phalaropes that swam around in a decreasing flock during the day for a week. At night, one by one, they were attracted to the then continuous light of the Lighthouse, flew into the glass surrounding the light, and died. Bretherton picked up six of them, and the Lighthouse cat had the seventh. The now intermittently flashing Yaquina Head light does not appear to attract birds at night.
2-4 POMARINE JAEGERS, 1-10 PARASITIC JAEGERS, and 4 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS were counted during 8/19 & 20 pelagic trips (BGPT). A Pomarine and a Parasitic were also noted during an 8/8 pelagic trip from Newport (BD).
3-10 SABINE'S GULLS were seen during pelagic trips from Newport on 8/8 (BD) and 8/19 & 20 (BGPT).
CALIFORNIA GULLS immigrate here in big numbers in July. This year was no exception with KM counting 1,500 by estimating them in blocks of 50 at Idaho Flats on 7/30--they were accompanied by 4 adult RING-BILLED GULLS.
An ARCTIC TERN was at the YBSJ on 8/16 (JL; DG).
Beached bird numbers did not seem excessively high along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach during June-July (B&SLo, L&VO). COMMON MURRE numbers were low in June (B&SLo, L&VO). BLo writes: "Our dead, beached bird survey is in it's 29th year, and we had 32 adult murres in July and 6 so far in August. Numbers vary considerably, but 32 is in the usual range for the month." The record July total of adults was 181 last year. Only 3 murre chicks were found in July along their beach (B&SLo, L&VO), which suggests that murres may not have had a good nesting year again this year. In good nesting years, more murre chicks are usually found beached.
During BGPT's 8/20 pelagic trip from Newport, 120 chick/father pairs of Common Murres were noted, so some murres nested successfully, but their overall nesting success is unclear.
MC & PV spotted a CASSIN'S AUKLET at Depoe Bay on 7/23.
On 7/17, RC writes: "If coastal visitors are interested in seeing MARBLED MURRELETS on their dawn flights to nesting areas, now is the time and Cape Perpetua Scenic area is the place. All that is required is to haul oneself out of bed in time to be at the Cape Creek Campground by 5 AM. Drive to the end of the campground road, park, get out of the car and look up at the sky. (Even easier would be to camp there and go outside at first light.) Murrelets can be seen flying above treetop level as they circle or commute between nest trees and ocean. On 7/16, the show began about 5:15 AM and was over by 6 AM. We saw about 20 birds flying in ones and twos, though some may be have been seen multiple times as there was a lot of circling flight. Despite quiet conditions we did not hear any vocalizations, which possibly indicates the nest trees are nearby."
15 MARBLED MURRELETS were on the ocean just north of the mouth of the Yachats River on 7/30 (KM).
On 6/21 & 22, RT & CS reported hearing a rare LESSER NIGHTHAWK at Beverly Beach State Park (fide TS). No sightings were noted. This appears to be the first report for Lincoln County.
Our latest EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE report was of a pair in Newport on 6/2 (CA). A juvenile MOURNING DOVE was at RC & WN's Wandemere feeder on 7/16.
The adult male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD DF saw on 7/26 at his Thornton Creek home was only the third adult male he has seen in July and later than the others by three weeks.
A PILEATED WOODPECKER was pecking at B&MB's big black walnut tree and an old cherry tree at Thornton Creek on 5/30.
Scrub jays seemed to be exceptionally common this summer. A bright adult was at EH's South Beach home from 5/20 until mid-June.
1 scrub jay was at Grant Street in Newport 2 blocks east of the High School throughout the summer according to residents (fide CP). However, frequent records are needed to determine if this jay may have come and gone. CP saw or heard one there in early June, two on 6/29, and one in late August.
A blue headed adult was at J&KC's home 4 miles east of Waldport "on and off" between 5/27 and 7/2-- it "seems to stay around for a week then he's off and then he's back." It was absent between 7/3 and 7/11, when it returned.
Other sites of scrub jay sightings during June 5-6 include: 1 adult at LO's North Beaver Creek home and at least one at Yaquina View Heights in Newport (CP) and in Toledo (CP). Late June records include one adult at DD's Little Whale Cove home on 6/26 and an adult at San Bay-O Circle in Newport on 6/29 (CP). One at the HMSC or across the street was noted on 6/28 (RB), 7/6 (RL), 7/7 (JL), 7/21 (RN), and 7/22 (ML).
This year and last year, J&KC have had a STELLER'S JAY sitting on the ground, jumping into plants and eating bumble bees at their home 4 miles east of Waldport. Jays are adaptable!
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS could be mistaken for Bank Swallows as they are about the same color and also nest in banks, but Bank Swallows have not been verified here in years. At least a pair of Rough-wings appeared to be nesting in a bank at Seal Rocks and at Eckman Lake on 5/29 (KM).
HS was fortunate enough to have a BEWICK'S WREN nesting near his Newport home in early June and a good video camera. He writes: "I set up my camera on the far end of the deck, set the zoom to max, hit record, and walked away for an hour. When I retrieved and reviewed the tape, I can see the wrens coming and going, rotating their eggs, mates feeding each other, etc ...it's really cool! I wound up shooting about 25 hours of videotape in total, watching and cutting out all the boring moments, and the boiled- down VHS tape runs about 2.5 hours. It starts out with the [presumed] female sitting on unhatched eggs, and follows the chicks' development from the day after they were born to the day I found the nest empty about 4 weeks later." If you would like to see the tape, please contact Howard Shippey (firstname.lastname@example.org; 574-1689).
[Image Not Included: Howard Shippey's photo of a Bewick's Wren attending nestlings in a neighbor's blue flower pot in Newport in early June.]
On 6/22, EH heard a second-year male AMERICAN REDSTART singing at the 9 mile marker on North Beaver Creek Road. On 6/25, an immature (SY) American Redstart showed up briefly at EH's South Beach home. These appear to be the first records for Lincoln County.
A well-described, rare COMMON GRACKLE (a juvenile) appeared at RC & WN's Wandemere home at a feeder on 7/21. It is the second record for Lincoln County. The other record was on 5 July 1988.
Lincoln County's first LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH graced CP's sunflower feeder in Toledo on 6/6.
OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Cindy Ashy, Betty Bahn (BBa), Bill & Margy Barss, Range Bayer, Bryan Bland (BBl), Kitty Brigham, Bureau of Land Management staff at Yaquina Head (BLM), Rebecca Cheek, Jorrie & Ken Ciotti (http://www.birdsamore.com), Marcia Cutler, Dick Demarest, Bruce Dugger, Todd Dunkirk, Darrel Faxon (some of DF's bird records are at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#thornton_creek), Dawn Grafe, Bird Guide Pelagic Trip (BGPT; info about pelagic trips, http://thebirdguide.com), Wayne Hoffman, Eric Horvath, Rich Hoyer, Margaret LaFaive, Janet Lamberson, Pete Lawson, Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, Kathy Merrifield, Terry Morse, Russ Namitz, Walt Nelson, Lars Norgren, Laimons & Vicki Osis, Chuck Philo, Dave Pitkin, Alan Schmierer, Howard Shippey, Jamie Simmons, Khem So, Stacy Strickland, Tom Snetsinger, Craig Strong, Ryan Terrill, Paula Vanderheul, Tom Wainwright, Janelle Wesley, Jean Weakland, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT led by EH).
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, HY=hatch year (bird hatched in the current calendar year), 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, THORNTON CREEK: about midway between Toledo and Eddyville along HWY 20, YBSJ: Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
After long procrastination, I start listing species in their new phylogenetic order this month. The biggest change is that waterfowl are first, followed by gallinaceous birds (upland game birds), and then loons and grebes. So species may not be in the order with which you have become accustomed.
A CACKLING GOOSE swam with two large domestic ducks at Eckman Lake on 9/16 (JW). BB spotted the first southward bound "V" of CANADA GEESE over Yachats on 8/30.
At Eckman Lake, KM found 94 MALLARDS, a female NORTHERN SHOVELER, and 11 HOODED MERGANSERS on 9/10. On 9/11, RL watched 108 ducks at the south end, mostly scruffy MALLARDS but also a few AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and HOODED MERGANSERS. On 9/17, they were joined by a pair of RING- NECKED DUCKS and a female WOOD DUCK (JW). On 9/24, JW surveyed 20 wigeon, 7 Ring-necks, 8 Wood Ducks, and 10-12 Hooded Mergansers.
5 male wigeon and 6 NORTHERN PINTAILS were at Idaho Flats on 9/10 (KM).
SURF SCOTER migration is underway with about 600 flying south during PP's 9/21 seawatch at Boiler Bay.
At YBSJ, there were 2-4 HARLEQUIN DUCKS on 9/11 & 23 (JL; CAFT). One was at Boiler Bay on 9/21 (PP), and 6+ were at Seal Rocks during the 9/23 CAFT.
JL discovered an exotic MUSCOVY DUCK swimming in Olalla Slough east of Toledo during the 9/17 Lincoln County North American Migration Count.
Beginning on 8/27, J&LM have had 2 CALIFORNIA QUAIL at their Coquille Point home, just east of Sally's Bend.
A tight flock of 5 PIED-BILLED GREBES including one hatch-year (HY, hatched in 2006) grebe was at Eckman Lake on 9/10 (KM). The HY bird "retained some rufous on the upper breast and lower neck as well as dark, squiggly stripes on its white throat" (KM).
Roughly 40,000 SOOTY SHEARWATERS were at Boiler Bay at 3 PM on 9/18, but they had all left by 5:30 PM (PP). At least 5,000 Sooties were there on 9/21 (PP). The afternoon of 9/24, shearwaters in the "low thousands" were close to shore between Lost Creek and Ona Beach State Parks (RC). On 9/25, 4,000+ Sooties and 1 SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER were at Boiler Bay (PP).
[Image Not Included: Kitty Brigham's photo of two Brown Pelicans near Seal Rocks on Sept. 21.]
BROWN PELICANS put on a good show with 120 flying mostly northward at Boiler Bay on 9/21 (PP), and the same day 200 pelicans were at Idaho Flats (JL). 200+ were at Sally's Bend during the 9/23 CAFT, and 700 with many small flocks flew north during PP's 9/25 Boiler Bay seawatch.
At dusk (7:16 PM) on 9/21, flocks of 10 and 106 pelicans were flying south just west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge (RB), so they had not yet found a roost site, if they were going to roost. On 9/22 at 8:09 PM (55 minutes after sunset) just north of Seal Rocks, KB & RB saw the silhouettes of 10- 15 pelicans flying north, so they were not roosting at Seal Rocks and had not yet found a place to do so.
Squawker, the continuously calling GREAT BLUE HERON, was seen flying over the HMSC and heard at 6:25 PM on 9/13 (RB), 8:05 PM on 9/18 (RB), and about 10:15 AM on 9/22 (JL).
In the evening of 9/14, NC saw 64 GREAT EGRETS flying up King Slough at Yaquina Bay, presumably to roost. The 9/23 CAFT also counted 64 at Sally's Bend. On 9/25, one Great Egret was flying north about 1/4 mile offshore of Boiler Bay (PP).
An immature WHITE-TAILED KITE followed the 9/16 YBNFT around the HMSC Nature Trail, and a kite was also noted there three days later (TW). 1-2 were at Nute Slough and Boone Slough in upper Yaquina Bay on 9/23 (CP; 9/23 CAFT). Another kite was at Beaver Creek on 9/27 (LS).
1 RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was discerned near the Adobe Motel in Yachats on 9/4 (AF) and at Sally's Bend during the 9/23 CAFT. An AMERICAN KESTREL was observed at Yaquina Head on 8/30 (BLM) and near Adobe Motel in Yachats on 9/4 (AF).
A PEREGRINE FALCON visited Yaquina Head on 9/5 (BLM). At Thornton Creek on 9/13, DF observed that:
"A big Peregrine swooped in low and then began circling higher and higher. That in itself was notable, because I only see Peregrines at Thornton Creek about once a decade. This time, there was a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK circling quite a lot higher above the falcon. After the Peregrine attained a certain height, the Sharpie dove on it three different times, coming very close, and eventually succeeded in driving the much larger falcon away. Gutsy."
A single AMERICAN COOT swam at Eckman Lake on 9/10 (KM), and it remained single through at least 9/24 (JW).
1-3 MARBLED GODWITS were at Idaho Flats on 9/2 (JS), 9/10 (KM) and a beach near Waldport on 9/2 & 3 (AF).
Eckman Lake has been good for yellowlegs. SaL saw 2 LESSER YELLOWLEGS amongst 13 GREATER YELLOWLEGS at the south shore on 9/10-- yellowlegs come and go, and KM found at least 5 Lessers amongst a total of 27 yellowlegs there the same day. On 9/11, RL spotted 40 Greaters along with 6 DOWITCHERS (RL), and on 9/17, JW found 16 Greaters.
Our first fall WILSON'S SNIPE was at Beaver Creek during the 9/23 CAFT. On 9/21, PP noted 200 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and at least 2 RED PHALAROPES at Boiler Bay, so a few Reds were around.
SK twice spotted a LONG-TAILED JAEGER about 40 miles offshore in early Sept. PP spotted a jaeger sp. from shore at Boiler Bay on 9/21.
A swarm of 400+ gulls were feeding on what appeared to be small, whitish moths above Siletz Bay during the 9/23 CAFT. This was our only report of what used to be a common late summer/early fall phenomenon.
An immature HERRING GULL was at the crab docks at Waldport on 9/3 (JG), and an adult MEW GULL was at Idaho Flats on 9/10 (KM). PP distinguished a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE at Boiler Bay on 9/21.
17 adult and 11 hatch-year COMMON MURRES were beached along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach in August (B&SLo, L&VO). This is much less than last year.
MARBLED MURRELETS and PIGEON GUILLEMOTS were noted at Yachats on 9/2 & 3 (AF), and 7-12 Marbleds and 2-6 PG's were at Boiler Bay on 9/21 & 25 (PP). 2 Marbleds were also at Boiler Bay during the 9/23 CAFT.
Some MOURNING DOVES were at J&LM's Coquille Point home during the summer with a high count of 9 in early Sept. But in mid-Sept. numbers dropped back to 1-2.
A BARRED OWL was an unexpected beached bird north of Ona Beach on 8/31 (B&SLo, L&VO).
ME reported the first ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS of fall at his Lincoln City home on 9/14.
For J&KC's home about 4 miles east of Waldport, JC writes:
"Since the second brood of CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES fledged on July 17, they have been extremely friendly. Every time we water the plants with the garden wand, they come down and take showers. They sit on the plant while the rain-like water splashes on them. On August 3, we wanted to show some friends how the chickadees would take showers, and while the chickadees were in and out of the shower, a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD flew over to check out the watering wand. After a couple of minutes of flying through and around the water, we saw an incredible sight - the hummer and a chickadee ended up side-by-side taking a shower while the water wand was splashing on them. It was magnificent!"
A RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was "hawking" insects at LO's North Beaver Creek home on 9/24. It was joined by a second sapsucker on 9/28 (LO).
Last dates for VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW and BARN SWALLOW at Thornton Creek on 9/22 (DF)--these are fairly late, but the latest Lincoln County dates for these in SemiL are 10/10 and 10/1, respectively.
[Image Not Included: Howard Shippey's photo of an adult Bewick's Wren stuffing a long-legged insect (cranefly ?) down the gullet of a nestling in June. The bill of a second chick pokes up just to the right of the gaping chick. This nest was in a blue flower pot in Newport.]
There were 10 eggs in the BEWICK'S WREN'S nest near HS' Newport home on 6/6, though only three of them successfully hatched and one unsuccessfully hatched though had been seen trying to break out of its shell. HS has 25 hours of video (contact him at email@example.com; 574-1689), kept daily notes, and wrote on 6/13:
"1 chick hatched! It's so tiny, I wasn't sure at first that it was a chick. If you stretched it out fully from head to toe, it would fit comfortably on a nickel."
and on 6/14:
"Hatchlings are so tiny I wasn't sure it could be possible, but adults began feeding them immediately. Communication between adults and their understanding of what they are doing is incredible to watch. For instance, the male, who had been bringing a variety of large bugs to feed his mate, changed his behavior the instant chicks began to hatch, and began showing up at the nest with much smaller, not-seen-before white grubs of some sort. Even so, the grubs are almost bigger than the chicks. Adults are very attentive to feeding, taking great care (evidently) that chicks don't choke, reaching into chicks' mouths with surgical precision to tease grubs into proper alignment for swallowing. I don't know how adults decide which chick to feed, but they evidently do decide, placing dinner first in one chick's open mouth, then deciding against it and offering to another chick, and so on until finally, one chick wins the bug du jour. I can't be sure but wonder if the adults are giving each chick a taste of everything on the menu, maybe even squeezing some bug juice into all their open mouths, for a taste, although only one actually gets the bug (?). There does seem to be some kind of rationality at work - I just can't discern exactly what it is."
A dozen WESTERN BLUEBIRDS graced Thornton Creek on 9/22 (DF). The night of 8/24, RB heard call notes of SWAINSON'S THRUSHES as they migrated over the HMSC.
8 AMERICAN PIPITS flocked along beach vegetation south of Seal Rocks on 9/9 (TD & SS, M& MH--M & MH were former YB&N members who were returning for a visit). JL spotted two during the 9/16 Beach Cleanup near Beverly Beach north of Yaquina Head. On 9/23, about 30 were at Boiler Bay, and 5 were at the YBSJ (CAFT). One lingered at Boiler Bay on 9/25 (PP).
ME found Lincoln County's third NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and the first of this century at the Salishan Nature Trail south of Lincoln City on 8/20.
Our latest WESTERN TANAGER was at Thornton Creek on 9/22 (DF)--the latest record in SemiL is 9/26.
Not all birds are departing! Our first fall GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW was about 4 miles east of Waldport on 9/24 (J&KC). And our first FOX SPARROW was reported at Yaquina Head on 8/23 (BLM). A newly arrived Fox Sparrow sang over and over along the HMSC Nature Trail for the 9/16 YBNFT.
OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Kitty Brigham, Bureau of Land Management staff at Yaquina Head (BLM), Rebecca Cheek, Jorrie & Ken Ciotti (http://www.birdsamore.com), Neal Coenen, Corvallis Audubon Field Trip (CAFT; led by PV and reported by MC), Marcia Cutler, Todd Dunkirk, Mark Elliott, Darrel Faxon (see http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#thornton_creek), Andy Frank, Joel Geier, Mark & Mary Jo Hedrick, Steve Kupillas, Janet Lamberson, Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, John & Linda MacKown, Kathy Merrifield, Laimons & Vicki Osis, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU), Howard Shippey, Joline Shroyer, Stacy Strickland, Louise Swanson, Paula Vanderheul, Tom Wainwright, Jean Weakland, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT led by CP).
Many Lincoln Co. sites are in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide (http://www.oregoncoastbirding.com/).
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, WANDEMERE: about 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach near HWY 101, YBSJ: Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
A CACKLING GOOSE joined domestic geese at Eckman Lake on 10/1 (JW & SaL). 150 Aleutian Cackling Geese were recorded during the 10/14 BGPT from Newport to Perpetua Bank, 32 nm off Cape Perpetua. On 10/15, PP saw about 2,000 Aleutians flying south at Lincoln City and 470 flying south past Boiler Bay the next day. On 10/15, WH & RC saw many Aleutians migrating south along the coast south of Newport, and an adult SNOW GOOSE was in the lead of a "V" of one of the Aleutian flocks! This is only our third Snow Goose record since 1996--one in August 1996 was flying with Gr. White-fronted Geese, and one in February 2004 was flying with Cackling/Canada Geese. So it pays to look closely at goose flocks!
A WESTERN CANADA GOOSE toured the lawn of the Barry Fisher Building at the HMSC on 10/24 (JL).
At least 1 HARLEQUIN DUCK was at Yaquina Head on 9/26 (BLM). 1-4 were at the YBSJ (10/10, 13, & 27)(JL) and at Boiler Bay (10/16, 20, & 22)(PP).
Fall arrivals include 25 GREATER SCAUP at Sallys Bend on 10/1 (KM), and a LONG-TAILED DUCK at Boiler Bay on 10/16 (PP).
It used to be that HOODED MERGANSERS were very rare in lower Yaquina Bay, but now they appear to be uncommon. On 10/1, KM spotted three in juvenile or female plumage at Sallys Bend.
On 10/10, there were excellent ocean viewing conditions at Wandemere, and RC did a careful study of a female COMMON MERGANSER. On 10/20, PP noted a flock of Commons flying north at Boiler Bay. It won't be long before Red-breasteds will replace them in the ocean and lower estuaries.
3 CLARK'S GREBES were recorded during the 10/14 BGPT to Perpetua Bank. WH writes about the 10/14 BGPT: "However, the trip was really special for marine mammals. We recorded all five species of pinnipeds known from Oregon: Harbor Seal, Elephant Seal, California Sea Lion, Steller's Sea Lion, and Northern Fur Seal. We also had five species of Cetaceans, including: Harbor Porpoise, Dall's Porpoise, Humpback Whale, Fin Whale, and Blue Whale. We had numerous sightings of Humpback Whales, some quite close to the boat. One brief encounter with a Fin Whale. An extended, close-up visit with 2-3 Blue Whales. We had 2 together, too close for some people's camera lenses, and after a few minutes wait, a single one, which may or may not have been one of the first two. These are awesome animals, and definitely this was the highlight of the trip."
GREAT EGRETS have been exceptionally abundant, and on 10/1 at Sallys Bend, KM counted more (48) egrets than GREAT BLUE HERONS (32). But during RB's census of Yaquina Bay embayments including Sallys Bend, Idaho Flats, and "South Bay" (the mudflats south of Sallys Bend) on 10/6, there were still more herons (103) than egrets (59).
JL had our only reports of Squawker, the continuously calling Great Blue Heron, during daytime at the HMSC on 10/13 & 24.
At dusk on 10/5, 50+ GREAT EGRETS flew up Yaquina Bay's King Slough, presumably to a roost tree (NC). Great Egrets have also been common at Eckman Lake with a high count in October of 4 on 10/8 (JW).
A rare MANX SHEARWATER was about 2 miles off Newport during the 9/30 BGPT, and PP spotted another from shore at Boiler Bay on 10/16.
During the 9/30 BGPT to Perpetua Bank, over a thousand FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS and one LEACH'S STORM-PETREL were counted. PP observed a Leach's from Boiler Bay on 10/16.
One Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel that washed ashore along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach in September is uncommon (B&SLo, L&VO). Excluding COMMON MURRE chicks, their September beached bird total of 22 is slightly less than their average of 31 in September during 1978-2002 (BLo).
A southerly flight of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS that at first glance appear like fall migrating geese was first noted this year on 9/1 along the Newport coast (RB), with later flights of 50-60 along the Newport coast on 10/17 & 22 (RB). On 10/22, PP counted 120 flying south at Boiler Bay.
1 WHITE-TAILED KITE was at the HMSC on 10/6, 13, 24 (JL). Another was at Beaver Creek on 10/14 (PA) and 10/21 YBNFT.
BALD EAGLES have become regular throughout the year, though one was unseasonably carrying a stick during the 10/21 YBNFT to Beaver Creek.
Our only NORTHERN HARRIER was espied at the HMSC on 10/27 (JL).
A COOPER'S HAWK visited Beaver Creek marsh on 10/14 (PA), and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK hunted the Yachats area around 10/22 (SaL, BB).
A juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was along the HMSC Nature Trail on 10/2 (RL) and had been harassed "heavily by crows every time it flies" for at least 10 days as of 10/3 (DP). It was in the "dead" alder along the Trail on 10/5 (JL). JL's list for that tree is now 17 species and includes 7 raptor species!
A PEREGRINE FALCON foraged at the HMSC on 10/24 (JL).
PL discovered a light-phase ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at the HMSC on 10/22--he had glimpsed perhaps the same bird over the Newport Bayfront the previous day.
At Cascade Head in Tillamook County, PP noted 1 Rough-legged on 10/23 & 26.
For our Lincoln Co. records through 1992, Rough-legged Hawk reports seem to come somewhat in clusters about every 3-4 years (SemiL). Since then, we have had single sightings in the fall of 1994 and 1995, spring of 1999, a cluster of sightings during Oct. 2000-March 2001, and a sighting in Nov. 2003 and Jan. 2004.
WH, WN, & RC didn't find any Rough-legs during their 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 Lincoln County Raptor Route counts (see the 5 March 2006 Sandpiper).
Will this be another winter with a cluster of Rough-legged sightings here?
[Image Not included: Kitty Brigham's photo of 4 gulls heading south along the beach near Seal Rocks on Sept. 15.]
Last month's solitary AMERICAN COOT at Eckman Lake was joined by many others by 10/1 (JW & SaL). "Many" coots were also at Beaver Creek marsh on 10/14 (PA).
At least 10 BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS were at Seal Rocks for the 10/21 YBNFT.
23 SOUTH POLAR SKUAS were tallied during the 9/30 BGPT to Perpetua Bank off Cape Perpetua. From shore, 19 POMARINE JAEGERS and 1 PARASITIC JAEGER searched Boiler Bay on 10/16 (PP) for our only onshore sightings.
CALIFORNIA GULLS immigrate into Yaquina Bay in summer and about 750 lingered at Idaho Flats on 10/6 (JL).
500 COMMON MURRES at Boiler Bay on 10/16 (PP) is a goodly number for October.
A beached RHINOCEROS AUKLET along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach in September is typical to slightly lower than usual (B&SLo, L&VO). During the 10/14 BGPT to Perpetua Bank 120 Rhinos and 450 CASSIN'S AUKLETS were counted.
5-6 MARBLED MURRELETS on 10/16 & 20 and 4 ANCIENT MURRELETS on 10/16 graced Boiler Bay (PP).
Two PIGEON GUILLEMOTS visited the YBSJ on 10/2 (KM).
Our latest BAND-TAILED PIGEON report was at RL's Waldport feeder on 10/2, and MN still had 10-12 MOURNING DOVES at his Fox Creek home on 10/21.
[Image Not included: Howard Shippey's 10 October 2006 photo of a Barred Owl near his south Newport home at 1212 SW Lee.]
Oct. 10 was a good day for BARRED OWLS. One appeared in Newport (HS), and another perched about 2 miles east of Devils Lake (DC & TW).
By mid-Oct at Wandemere, RC & WN noted that several Red-shafted NORTHERN FLICKERS have moved into their neighborhood with the arrival of fall. On 10/15, RC wrote: "We observed a female flicker perched in a Pacific wax myrtle bush for several minutes, eating the berries. Another species to add to the list of birds that use that plant for food."
2 RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS alighted on trees at Fox Creek on 10/16 (MN).
A TROPICAL KINGBIRD that twitteringly called at EH's house in South Beach on 10/15 was our only one reported so far this fall.
MN had our last report of calling, night-migrating SWAINSON'S THRUSHES on 9/27 at Fox Creek. He wrote: "I really enjoyed going out at night and listening for migrating Swainson's Thrush during the latter part of August. I found it hard to go inside. Basically it was just one more, then, ok one more, and 30 minutes later I'm still outside."
AMERICAN PIPIT reports include Yaquina Head on 9/24 (BLM), and "dozens" at Beaver Creek marsh on 10/14 (PA).
Arrivals include VARIED THRUSH at Fox Creek on 10/1 (MN), a NORTHERN SHRIKE that PA found while canoeing at Beaver Creek marsh on 10/14, WHITE- THROATED SPARROW at J&KC's home about 4 miles east of Waldport on 10/14, and WESTERN MEADOWLARK at the HMSC on 10/6 (JL). JL exclaims "colorful!" about a bright yellow meadowlark in the nearly dead alder along the HMSC Nature Trail on 10/24 simultaneously with a Red-shafted Northern Flicker and a pink House Finch (JL).
A male LESSER GOLDFINCH visited CP's Toledo feeder on 10/14 along with an AMERICAN GOLDFINCH that had white on its crown where there should have been black.
OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Paul Adamus, Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Bureau of Land Management staff at Yaquina Head (BLM), Rebecca Cheek, Jorrie & Ken Ciotti (http://www.birdsamore.com), Neal Coenen, Doug Cottam, Bird Guide Pelagic Trip (BGPT; info about pelagic trips, http://thebirdguide.com), Wayne Hoffman, Eric Horvath, Janet Lamberson, Pete Lawson, Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, Kathy Merrifield, Walt Nelson, Michael Noack, Laimons & Vicki Osis, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Dave Pitkin, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU), Howard Shippey, Tami Wagner, Jean Weakland, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT led by LO).
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, SPANISH HEAD: pullout north of Inn at Spanish Head at 4009 SW Highway 101 in Lincoln City, WANDEMERE: about 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach near HWY 101, YBSJ: Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
A less-considered sign of fall waterfowl migration is beached waterfowl. Along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach in October, B&SLo and L&VO found a CACKLING GOOSE and a NORTHERN PINTAIL. Overall, they found 35 beached birds in October, which is slightly less than their October average of 48 during 1978-2002.
A live Cackling Goose was with Canadas north of Eckman Lake on 10/28 (JW), and a Cackler was at Idaho Flats on 11/2 & 9 (JL; TW). These may have been dropouts of migrating Cacklers as PP at Boiler Bay counted 350 on 11/11.
GR. WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were seldom reported this fall, but CP noted a flock of 95 flying south over his Toledo home on 9/22.
JL reported the first BRANT (8) to fly into Yaquina Bay on 11/2--they generally arrived the last week of October in the 1980's (SemiL). JL found 60 at Idaho Flats on 11/16, and JKKF counted 104 there on 11/18.
PP located our first TUNDRA SWANS (2) of the season at south Siletz Bay on 11/19.
Our only WOOD DUCKS were 3 that LO found at Beaver Creek on 11/18. Two EURASIAN WIGEON drakes were at Idaho Flats on 11/18 (JS).
Our first REDHEAD of the season was a male at Eckman Lake during the 11/17 YBNFT.
The very first bird seen during the 11/17 YBNFT was an unexpected, male HARLEQUIN DUCK gracing a rock near the Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretative Center. At a more to be expected location, 7 were tallied at Seal Rocks on 11/18 (JKKF; LO).
1-2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were at Boiler Bay on 11/9, 12, 14, & 17 (PP), and one graced the YBSJ on 11/9 (fide JH).
During PP's Boiler Bay or Spanish Head seawatches in November, he often saw 1,000-5,000 SURF SCOTERS and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, generally flying south. Surf Scoters generally predominated. But on 11/24, during a 5.25 hr seawatch, he estimated 20,000+Surfs.
PP detected an unknown EIDER flying south with scoters at Boiler Bay on 11/11.
At least 20 HOODED MERGANSERS cavorted at Eckman Lake during the 11/17 YBNFT, and JKKF counted 82 there the next day.
PP noted 3 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS flying by Spanish Head on 10/30.
[Image Not Included: Kitty Brigham's Nov. 24 photo of a squadron of BROWN PELICANS flying overhead and south over the coastline near Seal Rocks.]
2 CALIFORNIA QUAIL have continued at J&LM's Coquille Point home east of Sally's Bend from late August through at least 11/15.
A MOUNTAIN QUAIL was calling and seen at RC & WN's Wandemere home on 11/13 & 14.
1,000+ PACIFIC LOONS and/or RED-THROATED LOONS were often seen passing Boiler Bay or Spanish Head during PP's November seawatches.
On 11/18, JKKF noted a flock of 12+ COMMON LOONS at the YBSJ "who appeared to be grouping together for the night, no Yellow-billed Loons among them." On 11/29, JW saw a raft of 14 resting loons at Alsea Bay. Near dusk, the normally solitary Common Loons commonly raft up for the night.
An uncommon CLARK'S GREBE visited Boiler Bay on 11/17 (PP). On 11/20 at Seal Rocks, KB saw a WESTERN GREBE hobbling on the beach as if injured, but then it joined another in the water. KB noted that Western's legs are far back on their body, so the hobbling can be from their clumsy walking on land. Sometimes hard-to-find EARED GREBES (3) were near Sally's Bend on 11/18 (JS).
An uncommon LEACH'S STORM-PETREL was seen at Boiler Bay on 11/11 (PP). Boiler Bay rarities include a possible BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER on 11/14 (PP) and a WILSON'S STORM-PETREL and a MANX SHEARWATER on 11/24 (PP).
During a 5.25 hr seawatch at Boiler Bay on 11/11, PP tallied 2,000 BROWN PELICANS flying south in numerous small flocks. Many observers noted pelican flights.
On 11/8, flocks of 100+ (10:45) and 4 (1 PM) DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were spotted flying southeast over the Newport coastline (RB), and KB photographed a flock of 3 heading south at about 2 PM near Seal Rocks. The next day, on 11/9, PP counted a total of 40 flying south past Boiler Bay before 9 AM, RC saw 6 flocks totaling 300 flying south past Wandemere in the morning, and AC reported "at around noon at least a thousand DC Cormorants came south along the coastal bluffs in a number of sizable flocks" in coastal Lane County. They can be mistaken for geese.
5 GREAT EGRETS foraged at Eckman Lake on 10/22 (JW) and at Alsea Bay during the 11/17 YBNFT. 4 Great Egrets were in the Beaver Creek Valley on 11/18 (LO).
[Image Not Included: Howard Shippey's Nov. 30 photo of a Red-tailed Hawk "that managed somehow to get quite thoroughly wet, landed in a tree near my Newport home and stretched his wings out like a cormorant to dry. He stayed in this position for over an hour, preening a bit, but mostly keeping his wings outstretched like this. On Nov. 29, I saw him catch and eat a rat."]
A WHITE-TAILED KITE hunted the HMSC on 10/29 (GG) and 11/7 (PL). A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK hit a door in Yachats on 11/1 (SaL). On a windy 11/7 at the HMSC, PL noted that
"a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk stumbled into a parked car 5 feet from me, perched on it looking wet and bedraggled, then managed to fly up to a light post."
On 10/29, GG discovered a COOPER'S HAWK at the HMSC. A RED- SHOULDERED HAWK was at the HMSC Nature Trail on 11/18 (JKKF) and 11/28, when JL noted that it looked very wet.
MERLINS have been scarce this season, and CP has our only report -- one in South Beach on 10/6.
On a windy 11/7, a PEREGRINE FALCON perched on the dead alder along the HMSC Nature Trail--JL wrote that when it "wanted to take off, it just raised its wings and lifted straight up into the wind!" The same day, PL saw an adult Peregrine unsuccessfully try to land in top of a spruce along the Nature Trail. On 11/8, PW discovered 2 perched on a snag west of the north end of the Alsea Bay Bridge. On 11/18, JKKF watched one perched on the Yaquina Bay North Jetty.
BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS are often in large flocks here in winter. The high count so far this season is 22 at Depoe Bay on 11/5 (MG).
3 ROCK SANDPIPERS were at the YBSJ on 11/18 (JS), and 2 foraged at Seal Rocks on 11/19 (JKKF).
[Image Not Included: Kitty Brigham's Nov. 20 photo of a flock of Sanderlings flying near Seal Rocks on a stormy day.]
KB estimated 350-400 SANDERLINGS along the beach just north of Seal Rocks during the mornings near high low tides (predicted about +4.0-4.2 ft) of 11/9-10. Throughout the rest of November, she has also seen as many as 125. Years ago the ODFW had a mid-winter Sanderling survey.
KB's observations are a reminder that "peeps" (small shorebirds) use the Lincoln County coastline and estuaries in winter. While most attention is given to the high counts of peeps during the peak of spring migration, they are very ephemeral then, and a patient observer can see flocks arriving and leaving an estuary, perhaps within hours or minutes of arriving.
In terms of shorebird use (e.g., shorebird-days=[number of shorebirds] X [days present]), wintering peep use of our shoreline and estuaries may be about as important as in spring because numbers of wintering peeps last longer. For example, KM (1998. Waterbird Censuses of Yaquina Bay, Oregon: March 1993-February 1994. ODFW Technical Report #98- 1-01) counted a spring peak of 3,930 peeps at Yaquina Bay. Data for how long peeps linger in spring is lacking, but if they were present only 2 days that would be 7,860 shorebird-days.
During November-February (120 days) at Yaquina Bay, KM counted an average of 98 Western/Least Sandpipers and 390 Sanderlings, which would total 58,560 shorebird-days.
While there are insufficient data to show which season has the most shorebird-days of use and spring use may also be tied to reproductive success, wintering peep use (which is predominately by Sanderlings) should not be discounted as inconsequential.
Offshore during the 10/28 BGPT, 2 POMARINE JAEGERS and 1 PARASITIC JAEGER were noted. From shore at Boiler Bay, PP glimpsed 2 SOUTH POLAR SKUAS on 11/11 and 1-3 Pomarine Jaegers on 11/14 & 21. At least 2 Pomarines were about a mile off Lincoln City on 11/22 (PP).
CALIFORNIA GULLS migrated south sporadically. PP hardly saw any during some Boiler Bay or Spanish Head seawatches, but 1,000+ on 10/30, 11/7, 9, 11, 16, 21, & 24. On 11/20, PP noted Californias were moving south at a rate of about 1,000-2,000 per hour for most of the afternoon inland from the beach over Lincoln City. On 11/9 at Wandemere, RC also noted a:
"steady stream of gulls moving south since daylight. Most are flying right along the beach or surf zone. Large numbers of California Gulls, many Westerns and Glaucous-wings, a few Mew Gulls. Movement has averaged 300/hour all morning, after a huge flight at 9AM when it was more like 300/minute for 5 minutes."
During PP's Boiler Bay or Spanish Head seawatches in November, he often noted 1-70 MARBLED MURRELETS with a peak of 170-178 on 11/16 & 22. During 7 days in November, PP spotted 1-9 ANCIENT MURRELETS at Boiler Bay, with a peak of 45-70 on 11/22, 24, & 25.
Other rarities at Boiler Bay found by PP include 3 XANTUS' MURRELETS (one within 200 yards) on 11/16 and 1 PARAKEET AUKLET 200 yards away on 11/16 & 22.
A late immature TUFTED PUFFIN was spotted off shore during the 10/28 BGPT.
65 CASSIN'S AUKLETS were counted offshore during the 10/28 BGPT, and 1-8 were near Boiler Bay during 7 days in November (PP). They are rare inside our estuaries, but DF found one inside Yaquina Bay west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on 11/26.
A juvenile BAND-TAILED PIGEON lingered at DG's Toledo feeder through 11/12. RL lives near Eckman Lake and writes:
"As of 11/5, I still had a dozen Band-tailed Pigeons coming to the feeders at my house. All are juvenile birds with no adults present. I watched a Cooper's Hawk take one on 11/5, and it had to labor to fly away with it. That is the third pigeon taken by a hawk in the last 10 days. You'd think they'd get the message and head south!"
Shortly thereafter, a bear tore down RL's feeder, and the Band-tails left.
CP had about a half dozen MOURNING DOVES at his Toledo home in early fall, but an astounding 26 swarmed there on 11/12. That may be the most reported in Lincoln County.
BURROWING OWLS occur sporadically in Lincoln County. Our first record was in December 1969 (SemiL). We had six records in the 1970's, two records in the 1980's, and one record in 1992 (SemiL). Until this year, the only record since 1992 was reported in the November 2002 Sandpiper, when CP and WH identified two BURROWING OWL wings from the beach south of the Yaquina Bay South Jetty (FN). It is not clear if the lack of records since the 1980's is because of reduced birder observation effort in suitable Burrowing Owl habitat and/or a real decrease in their frequency of occurrence here. P. 317 of the 2003 Birds of Oregon: A General Reference state that they are a "rare annual visitor to the Willamette Valley and s. coast, especially during winter."
[Image Not Included: Patty Sorensen's Nov. 25 photo of a Burrowing Owl at the Sports Therapy & Wellness Center near Newport's Les Schwab.]
On 11/25, PS heard about a BURROWING OWL at the Sports Therapy and Wellness Center (111 SW 10th Street, which is just north of the Les Schwab in Newport) while standing in line at the Craft Warehouse in Newport and an employee at the health club in the Center was talking about it.
PS found and photographed the owl and emailed her sighting to RB on 11/28. Late on 11/29, RB found the owl on a curb in the Center's parking area about 10 ft from the street, telephoned CP and emailed others. On 11/30, the owl continued to be seen (usually under the Center's sign) and/or photographed by at least CP, JB, RL, BB, TM, and DD. It remained into December.
CP contacted the Newport News-Times Editor Gail Kimberling, who seemed to be unaware of the owl and who apparently contacted Lincoln City Audubon's KN for the caption of the photo of the owl in the 12/1 News-Times (p. A7).
DD reports that Jennifer at the Center's Coffee Shop indicated that the owl has been there for three weeks and that she had seen it eat a mouse.
This Burrowing Owl is certainly the most photographed and probably also the most reported one in Lincoln County. It is very viewable because it is in an urban area and is pretty tame.
As with other wildlife, please be careful to not disturb it (e.g., cause it to move), even though it may seem tame. Not disturbing wildlife is recommended for wildlife viewers (see ethics-b.htm). As the American Birding Association's "Principles of Birding Ethics" states:
"Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first."
Disturbing wildlife, even if unintentional, is also unlawful. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 498.006 states:
"Chasing or harassing wildlife prohibited. Except as the State Fish and Wildlife Commission by rule may provide otherwise, no person shall chase, harass, molest, worry or disturb any wildlife except while engaged in lawfully angling for, hunting or trapping such wildlife."
While enjoying her Newport walk on 10/31, LF saw and photographed a BARRED OWL. She promptly reported it, but it evidently played a Halloween trick -- others seeking it found a GREAT HORNED OWL instead on 11/1-2 (DD; PR). A very freshly dead Great Horned was found in Yachats on 11/16 (BB).
[Image Not Included: Leah Feinberg's Oct. 31 photo of a Barred Owl along the trail from Nye Street to Sam Moore Park in Newport. The trailhead is located between 8th and 9th streets just opposite to Betsy Wheeler Park (DD).]
[Image Not Included: Terry Morse's Nov. 30 photo of a Snowy Owl on drift wood along the beach near Newport's Shilo Inn. It has not been relocated.]
A juvenile NORTHERN SHRIKE found by GG near the Oregon Coast Aquarium pond on 10/29 was the second one this fall.
BB noted 3 GRAY JAYS coming to her suet feeder in Yachats during 11/16-26. VARIED THRUSHES continue to arrive at different locations--they arrived at BB's Yachats home on 10/31.
4 AMERICAN PIPITS graced the dead alder along the HMSC Nature Trail on 11/9 (JL), and one was at Boiler Bay on 11/17 (PP).
On 11/24 at the HMSC Nature Trail, PB & her husband found our first- of-the season PALM WARBLER, and a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER first appeared at BB's Yachats home on 11/26.
On 11/9, a birder told JH about a SNOW BUNTING on the YBSJ where the road becomes rocky, and JH relocated it.
While running, SaL saw a WESTERN MEADOWLARK along the 804 Trail in Yachats on 11/30.
From 10/14 through 11/12, CP has had 1-2 LESSER GOLDFINCHES along with AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES at his Toledo feeder.
OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Betty Bahn, Phyllis Bailey, Range Bayer, Kitty Brigham, Judy Butts, Rebecca Cheek, Alan Contreras, Dick Demarest, Jim, Karan, & Karl Fairchild (JKKF); Darrel Faxon, Leah Feinberg, Mike Gellerman, Greg Gillson, Dawn Grafe, Bird Guide Pelagic Trip (BGPT; info about pelagic trips, http://thebirdguide.com), Jeff Harding, Wayne Hoffman, Janet Lamberson, Pete Lawson, Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, John & Linda MacKown, Kathy Merrifield, Terry Morse, Walt Nelson, Kathleen Nickerson, FN (Sandpiper Bird Field Notes since 1992 at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#recent), Laimons & Vicki Osis, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Paul Reed, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU), Patty Sorensen, John Sullivan, Tom Wainwright, Jean Weakland, Pat Wood, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT led by RB).
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, THIEL CREEK: creek about 3.5 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge, YBSJ: Yaquina Bay South Jetty.
The Dec. 16 YBNFT tallied 60 BLACK BRANT. It has been somewhat of a mystery of whether Brant remain at Yaquina Bay in darkness, and if so, how long they remain. On 12/19, RB heard a flock of Brant flying west over the Yaquina channel in the dark at 6:40 PM, when their food native eelgrass Zostera marina was still available for them to forage on easily as the tide height was -0.7 ft. If the tide height was above about 0.0-+0.5 ft, the eelgrass would probably have been submerged. At sunset on 12/19 the tide height was about +0.4 ft and dropping, so they may have decided to remain into the darkness for the eelgrass, but they appear to have left while it would have still been easy for them to eat.
A HARLEQUIN DUCK was at Yaquina Head, where they have been uncommon in recent years, on 11/1 (BLM). At locations where they are more common, 1-2 were also reported at Seal Rocks on 12/3 (MC & PV) and the YBSJ on 12/7 (PPa), 12/8 (JG), and 12/16 YBNFT.
A male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was also at the mouth of Schooner Creek in north Siletz Bay on 12/3 (PS & CK). A male Barrow's Goldeneye and a pair of REDHEADS were discovered at Yaquina Bay during the 12/30 Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count (YBCBC). 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were also near the Newport International Shipping Terminal for the YBCBC, and three were at the YBSJ.
During a 75 minute seawatch at Boiler Bay on 12/16, PP estimated 25,000+ SURF SCOTERS, and 18,000+ WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS.
CALIFORNIA QUAIL were at J&LM's home near east Sally's Bend during Count Week for the YBCBC. Two have been there since late August.
Some Wild Turkeys were observed near a mobile home in Hidden Valley between Toledo and Newport during the 12/30 YBCBC. Wild Turkeys are not native to Oregon and have been introduced by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) into Oregon, including eastern Lincoln County (p. 24 of "Oregon's Wild Turkey Management Plan 2004").
The introduced Wild Turkeys sometimes come close to houses, as the ODFW writes: "Common complaints include turkey feces on homes, driveways, and vehicles, turkeys scratching in vegetable and flower gardens..." and "When wild turkeys are provided supplemental feed, they can easily lose their natural avoidance behavior and become a nuisance problem. Unintentional feeding may occur where turkeys visit barnyards or livestock feed lots" (p. 12 and 17-18 of Plan). So Wild Turkeys near homes or farms that appear tame may be wild.
Identifying a wild Wild Turkey has some uncertainty. Most ODFW- released turkeys are of the Rio Grande subspecies that have "tan or buff- colored rump and tail feather tips" as opposed to the "lighter, ashy-white tipped" feathers of the Merriam subspecies that the ODFW has apparently mostly released in eastern Oregon (p. 2 and 4 of Plan). "The Sibley Guide to Birds" (p. 149) indicates that domestic Wild Turkeys also have white- tipped tail feathers. But Rio Grande Wild Turkeys can also be purchased from turkey breeders (http://www.geocities.com/donkeylady.geo/turkeybreeders.html), and the ODFW notes that there is a problem with people releasing "pen-reared or game- farm turkeys" (p. 18 of Plan). So a Rio Grande-plumaged Wild Turkey here may not be a result of an ODFW release and may not be wild.
So were the Wild Turkeys sighted during the YBCBC wild and countable? Fide RC, WH notes that the ODFW has been releasing Wild Turkeys in the Coast Range, and he'd heard from a Hidden Valley resident that there have been Wild Turkeys spotted around there this summer and fall.
November was a month of storms, and 15 WESTERN GREBES washed ashore along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, L&VO) indicates that they had a hard time. This November Western Grebe total was more than the yearly total along that beach during 2001-2005.
A CLARK'S GREBE was at Devil's Lake on 12/29 (RN) and at Yaquina Bay during the 12/30 YBCBC.
EARED GREBES were spotted from Yaquina Bay's Idaho Point on 12/3 (PS & CK), Devil's Lake on 12/29 (RN), and at Sally's Bend during the 12/30 YBCBC.
TM found a dead LEACH'S STORM-PETREL at Newport's Nye Beach on 12/10.
Our latest BROWN PELICAN report was for Yaquina Head on 11/30 (BLM).
Our only GREAT EGRETS were singletons at Eckman Lake on 12/2 (JW), the south end of Siletz Bay on 12/3 (PS & CK), and Beaver Creek during the 12/30 YBCBC.
[Image Not Included: Cindy Hanson's 7 December 2006 photo of an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron at a day-roost in lower Yaquina Bay.]
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS are a mystery bird here as, except for a stray juvenile, they are not out and about during daylight. Since 1999 in Lincoln County, PP found 1-2 at Lincoln City on 3/1/2000 and 11/18/2001, and our only report at Yaquina Bay was of a roosting immature that HS spotted on 8/4/2005.
Most of our sightings have come from spotting them at day-time roosts or seeing or hearing them fly out at dusk. Their roosts are elusive because of their wariness and vulnerability to disturbance. So not publicizing their day-roost location seems prudent.
CH spotted two adults at a roost at Yaquina Bay on Dec. 7. As many as three adults and two immatures were spotted in the same area during the 12/16 YBNFT, 12/29 (RB), and the 12/30 YCBC.
A WHITE-TAILED KITE was at Boone Slough at about mile 8.9 along north Yaquina Bay Road on 12/1(CP) and at Siletz Bay during the 12/9 LCAFT.
A juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK lingered at the HMSC on 12/4 (RL). While driving, BB noted another eating a road kill just south of Seal Rocks on 12/11.
A PEREGRINE FALCON was at Yaquina Head during at least 4 days in November (BLM), the HMSC Nature Trail on 12/3 (MC & PV), Siletz Bay during the 12/9 LCAFT, and Yaquina Bay during the Dec. 16 YBNFT. 3 were surveyed during the 12/9 Raptor Route (see below).
SaL found a MERLIN in Yachats on 12/1 for only our second report this season; another was spotted during the 12/9 Raptor Route (see below).
On 12/9, WH & RC did the first Lincoln Co. Raptor Route this winter (see following Table). It covers the coast from Alsea Bay to Siletz Bay, follows inland valleys to Siletz and Toledo, and then returns to Newport via the Yaquina Bay Road. Bald Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks continued to be the most numerous raptors seen. Total raptors numbers were similar to last winter and higher than the winter before.
------------------------------------------- Dec-Feb.____ Lincoln Co. 2004- 2005- 2006-2007 Raptor Route 2005* 2006@* 12/9 ------------------------------------------- Turkey Vulture 0 0-1 0 No. Harrier 0-1 1-5 2 White-t. Kite 1-3 0-3 2 Sharp-shin. Hawk 1 1-2 0 Cooper's Hawk 0-2 0-4 2 Accipiter sp. 0 0-1 0 Red-should. Hawk 0-2 0 1 Red-tail. Hawk 10-14 18-22 17 Bald Eagle ad. 2-12 8+-16 18 " " subadults 1-4 1+-5 2 " " unknown 0 0-2 0 " " total 4-14 11-21 20 Merlin 0 0-1 1 Am. Kestrel 1-4 1-5 5 Peregrine Falcon 0-1 1-3 3 SUM 29-34 41-62 53 Counts 3 3@ 1 Miles 119- 119- 118 121 120 Hours 7.3- 7- 7.5 7.5 8 Snowy Owl 0 0-1 0 Burrowing Owl 0 0 1
* 12/18/2004, 1/16/2005, 2/12/2005
@ 12/9/2005, 1/21/2006, 2/12/2006, 3/11/2006. The 3/11/2006 count is not included in this Table so that it is comparable to the 2004-2005 winter but is included in the March 2006 Sandpiper field notes.
Our largest count of BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS in December was only 10 on Lions Head island at Yaquina Head on 12/26 (CA).
One ROCK SANDPIPER was with other rockpipers below the parking area at Depoe Bay on 12/3 (MC & PV) and near Seal Rocks during the 12/30 YBCBC.
A flock of about 20 DOWITCHERS were near the 3 mile marker of north Yaquina Bay Road on 12/8 (JG).
November storms evidently hurt alcids as 2 ANCIENT MURRELETS, 29 CASSIN'S AUKLETS, 30 RHINOCEROUS AUKLETS, and 6 COMMON MURRES washed ashore along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, L&VO). At Boiler Bay, 2 live Ancient Murrelets were found on 12/3 (MC & PV) as were 4 MARBLED MURRELETS, 1 RHINOCEROS AUKLET, and 50 COMMON MURRES on 12/16 (PP).
MOURNING DOVES were at J&LM's home near east Sally's Bend during Count Week for the 12/30 YBCBC.
The 11/30 SNOWY OWL near the Newport Shilo Inn (TM) was not relocated. But one was at the YBSJ on 12/2 (MA) and in the South Beach dune area on 12/5 & 7 (CA), 12/7 (PPa), and 12/14 (Texas birders, fide CA).
[Image Not Included: Judy Butts' 30 November 2006 photo of the Burrowing Owl at the Sports Therapy and Wellness Center in Newport.]
As reported in last month's Sandpiper, our first Burrowing Owl report was in 1969--WH found it near the YBSJ. We had six semimonthly periods with Burrowing Owl records in the 1970's, two in the 1980's, one in 1992 (SemiL), one record in 2002 (FN), and none since then until this November. The Christmas Bird Count Editor commented that the one seen during the 1974 Yaquina Bay CBC was a "winter resident" (1975 American Birds 29:554). However, they have become scarcer here in recent years.
Then we had the 11/25 report this year of one at the Sports Therapy and Wellness Center in Newport that had been there for approximately 2 weeks before birders first reported it.
P. 317 of the 2003 Birds of Oregon: A General Reference state that they are a "rare annual visitor to the Willamette Valley and s. coast, especially during winter." And Alan Contreras's 1998 "Birds of Coos County, Oregon" indicates that they are "a rare but regular winter visitor" to Coos County. But more widely available general field guides do not indicate that they occur in Lincoln County.
The only previous somewhat urban record in Lincoln County appears to be one in October 1976 near the HMSC volleyball court (LO, RO & others). The Birds of Oregon notes that besides natural habitats they can be at golf courses and airports, and wintering individuals in western Oregon are "typically located in roadside ditches or where culverts are present." Elsewhere, they have been in vacant lots in urban locations and cemeteries, fairgrounds, and college campuses.
The Newport News-Times had a picture and a caption on 12/1 (p. A7) that Lincoln City Audubon's KN said that this was the "first time she has ever heard of Athene cunicularia [Burrowing Owl] being sighted on the central Oregon coast." The caption also said the owl was "hundreds of miles from its usual desert habitat" and that there was speculation that the owl came here "via some form of motorized transportation, possibly a delivery truck."
I suspect that the owl arrived here on its own like others have done in the past, rather than being a helpless victim that was driven here.
Too cute and too tame... In spite of publicity to leave harbor seal pups alone on the beach every spring, some people pick them up because the pups are too cute and too tame and people wrongly think that the pups have been abandoned.
The Wellness Center Burrowing Owl appears to have suffered an analogous fate. People were concerned about its welfare, although USFWS staff had seen it and the ODFW's District Wildlife Biologist DC saw the owl and noted that "it looked and acted normal," except that it was not wary enough of people.
There was also a report that someone had bought a mouse from a store to feed it. Feeding this owl could have caused it to lose a healthy fear of people. Feeding bears and raccoons is not advised, and there are cases of where even Great Blue Herons and Brown Pelicans have tamed down to their detriment when given handouts. Feeding hummingbirds and seed- or suet- feeding birds at feeders doesn't create the problems or be detrimental to their health that feeding other wildlife can cause.
I received emails from two individuals about its welfare, who I tried to reassure.
Several people called the volunteer-based Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Corvallis with concerns and were told that if it could be captured, Chintimini would determine if it needed medical attention (JP). Chintimini provides care for approximately 700 animals a year at an average cost of nearly $100 per animal (http://www.chintiminiwildlife.org/) that donations and memberships help pay.
There was some concern that one of the Burrowing Owl's legs may not have been healthy because it was generally seen and photographed standing on one leg. But birds can stand on one leg as a way to reduce heat loss, analogously to when we stick our hands in our pockets when it is cold. While JL was watching the "one-legged" owl one evening, she saw it fluff its feathers and then put the other foot down, switching legs, so both legs were functional.
In early December, there were reports of at least 14 birders seeing the Burrowing Owl. On 12/14, after being at the Wellness Center for approximately 5 weeks, Oregon State Police and volunteers netted the owl and transported it to Chintimini (fide BM; CA). Chintimini's Executive Director JP noted that they could not find anything wrong with it and that it "is eating and flying fine and is very feisty."
On Jan. 3, I talked to the Oregon State Police game officer who captured the owl. He said it was his decision to do so based on people's concerns about the owl's welfare, how overly tame it was, and the area seemed inappropriately urban for owls. People had contacted him about the owl's welfare because of what they had read in the News-Times and its tameness. There was also concern that the owl had been transported here and needed human help to return. If the owl had been more elusive during the capture process, the officer would have thought it healthier and probably would have left it. The officer had not contacted the ODFW or USFWS in making his decision.
Now the problem is where to release it, and it is still in captivity through at least Jan. 3 (fide DC). Releasing it back at the Wellness Center seems ill-advised because people didn't leave it alone and were concerned about its health, even when it was healthy. The human contact, including feeding, there may have been a factor in why it became too tame for its own good.
JP notes another possibility is to "release it here in the valley where there is an overwintering population of the birds, but some people have expressed concerns about releasing it there in the off chance it has some disease, although as I said it appears to be very healthy."
Releasing it at a new location is problematic because it could be in an unfamiliar location and not know where to find food and shelter from the weather and predators in the middle of winter and may be subject to competition with other animals. The owl had about 5 weeks to learn how to live at the Wellness Center, and it appears to have learned to do so successfully, even during a very stormy November.
Donations to Chintimini seem appropriate to help pay for the care of this owl.
It would be easy to play the blame game, but that does not help now and, besides, there is plenty of human blame to go around. If the owl had not become so used to people at the Wellness Center and been so tame, perhaps it could have evaded human capture, and that may have convinced people that it was OK. If the owl was less cute and people didn't think it was so unprecedented here or so far from other wintering Burrowing Owls, perhaps people would have left it alone like Rock Pigeons that can also be pretty tame, especially when they are fed. If...
I think it may be more productive to ask What can we do to prevent this in the future? Should we give up reporting birds, rare or common, because someone may call the police and have a healthy bird captured and taken into captivity? That seems excessive. In my opinion, this Burrowing Owl saga is very exceptional and resulted from a combination of its tameness, cuteness, inadequate publicity that it was OK, a misperception about its unusualness and that it was a victim of being transported here, and its easy visibility to many people.
The owl's tameness was the most significant factor, so we can recognize that a tame bird runs the risk of intervention by people concerned about its welfare, even if it really is healthy. Please do not feed owls because doing so is not good in keeping them wild and healthily wary of people.
We can also be careful to not unintentionally or intentionally disturb wildlife (e.g., see ethics-b.htm).
We need to let wildlife remain wild. If an animal is clearly injured or unhealthy, then human intervention may be required. But intervention poses its own issues.
As of Jan. 3, the plan is to release the owl on Jan. 5 in Lincoln County, but not back at the Wellness Center.
WH detected a very unseasonable BARN SWALLOW flying at Three Rocks Road along the north Lincoln County border on 12/7.
1-3 GRAY JAYS were at BB's Yachats feeder on 12/1 & 20 and the King Slough woods south of Yaquina Bay during 12/30 YBCBC.
A PALM WARBLER lingered near the USFWS Building along HMSC Nature Trail on 12/4 (RL).
3 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS (only the second report of the season) were at Toledo during the 12/30 YBCBC.
On 12/1, NC noted an influx of DARK-EYED JUNCOS at his Idaho Point home at Yaquina Bay.
A pair of WESTERN MEADOWLARKS were at Bayshore, north of Waldport on 12/9 (JG), and at the HMSC Nature Trail during the 12/16 YBNFT.
OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Cindy Ashy, Mike Austin, Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Bureau of Land Management staff at Yaquina Head (BLM), Rebecca Cheek, Neal Coenen, Doug Cottam, Marcia Cutler, Dick Demarest, Jill Grover, Cindy Hanson, Wayne Hoffman, Carol Karlen, Lincoln City Audubon Field Trip (LCAFT led by DD), Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), John & Linda MacKown, Field Notes (FN, Lincoln County records from the Sandpiper for rare bird species since 1992 can be searched for at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#recent), Roy Lowe, Barry McPherson, Terry Morse, Russ Namitz, Kathleen Nickerson, Robert Olson, Laimons & Vicki Osis, Peter Patricelli (PPa), Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Jeff Picton, Paul Reed, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU), Howard Shippey, Paul Sullivan, Paula Vanderheul, Jean Weakland, Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count (YBCBC), Yaquina Birders & Naturalists Field Trip (YBNFT led by PR).
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