Jan.-May 2014 Bird Field Notes for Lincoln County (Oregon)

by Range Bayer

These field notes are from the Sandpiper, a publication of Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Lincoln County, Oregon.

Comments about abundance or seasonality refer only to LINCOLN COUNTY. There is room here for only some of the many Lincoln County sightings posted to Oregon Birders On-Line (OBOL; recent postings at http://birding.aba.org/maillistdigest/OR01), Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO), eBird.org or BirdNotes.net or emailed, telephoned, or mailed to me. If the same date and number of birds of a species given in eBird.org are reported in OBOL, LCBNO, or BirdNotes.net, I will assume the eBird report is a duplicate and will use the other reports that give more details, including location and observer.

If you have any field notes to share, please email (range.bayer at gmail.com) or mail (P.O. Box 1467, Newport, OR 97365) them to Range Bayer by the 20th of the month.

Many Lincoln Co. birding sites are in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide.

Semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 are in 1995 Journal of Oregon Ornithology 4:395-543 that is archived at ScholarsArchive@OSU (http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070).

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Month of 
Sandpiper, Volume 35
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January  2014 
February 2014 
March    2014 
April    2014 
May      2014 

BIRD FIELD NOTES from the January 2014 Sandpiper 35(1)

for Observations Received Through Jan. 27

Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations (numbers refer to site numbers in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide http://www.oregoncoastbirding.com/): BEAVER CREEK (#78, in part): creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), BOILER BAY STATE WAYSIDE (#59): about 0.5 mi north of Depoe Bay, COQUILLE POINT (along #67): southeast corner of Sally's Bend at about mile 3.5 along north Yaquina Bay Road, CRITESER'S MOORAGE: downstream of Toledo at about Mile 10.2 on Yaquina Bay Road, ECKMAN LAKE (#84): lake 2 mi east of Waldport along HWY 34, " HMSC (#75): OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, LNG TANK: large green Liquefied Natural Gas tank on the north side of Yaquina Bay about 1.5 miles east of Yaquina Bay Bridge, NUTE SLOUGH: freshwater slough at about mile 9.3 along north Yaquina Bay Road, ONA BEACH (renamed as Brian Booth State Park in 2013) (#77): State Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along HWY 101 at Beaver Creek, ROAD'S END STATE RECREATION SITE (#46): north of Lincoln City, SALLY'S BEND (#66): large Yaquina Bay embayment east of the LNG tank, SALMON RIVER ESTUARY (#44 and 45): estuary at north end of Lincoln Co.; the mouth is in Tillamook Co., YBCBC: Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count on 1/5, YBSJ (#71): Yaquina Bay South Jetty, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport.

DECEMBER-JANUARY 27 FIELD NOTES

This newsletter contains more December bird field notes than were possible in the previous newsletter that included only the Dec. 15 Lincoln City Christmas Bird Count results and notes and photos about the Dec. 3-9 freezing weather (as measured at 15th and Oceanview, Newport) and effect on waterfowl at Eckman Lake. Most of the computer issues that impeded the previous newsletter have been resolved.

YAQUINA BAY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT RESULTS by Dawn Harris, Count Compiler.

The 41st Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count was held on January 5, 2014. In total 35 field observers braved warm and sunny coastal weather along with 7 feeder watchers. Eight of our 42 observers had never participated in a Christmas Bird Count, and many more came from out of town or out of state including Idaho, Washington, California and British Columbia.

A total of 136 bird species were found on Count Day. [This ties the third highest number of species for this CBC and is above the average of 132 species for the past 10 CBC's and 118 for the 40 previous CBC's--see link at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#ybcbc]

Lars Norgren, of Team North Newport, found the most exciting bird of the day, a female King Eider floating in the Pacific among a raft of scoters. Other notable species included Rufous Hummingbird, Barn and Violet-green swallow and a Snow Goose on the south jetty.

We had record high counts for three species: American Coot (737 individuals), Eurasian Collared-Dove (54) and Hermit Thrush (66). A Northern Shrike that had been seen regularly at the Hatfield Marine Science Center was not seen on Count Day but did get recorded for Count Week.

Like all counts we had our misses too, notable ones include Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Western Sandpiper, Hutton's Vireo, and Purple Finch.

Next year's Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count is tentatively scheduled for January 4, 2015.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who participated! And an extra special thank you to the team leaders.

For more info about the Yaquina Bay Bird Count, email Dawn Harris at oregoncoastbirding at gmail.com

[Editor's note: And a very big Thank You to Dawn Harris for organizing and compiling the Count and after-Count Social!]

MORE DEC. 3-9 COLD & SNOWY WEATHER NOTES

The effects on waterfowl of freezing of most of Eckman Lake during Dec. 6-8 was reported in the previous newsletter by RL with photographs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157638495611156/). But other birds were also affected by the cold and snow (3 inches fell in Newport on 12/6).

KILLDEER typically are scattered or in small flocks of less than about 6 birds during nonfreezing weather here. But in past years, they have aggregated in higher than usual numbers along the coastline during or after snow and icy weather inland. This cold snap, JGr encountered 75 Killdeer during a walk on the beach at Sandpiper Village north of Waldport on 12/10 and 40-50 in a shorter walk on the same beach the next day.

Hummingbirds were also very attracted to unfrozen feeders. In Yachats, up to 15 at a time were present on 12/5 (CG [fide BB]). On 12/6, 19 ANNA'S and 1 female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD swarmed PL's feeders near the Newport Bayfront.

In the past, cold weather has sometimes brought WESTERN BLUEBIRDS to near the coastline, but there was no indication of that this time. Inland near the Siletz River, SH noted 6 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS visiting their pasture area and yard almost daily during November and up until the cold spell. But after the temps moderated, bluebirds had not returned as of 12/15.

WATERFOWL

Regularly from late Nov. through at least 1/26, 10-16 GR. WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, often with 2 ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE, and sometimes other geese (but not Brant) were inside of the chain-link fence that surrounds the LNG complex west of Sally's Bend. There they grazed on the short mowed grass or rested. The fence separated them from people and dogs often walking by within about 100 ft, and the fence's protection evidently resulted in the geese remaining inside fence.

SNOW GEESE made an exceptional showing starting with 4 on 11/25 at Lincoln City (RQ), 3 at the Salmon River Estuary during 1/2-3 (DS; JH), and 1-3 at Yaquina Bay (YBSJ, HMSC, or inside fence at LNG) during 1/1-23 (m. ob.).

The high count of overwintering BRANT at embayments of Yaquina Bay was 258 on 12/23 (RB).

LN first found and DV promptly reported a rare female KING EIDER during the 1/5 YBCBC. It was offshore of 68th Street north of Yaquina Head and was regularly observed by many through the end of the 1/27 reporting period. While looking for the eider, birders also could have exceptionally good looks at the 200-300+ BLACK SCOTERS with which she was with. Black Scoters are spotty in distribution with perhaps their most favored and common location north of Yaquina Head from which they can be distantly viewed. The 68th Street location is closer to their customary concentration and consequently a better place to view them.

This is only the 2nd of 41 YBCBC's for which a King Eider was recorded. KM previously found a female King Eider at the YBSJ on 12/8/1996 that was also seen by many birders until 3/24/1997. Will the 68th Street eider linger to late March or will birders persevere and continue to look for and report her until late March? She may persist, but birders there may not.

A BARROW'S GOLDENEYE and LONG-TAILED DUCK were noted in both Dec. and Jan., and a CLARK'S GREBE was at Yaquina Head on 1/5 and Boiler Bay on 1/11 (eBird).

FULMAR-PELICAN

There was a Nov.-Dec. die-off of NORTHERN FULMARS, since 41 were found in Nov. and 13 were found in Dec. along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, D&JD). But these numbers were far below the 298 in Nov. 2003 and 238 in Nov. 2009. There were only 5 reports in Dec. of live fulmars, with the only of more than 4 and that was during squally 12/2 when during a 3.75 hour Boiler Bay seawatch, PP tallied 800+. Storms sometimes brings such high numbers of fulmars close to shore.

We started out 2013 with high hopes that it would be the first odd-numbered year to have at least one BROWN PELICAN record each month. They were reported each month in the even-numbered years 2008, 2010, and 2012. Alas, it was not meant to be--we had no pelican records after Nov. 26 (PP) in 2013. And the string of even-numbered years with records appears to also be broken in 2014 because no reports were received through Jan. 27.

RAPTORS (including Falcons [which phylogenetically are now placed after woodpeckers by eBird and others])

Oregon Winter Raptor Surveys are a good relative index to the abundance of wintering raptors and are coordinated by the East Cascades Birds Observatory (www.ecbcbirds.org/Default.aspx?tabid=73); their web site includes links to data summaries.

Lincoln Co. has 3 Raptor Routes. The North Lincoln Raptor Route (see map at http://goo.gl/maps/cqiSX that indicates it is about 20.5 miles) is around the Salmon River Estuary and east shore of Devils's Lake and was done on 11/6 by DV and 1/14 by DV and MM. The Inland or Yaquina River-Siletz Raptor Route is about 67-68 miles long; it was completed on 11/6, 12/19, and 1/23 by JL & CP and took 192-295 minutes. The Coastal Route is about 56 miles and runs along HWY 101 from the north side of Alsea Bay to the Taft area of Lincoln City, with nearby inland valleys; it was completed in 418 minutes in parts on 12/21 (RC, WN,& WH) & 24 (RC & WN) because of foggy weather that limited visibility on 12/21.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
            N.Linc|Inland____ |Coastal
            11/ 1/|11/ 12/ 1/ |12/  
Raptor        6 14|  6  19 2 3| ** 
-----------------------------------
Wh-tail. Kite 0  0|  2   4  2 | 0
B. Eagle ad.  1  3|  5   1  1 | 3
 " subadults  0  0|  0   0  0 | 3
N. Harrier    0  0|  1   0  1*| 2
Sharp. Hawk   0  1|  2   0  0 | 0
Cooper's Hawk 1  1|  0   0  0 | 0
unk. accipit. 0  0|  0   0  0 | 0
R-shld. Hawk  0  1|  2   0  0 | 0
R-legg. Hawk  0  0|  0   0  0 | 0
R-tail. Hawk  3  7| 17  20 13 |14
unk. buteos   0  2|  0   0  0 | 0
Am. Kestrel   0  0|  3   2  0*| 0
Merlin        1  0|  0   0  0 | 0
Peregrine F.  0  1|  0   1  1 | 0

RAPTOR SUM    6 16| 32  28 18|22

*=corrected from original. **=Survey done in parts on 12/21 & 24.

On these Routes, Red-tailed Hawk was the most abundant species, and Bald Eagle was often second-most abundant. Immature eagles were only noted in the Coastal Route, and kites were only recorded for the Inland Route, where kites were more abundant than eagles for 2 of 3 counts. Statewide, the 5 most numerous ("prominent") species in decreasing order are Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, and Rough-legged Hawk, with these constituting about 90-93% of all raptors during Dec.-Feb. (see link to chart with "five most prominent species" at http://www.ecbcbirds.org/Default.aspx?tabid=73).

Reports other than for Raptor Routes include OSPREY, which are uncommon here in winter. Singletons were near Tidewater, 8 mi east of Waldport on 12/14 (JS), and at Yaquina Bay and/or Agate Beach/Yaquina Head area during 6 days during 12/27-1/26 (m.ob.).

On 12/8, a White-tailed Kite flying over DHa's and RP's yard near Olalla Slough, east of Toledo, was "A first for our yard list!" Another was near Siletz on 12/24 (JL).

On 1/18, DF was working on his Thornton Creek farm between Toledo and Eddyville, when 2 Red-tailed Hawks flew by screaming and dive bombing an adult GOLDEN EAGLE. This is only our 6th record (not including 1 "possible" record) since 1992 (FN).

An uncommon NORTHERN GOSHAWK graced the 12/15 Lincoln City CBC (DV, DHa) and Toledo area on 1/18 (CH).

There were several RED-SHOULDERED HAWK reports (m.ob.), and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was at Yaquina Head on 11/25 (BLM; eBird) & 12/29 (BLM).

2 PEREGRINE FALCONS have often been at Yaquina Head this winter, and the assumption can be that they are 2013's breeding pair. However, this assumption is questionable because neither one of the breeding pair was banded, but one seen in Sept. 2013 and more than once this Jan. is an adult female color banded in 2009 as a first-year bird, and there have been some aerial battles among 2 Peregrines this Jan. at Yaquina Head (fide RL; DC, DVa).

A MERLIN was in South Beach on 12/3, 21, 31 & 1/14 (RL; SSt; SSc) and in north Lincoln Co. on 1/15 (DV).

[Image Not Included: Common though uncommonly seen Virginia Rail that emerged from freshwater marsh vegetation at Lincoln City on Nov. 30. Photo by Ernie Rose.]

WHIMBREL-HUMMINGBIRDS

There were no WHIMBRELS in Dec., but a lone Whimbrel was at Yachats on 1/16 & 27 (SaL; eBird).

On 11/2 & 12/8, WH photographed 2 different GREAT HORNED OWLS during daylight at Yaquina Head that were "much paler than the resident ones here in Western Oregon." They also did not look like those eastern Oregon. During the 1/5 YBCBC, WH detected another pale Great Horned at a marsh about 13 miles south of Yaquina Head that was "sitting in full sun at about 1 PM," and it was "at least as pale as birds resident in eastern Oregon, but lacking most of the tawny tones those birds show." WH noted that "Both the color and the behavior (out in the open in full sun, on the ground) seem to me indicative of an incursion of northern Owls from somewhere with such long summer daylight that they have to be more diurnal than ours" and "The fact that I have stumbled onto 3 in the course of daytime birding suggests a major incursion, but if that is happening, I would think others would be seeing them too." Although there have not been other reports, that may be because no one else has been looking as closely at Great Horned Owls.

An emaciated COMMON POORWILL from the Newport area was brought to the Chintimini Wildlife Center (http://www.chintiminiwildlife.org/) near Corvallis on Thanksgiving (11/28) (fide DB and MN). On 1/6, IC reported that he had taken it to Chintimini, and the poorwill had been "likely captured by a cat and brought into the house" of a friend just above the Embarcadero along the Newport Bayfront. This is only the 2nd confirmed Lincoln Co. record (SemiL; FN), with the first confirmed record on 10/6/1994 in a clearcut east of Yaquina Head (CP & DF); there are also 2 unconfirmed records in May. Another late fall coastal record was on 11/17/2012, when one was found in Pacific City (Tillamook Co.) and taken to the North Coast Wildlife Center ("[OBOL] RBA: Portland, OR 11-23-12" at http://www.orbirds.org/search/search.php?q=common+poorwill&Submit=Search). Their fall vagrancy along the coast may not be recent, since Alex Walker reported a young female identified as being of subspecies from "the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain region" was collected on 10/27/1933 at Netarts (Tillamook Co.) (1934 Condor 36:178 at https://sora.unm.edu/node/98245). Oct.-Nov. appears to be the time to be on the lookout for coastal poorwills--DP adds that she also found one at Florence (Lane Co.) on 10/14/2010.

The first week of Dec. MR saw female ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD hovering near and appearing to get sap from holes a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER had drilled in their birch tree at Waldport. A variety of animals are attracted to sap at or insects attracted to sapsucker sap wells (http://northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/yellow-bellied-sapsuckers-provide-food-for-many-species).

An immature RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD has been a daily visitor during Dec. through at least 1/16 near Coquille Point east of Sally's Bend (L & JM), and another Rufous was with Anna's at a Newport feeder on 12/6 (PL).

PHOEBE-SCRUB-JAY

BLACK PHOEBES were widely distributed and reported at some new locations. BLl found one near Logsden on 11/30 that appears to be a first for the upper Siletz River Valley. Singles were also in the Salmon River area on 12/5 & 18 and 1/14 (DV & MM, see DV's map at http://goo.gl/maps/FL2IV) and at the Port of Toledo Day Use Park at about MP 10 on Yaquina Bay Road on 1/18 (CC) and Nute Slough on 1/26 (C&AH).

1-2 TROPICAL KINGBIRDS found in the HMSC/Oregon Coast Aquarium area in early October were sporadically reported until 12/1 (E&RG), just before the freezing weather.

NORTHERN SHRIKES made a good showing this winter, not only at Yaquina Bay where singletons were first reported in mid-Oct. and continued until at least 1/19 (DE; PS & CK; JS & LJ), but also at Yaquina Head on 1/1 (eBird), Waldport on 1/12 (AC), and a marsh north of Ona Beach on 1/26 (C&AH). But they were missed during the 1/5 YBCBC (DHa).

2013 became our first year with WESTERN SCRUB-JAY records each month of the year, with the addition of December sightings in different parts of Newport during 12/21-22 (PR; DA)! Their status has changed in recent years. Our first year with 2 records was 1975, and they were uncommon during May-June and August-October with winter records in only 5 winters during 1975-1992 (SemiL). Further, prior to 2013, we only had one record indicating nesting in June 2011, when 5 juveniles appeared at RC & WN's Wandemere home north of Ona Beach State Park, but in 2013, there were several records indicating nesting in Newport, which is where they now are resident in some neighborhoods.

SWALLOWS-ORIOLE

Swallow reports include 4 BARN SWALLOWS and an unidentified probable TREE SWALLOW at Road's End State Park north of Lincoln City on 12/30 (ME), a BARN SWALLOW and a VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW during the 1/5 YBCBC (DHa), and 1 Barn Swallow on 1/19 at the YBSJ (eBird). But "One swallow does not make a spring [summer], nor does one fine day" (Aristotle).

On 1/26-27 at Oregon Coast Aquarium, BLl watched a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE that was at a saucer-type hummingbird feeder (http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/hummerfeeders.htm) constructed for a hummingbird to perch (not hover) and poke its bill down into a port. Sometimes the chickadee was side by side with an Anna's Hummingbird. But it is unknown if it was feeding at one of the ports or drinking or feeding at an ant moat to trap insects that may have been on top of the feeder. For saucer-type feeders, the Internet reveals that chickadees sometimes drink water or feed on insects trapped in an ant moat atop some feeders, but there is also a photo of a Carolina Chickadee feeding at a hole for hummingbirds (http://crhabitat.blogspot.com/2007/06/chickadee-and-goldfinch-visit.html).

CP found a rare first-year CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR at the YBSJ on 11/25; it was not relocated. 1-2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS at the YBSJ in late Nov. continued through 12/10 (CP; fide JGe; RC & WN; WH; eBird).

The CLAY-COLORED SPARROW first found near the USFWS building at the HMSC on 11/24 was intermittently reported by many observers through 12/25.

In mid-Jan. at his feeder in NE Newport, PR detected a hybrid WHITE-CROWNED X GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW. It had a black eye stripe and white above the black eye stripe on the side of the head close to the bill like a White-crowned but had yellowish at the top of the head close to the bill and blackish yellow further back on top of the head like a Golden-crowned. The image of the hybrid at http://www.sfbbo.org/science/update_april12.php is somewhat similar, though PR's did not have as bright of yellow on top of the head.

A BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, rare here in recent winters, was at Depoe Bay on 12/21 and D River Wayside in Lincoln City on 1/2 (eBird). A female BULLOCK'S ORIOLE landed at CP's Toledo yard on 12/12, and an adult male was between the HMSC and the Oregon Coast Aquarium "log pond" on 1/14 (TW).

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: David Adamson, Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, BirdNotes.net, Don Boucher, Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), Don Campbell, Rebecca Cheek, Itchung Cheung, Alan Contreras, Clay Crofton, Dave & Jean Dempster (D&JD), eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Dan Elbert, Mark Elliott, Darrel Faxon, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Joel Geier (JGe), Eve & Rob Gill, Claire Good, Jill Grover (JGr), Dawn Harris (DHa), Christopher & Adrian Hinkle, Wayne Hoffman, Signe Hurd, Jack Hurt, Laura Johnson, Carol Karlen, Janet Lamberson, Pete Lawson, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, Linda & John MacKown, Michael McMann, Kathy Merrifield, m.ob. (multiple observers), Walt Nelson, Mark Nikas, Lars Norgren, Field Notes (FN; Lincoln County records from the Sandpiper since 1992 are searchable in search box at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#recent), Oregon Birders On-Line (OBOL; recent postings at http://birdnews.aba.org/maillist/OR01), Ram Papish, Diane Pettey, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Robert Qually, Paul Reed, Maggie Rivers, Stefan Schlick (SSc), SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), David Smith, John Snelling, Stacy Strickland (SSt), Paul Sullivan, John Sullivan, Dan Varland (DVa), Dawn Villaescusa, Tom Wainwright, Yaquina Bay CBC (YBCBC) compiled by DHa.


BIRD FIELD NOTES from the February 2014 Sandpiper 35(2)

for Observations Received Through 2/23

Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations (numbers refer to site numbers in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide http://www.oregoncoastbirding.com/): BEAVER CREEK (#78, in part): creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), BOILER BAY STATE WAYSIDE (#59): about 0.5 mi north of Depoe Bay, COQUILLE POINT (along #67): southeast corner of Sally's Bend at about mile 3.5 along north Yaquina Bay Road, ECKMAN LAKE (#84): lake 2 mi east of Waldport along HWY 34, HMSC (#75): OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, 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 (renamed as Brian Booth State Park in 2013) (#77): State Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along HWY 101 at Beaver Creek, SALLY'S BEND (#66): large Yaquina Bay embayment east of the LNG tank, WANDEMERE: about 0.5 mi north of Ona Beach State Park near HWY 101, YBCBC: Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count on 1/5, YBSJ (#71): Yaquina Bay South Jetty, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport.

2013 BEACHED BIRD REPORT by Bob Loeffel

Bob & Shirley Loeffel, Laimons & Vicki Osis, and Dave and Jean Dempster completed the 36th year of surveys along 4.6 miles of beach north of Beaver Creek. Bob writes: "Birds found, including murre chicks, totaled 448 in 2013. The average annual count for the previous 35 years of the survey is 475. Murres at 151 adults were the most numerous species with 131 being found in the September-November period. Of the 61 murre chicks recovered before the first of October, 45 were in September. Certainly some of the murres found after October 1st were of the 2013 year class, but their size prevented separating them from the adults. This relatively high mortality coming in the fall months is unusual. It suggests that these birds were on the northerly summer migration from nesting areas to the south. Was food scarce here or all along the way?

Fulmars at 76 birds and sooty shearwaters at 32 were the next highest counts. Six of the first 7 fulmars in the fall--October birds--were of the light phase with most other light phase birds showing up in early November. Sooty shearwaters at 32 birds were at usual levels. Four short-tailed shearwaters were recovered.

Unusual recoveries included a first-time blue-footed booby, one of 3 reported found in Oregon this year. Other unusuals were a common tern and red-necked and horned grebes and a whimbrel. Also unusual was the recovery of a banded Laysan albatross. Tagging records show that that bird was banded as an adult, sex unknown, on 12/10/1997 at Whale Skate Island in the French Frigate Sholas northwest of Hawaii. ... Terrestrial birds included 3 flickers and 1 crow. ..."

FEB. 6-8: BIRDS, SNOW & ICE

The Lincoln Co. coast usually has mild winters, where even a sprinkling of snow is unusual, and snow sticking around for more than a few hours rare. But twice already this winter, most recently around Feb. 6-7, we have had a few inches of snow that has stuck around for a few days. Birds, especially those that feed on the ground or that depend upon unfrozen water, can be expected to be impacted, though we may have a hard time being able to determine that. The effects of snow and cold can be signaled by the sudden presence of species uncommon or rare here in winter or unusually high numbers of species that occur here.

The last 2 newsletters covered snow and icy weather during Dec. 3-9, when most of Eckman Lake was frozen (RL). Below are some species that appear to have been affected during early Feb., and RB suspects there were others, too, for which our observations and reports are inadequate.

WH wrote a good overview on 2/8: "This morning, as cold rain melted off the remaining snow, open spaces around Newport teemed with Killdeer, American Pipits, Meadowlarks, and Starlings. ... Starlings are abundant here anyway, but they appeared in big flocks in places I have not seen them recently. Varied and Hermit thrushes, and Robins were also much in evidence."

KILLDEER occur here year around but usually not in concentrations or high numbers except after snowy or icy periods as they did and was reported during early December. On 2/7, DF, whose Thornton Creek farm is between Toledo and Eddyville, reports: "This morning there were twelve Killdeer along the margin of our farm pond. On average, the species is only detected here on the farm about once every five years at best, and I had never before seen more than three at any one time. So it was a remarkable sighting for the location. Six inches of snow here at present." At 10 AM on 2/8, WH tallied 2,000 Killdeer on the beach between the Yaquina Bay North Jetty and the Nye Beach turnaround in Newport; this may be the most ever counted in Lincoln Co. Also on 2/8, JL wrote: "We had 3-5 Killdeer in the horse pasture here at Hudson Loop [which is along HWY 229 between Toledo and the town of Siletz] yesterday and today - never saw them here before in 25 or so years of looking. Their usual haunts must have been frozen or snowed in." On 2/9, WH birded most of the day in and around Newport and noted that Killdeer "are still in evidence, but in much smaller numbers than yesterday," BB wrote that "about 40 Killdeer were in the ball field at Yachats's Community Park," and PK "Counted at least 30 Killdeer mixing with Starlings on the Sam Case School lawn in Newport. Odd (for me) to see so many altogether in such a small area." On 2/10, BB saw "only 4 Killdeer in the ball field" at Yachats. There were some other reports of unusual numbers of Killdeer during the Feb. snow and icy period, including by JGe, who wondered "if some might have headed west over the Coast Range to Lincoln County, in response to the lingering foot or two of snow in the mid-Willamette Valley." While some may have come over from the Valley, not all did because DA saw "lots of Killdeer in the snow covered fields along HWY 18" in the Valley while driving back from Portland on 2/9.

WESTERN BLUEBIRDS are usually uncommon to rare in winter except during periods of snow or ice. We had no reports during the Dec. snow or ice, but 2-4 showed at Yaquina Head on 2/9 (WH; DHo; EH), and 1-2 lingered near Kernville SE of Lincoln City on 2/13 (JL & CP), Ona Beach on 2/16 (N&TA), and near Eddyville on 2/22 (CH).

VARIED THRUSHES are common here in winter but concentrate during cold weather. On 2/6 at Wandemere, RC observed that the "weather has caused the Varied Thrushes to show up in unusual numbers. At one point I had 19 in view at one time and am certain there were others in the shrubs that I couldn't see at that moment." Also on 2/6, RL: "counted at least 15 Varied Thrush in my backyard near Eckman Lake at once, but they are coming and going and fighting over patches of snow under the feeder," and on 2/9, RL added: "in between feeding they would really puff out to stay warm. My yard and back deck was covered with birds. They were stressed with the ground all covered with snow. Still lots of Varied Thrush in the yard ..."

ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS were concentrated at feeders after the Dec. snow, but RB did not find any abnormal reports for Anna's after the Feb. snow, perhaps because observers were now used to this and did not report it.

AMERICAN PIPITS are rare here in winter. For example, they were not recorded during the Jan. 5 YBCBC (DHa) and were only recorded on 4 of 40 Yaquina Bay CBC's previously, with a high count of 14 in 1984 (http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/yaquina-bay-cbc.pdf). In Dec. we only had 2 reports of 1-2 pipits during 12/14-26, which was after the snow had departed (BLo; eBird). With the Feb. snow, RC & WN at Wandemere observed on 2/7 "a flock of 8 American Pipits drop onto our lawn to explore for 5 minutes before they flew on their way. That's a new yard bird for us!" On 2/8, WH surveyed "a few hundred pipits" between the North Jetty and Nye Beach Turnaround, and CP saw at least 3 pipits at the HMSC. On 2/9, WH observed that "American Pipits are still in evidence, but in much smaller numbers than yesterday" and still tallied 75 at Yaquina Head. On 2/10 at San Marine, south of Waldport, JGe recorded 11 pipits, and on 2/15 at HMSC, EH found a single pipit. Pipits were only reported very near the coastline and not also inland like numbers of Killdeer during the snow.

[Image Not Included: A puffball Varied Thrush perched amongst snow on a hemlock branch by Eckman Lake on Feb. 6. Photo by Roy Lowe.]

WATERFOWL-HERONS

Since late Nov., 10-16 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE have regularly been inside the chain-link fence surrounding the LNG, where they evidently feel safe from passing people and dogs. 16 were still there on 1/31, 2/9 & 2/24 (DHo; WH; RB). On 2/24, they all appeared to be immatures, and some were getting black speckles on their bellies (RB). A lone immature white-fronted has also been on the lawn at D River Wayside (Lincoln City) for at least 2 months through 2/15 (PP; JGi).

BRANT migration is underway as indicated by reports of them flying north during Feb. seawatches (JGi & JM; PP). The high count at Yaquina Bay wintering areas at embayments east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge was 514 on 2/24 (RB)--most of these did not winter here, since RB's previous high count this winter was 258 on 12/23. On 2/17, DV found a lone Brant associating with the gull flock at the YBSJ.

On 2/8, BLl saw "something I'd never noticed before; I watched 3 AMERICAN WIGEON, two males and a female, floating around on the Siletz River near my Logsden house, on a quiet stretch of water, picking what I thought were seeds from the surface. But they weren't seeds? They were 3/4 inch long blue-gray Mayflies! And there were hundreds of them. ... They feasted for half an hour at that one spot, and then when I had left the river and was walking home across the field, they flew over on their way to somewhere else."

HARLEQUIN DUCKS, BARROW'S GOLDENEYES, and LONG-TAILED DUCKs were often seen (m.ob.).

The rare female KING EIDER in the scoter flocks north of Yaquina Head off 68th Street first reported during the Jan. 5 Yaquina Bay CBC was often noted and last reported during on 2/23 during the report period (m.ob.).

Our only CLARK'S GREBE was with 7 Western Grebes near the Boone Slough pullout near milepost 9 on north Yaquina Bay Road on 2/4 (JL).

In January, 1 NORTHERN FULMAR and 1 SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER were found dead along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, L&VO). The 2/22 BGPT out of Newport found an immature SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS (photo at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17217222), 1 LAYSAN ALBATROSS, and 15 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES (e.g., http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17153600) along with other seabirds. A MANX-TYPE SHEARWATER was about 3/4 mile off Boiler Bay on 2/19 (PP).

GREAT BLUE HERON courtship and social displays can start at coastal colonies in January, though first eggs are not laid until about mid-March. Pre-nesting activities includes GBH's hanging out together, and displays can be subtle and appear like normal maintenance activities. At Alsea Bay, MR writes on 2/5 that "the Great Blue Heron Singles Bar is now open again with 24 birds lined up along Lint Slough across from where the Waldport high school used to be. All forms of preening and stretching. One lone egret is with them. Quite a sight!" MR has also seen such gatherings there in past years.

RAPTORS (including Falcons [which phylogenetically are now placed after woodpeckers by eBird and others])

Oregon Winter Raptor Surveys are a good relative index to the abundance of wintering raptors and are coordinated by the East Cascades Birds Observatory (www.ecbcbirds.org/Default.aspx?tabid=73); their web site includes links to data summaries.

Lincoln Co. has 3 Raptor Routes. The North Lincoln Raptor Route (see map at http://goo.gl/maps/cqiSX that indicates it is about 20.5 miles) is around the Salmon River Estuary and east shore of Devils's Lake and was done on 11/6 by DV and 1/14 by DV and MM. The Inland or Yaquina River-Siletz Raptor Route is about 67-70 miles long; it was completed on 11/6, 12/19, 1/23, and 2/13 by JL & CP and took 192-304 minutes. The Coastal Route is about 56 miles and runs along HWY 101 from the north side of Alsea Bay to the Taft area of Lincoln City, with nearby inland valleys; it was completed in 418 minutes in parts on 12/21 (RC, WN,& WH) & 24 (RC & WN) because of foggy weather that limited visibility on 12/21.

On each Route, Red-tailed Hawks were the most abundant species, followed by Bald Eagles, except for 2 of the 4 Inland Routes when kites were second. The Inland Route was the only one with kites or kestrels. Peregrines were often noted along the coast or inland. Statewide, the 5 most numerous ("prominent") species in decreasing order are Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, and Rough-legged Hawk, with these constituting about 90-93% of all raptors during Dec.-Feb. (see link to chart with "five most prominent species" at http://www.ecbcbirds.org/Default.aspx?tabid=73).

--------------------------------------------------------------------
                            N.Linc|Inland___________   |Coastal
                           11/  1/|11/  12/   1/  2/   |12/  
Raptor                       6  14|  6   19   23  13   | ** 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
White-tailed Kite            0   0|  2    4    2   3   | 0
Bald Eagle adult             1   3|  5    1    1   3   | 3
 " subadults                 0   0|  0    0    0   1   | 3
Northern Harrier             0   0|  1    0   1*   2   | 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk           0   1|  2    0    0   0   | 0
Cooper's Hawk                1   1|  0    0    0   1   | 0
unknown accipiter            0   0|  0    0    0   0   | 0
Red-shouldered Hawk          0   1|  2    0    0   0   | 0
Red-tailed Hawk              3   7| 17   20   13  13   |14
unknown buteos               0   2|  0    0    0   0   | 0
Am. Kestrel                  0   0|  3    2    0*  2   | 0
Merlin                       1   0|  0    0    0   0   | 0
Peregrine Falcon             0   1|  0    1    1   2   | 0

                      SUM    6  16| 32   28   18  27   |22

*=corrected. **= Survey done in parts on 12/21 & 24.

Other raptor reports included the first-of-season TURKEY VULTURE in Toledo on 2/20 (CP), our only OSPREY at Yaquina Bay State Park on 2/9 (DHo), a White-tailed Kite near Logsden on snowy 2/7 and not snowy 2/14-16 (BLl), and our only RED-SHOULDERED HAWK at the HMSC on 1/30 and 2/1 (RL; DV; CD & SD).

SHOREBIRDS-ALCIDS

BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS in winter often concentrate at roosts when water covers their intertidal foraging areas, and the numbers are much higher than one sees in summer. 28-35 were at Depoe Bay on Jan. 15, 29, & 31 and on Feb. 1 (eBird; NS; AF; RL); RB does not consider these as unusually high numbers in winter. But it is a change to see so many so close together after viewing them so widely dispersed in summer, so take a look at some of RL's photos on 2/1, when they were "roosting at high tide just south of the spouting horn" at http://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157640446718553/ RL noted that there was "a lot of resting and preening going on," which RB wonders could also include subtle courtship and pairing. Stereotyped bird displays get all the attention, but birds can also communicate in ways that oblivious humans may miss.

AF reported our only ROCK SANDPIPER at Depoe Bay on 1/31.

WH found a first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL at the Gull Puddle along the YBSJ about 0.6 mile west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge that was relocated on 2/16-22 (N&TA; DV; eBird). A Glaucous Gull was also at Siletz Bay on 2/23 (SN). WH also found and photographed a gull that looked like a GLAUCOUS X GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL hybrid at the Gull Puddle on 2/15 that was found again on 2/17 & 22 (DV; eBird).

On 2/16, JGi & JM were doing a seawatch between Boiler Bay & Depoe Bay when they "saw a quite close-in adult RED-LEGGED KITTIWAKE" amongst several hundred BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES flying by. This is our first record of a live Red-legged Kittiwake (SemiL; FN). The heavy Black-legged Kittiwake flight continued during at least 2/16-19 in the Depoe Bay-Lincoln City area (DV; PP; JGi, JM, & SW) as illustrated in DV's videos (http://youtu.be/dQ4mHlEJFpg & http://youtu.be/5i8z-iyf1mw) and an estimate of 3,500+ passing during a 2 hour aggregate seawatch on 2/17 (PP).

An uncommon HORNED PUFFIN passed during a seawatch south of Boiler Bay on 2/17 (JM).

We had 7 reports of MARBLED MURRELETS (m.ob.), with a count of extraordinarily high 165+ during a 2 hour Boiler Bay seawatch on 2/19 (PP). There were also 6 reports of ANCIENT MURRELETS with a high tally of 30 during the 2/22 BGPT.

From shore at Yaquina Head, COMMON MURRES were seen nearly daily beginning on 1/16 (BLM). On 1/29, E&RG saw that murres had landed and completely covered the largest nesting rock (Colony Rock); large numbers could fly by and also be in the ocean nearby in large rafts. On 2/23, E&RG saw several thousand murres mostly in the water at Yaquina Head, but none were then on the rocks.

[Image Not Included: 10 of at least 34 Black Oystercatchers roosting at high tide at Depoe Bay with a frothy surf behind them on Feb. 1. These included 2 apparently "piping" with open bills, at least 3 "one-legged," and at least two immatures. The immatures hatched last year (bird to far right and 3rd "one-legged" bird from right) and have a black or dark bill tip and perhaps a darker than adult eye ring. Photo by Roy Lowe. This is highly cropped "BLOY 2" with at least 27 oystercatchers in Roy's original (see how many you can find hiding in the original!) is the lower left of 5 other oystercatcher photos by Roy at http://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157640446718553/]

OWL-ORIOLE

On 2/17, PD's daughter again saw a BARRED OWL in a tree near the Nye Beach Path area in Newport. It remained there for about 6 hours before leaving just before dusk. It had different markings than the one she had seen there last November, so there appears to be more than one. Another was at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz during 1/31-2/14 (JL).

Although 2 RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS were found this winter, the first migrant male appeared on 2/16 at Wandemere (RC & WN).

A yellow-shafted NORTHERN FLICKER wintered east of Toledo (RP & DHa), and one appeared at Coquille Point on 2/18 (L&JM).

Our only BLACK PHOEBE was near Depoe Bay on 2/23 (DB & ET).

NORTHERN SHRIKES have been reported in the HMSC and LNG areas since mid-Oct. and continued at the HMSC on 2/1 & 10 (C&TN; RL) and the LNG on 1/31 & 2/13 (CP; JL & CP).

We had 3 reports of 1-4 WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS through 2/22 at 3 different locations in Newport where they appeared to be resident last year (SW 9th and Angle, Post Office-Library area, and Newport High School in Newport) (DA; DHo; RB).

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER that has overwintered at EH's South Beach home continued on 2/9&16. Migrants should start arriving in mid- to late March.

Our only WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continued at L&JM's home near Coquille Point on 2/19.

A well-described HOODED ORIOLE was at a private residence about 2 miles south of Waldport near HWY 101 on 2/14 (DR) [http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S16963522]. We haven't had any well-observed records was the 1970's (SemiL; FN).

[Image Not Included: A male Northern Flicker and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee sharing a suet feeder on Feb. 6. Photo by Roy Lowe.]

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Nagi & Taghrid Aboulenein, David Adamson, Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Bird Guide Pelagic Trip out of Newport to (BGPT; info about pelagic trips at http://thebirdguide.com/pelagics/), http://BirdNotes.net, Birding Oregon (http://birdingoregon.info/), Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), Danuta Burris, Rebecca Cheek, Scott Deckelmann, Dick Demarest, Pat Dickey, Chris Downie, http://eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Darrel Faxon, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Andy Frank, Joel Geier (JGe), Eve & Rob Gill, Jeff Gilligan (JGi), Dawn Harris (DHa), Christopher Hinkle, Wayne Hoffman, Deb Holland (DHo), Eric Horvath, Penelope Kaczmarek, Janet Lamberson, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, Linda & John MacKown, Michael McMann, Judy Meredith, m.ob. (multiple observers), Walt Nelson, Colby & Tom Neuman, Steve Nord, Field Notes (FN; Lincoln County records from the Sandpiper since 1992 are searchable in search box at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#recent), Oregon Birders On-Line (OBOL; recent postings at http://birdnews.aba.org/maillist/OR01), Laimons & Vicki Osis, Ram Papish, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Maggie Rivers, Doug Robinson, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Noah Strycker, Edwards Terence, Dawn Villaescusa, Sheran Wright, Yaquina Bay CBC (YBCBC) on 1/5 compiled by DHa, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists (http://yaquina.info/ybn/) Field Trip (YBNFT) led by DD.


BIRD FIELD NOTES from the March 2014 Sandpiper 35(3)

for Observations Received During 2/26-3/23

Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations (numbers refer to site numbers in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide http://www.oregoncoastbirding.com/): BEAVER CREEK (#78, in part): creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), BOILER BAY STATE WAYSIDE (#59): about 0.5 mi north of Depoe Bay, ECKMAN LAKE (#84): lake 2 mi east of Waldport along HWY 34, HMSC (#75): OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, IDAHO FLATS: large embayment just east of the 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 (renamed as Brian Booth State Park in 2013) (#77): State Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along HWY 101 at Beaver Creek, SALLY'S BEND (#66): large Yaquina Bay embayment east of the LNG tank, SALMON RIVER ESTUARY (#44 and 45): estuary at north end of Lincoln Co.; the mouth is in Tillamook Co., YBSJ (#71): Yaquina Bay South Jetty, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport (requires recreation pass or vehicle entrance fee).

WATERFOWL

Since late Nov., 10-16 GR. WHITE-FRONTED GEESE have found a protected place from people and dogs on the lawn inside the chain link fence around the large green LNG tank in Newport, west of Sally's Bend, where they can graze and rest. 15-17 were still there on 3/14 & 23 (RB; PT & SM).

The high counts of BRANT during the 2/26-3/23 reporting period were 200 near the HMSC on 3/1 (JH) and 197 at Idaho Flats on 3/14 (RB). It is unusual to have Brant far upstream at Yaquina Bay, but 185 Brant were feeding on native eelgrass (Zostera marina) on the south side of the Bay across from Sawyer's Landing (JL & CP); this is approximately at Road Milepost 4.2 along north Yaquina Bay Road. Starting in 2007, YB&N is a project partner of the International Brant Monitoring Project (IBMP) (http://www.padillabay.gov/brant/agencies.html); see their Observations Log for reports along the Pacific Coast (http://www.padillabay.gov/brant/observationlogs/log1314.asp).

Historical Yaquina Estuary records for Brant are accessible by clicking "View/Open" at http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/8081

WW found our first REDHEAD of the year, an adult male, at Sally's Bend on 3/12.

WH noticed a herring spawn at YBSJ on 3/11 that resulted in scoters aggregating. On 3/14, RL saw a variety of birds taking advantage of the recent herring spawn, with 12 HARLEQUIN DUCKS (11 males) hanging out at the 2nd finger jetty with a lot of squawking directed toward the lone female, photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157642411797915/ E&RG had the high Harlequin count with 22 at the YBSJ on 3/17. For 12 photos and comments that well show and describe the bird behavior and aggregations as well as photos of 3 Long-tailed Ducks at this herring spawn, see JSa's blog for her 3/20 observation date (posted on 3/21) at http://www.iusedtohatebirds.com/2014/03/newport.html

A report of Harlequin records through 1992 that includes some records for other Oregon coastal counties and Alex Walker's unpublished nesting report in Tillamook County is at http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/8061/vol.%203%20pg.%20243-260.pdf

The female, rare KING EIDER found off 68th Street in north Newport during the Jan. 5 Yaquina Bay CBC was often noted with the latest report at the end of the reporting period on 3/23 (eBird). The Lincoln Co. King Eider residency record is for a female that KM found at the YBSJ on 12/8/1996 that was reported last on 3/24/1997 -- will the 68th Street eider remain later? The 68th Street eider was along with 400 BLACK SCOTERS and 320 SURF SCOTERS on 3/8 (A&CH, HH, JSi & OH); this area may be the best Lincoln County site for Black Scoters.

There were many reports of 1-3 BARROW'S GOLDENEYES at Yaquina Bay and also reports of 1 at north Siletz Bay during 3/8 & 12 (MR; WW). 1-4 LONG-TAILED DUCKS were also regularly viewed at Yaquina Bay during the report period ending on 3/23 (m.ob.).

[Image Not Included: One of 11 male and 1 female Harlequin Ducks at the Yaquina Bay South Jetty on 3/14. Photo © by Roy Lowe from one of 6 Harlequin photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157642411797915/]

QUAIL-RAPTORS (including falcons)

M&SN found a MOUNTAIN QUAIL on 3/19 at Fox Creek (1 mile south of Seal Rocks) (fide BB).

Single CLARK'S GREBES were noted at Yaquina Bay during the reporting period (m.ob.), and 1 LAYSAN ALBATROSS and 3 NORTHERN FULMARS washed ashore in Feb. along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, L&VO); in 2013, 2 beached Laysans were found there, so beached Laysans are uncommon to rare.

So far this year through 3/23, BROWN PELICANS have been absent with the exception of an uncertain report at Seal Rocks on 3/15. This is a big change from the past 2 years when we had records each month during Jan.-March, and there were records each month of the year in 2008, 2010, & 2012 (FN).

We had a scattering of reports of single GREAT EGRETS at Yaquina, Siletz, & Alsea Bays, Beaver Cr., Salmon River, and Eckman Lake, along with a report of 2 at Eckman Lake on 3/10 (m.ob.).

Oregon Winter Raptor Surveys are a good relative index to the abundance of wintering raptors and are coordinated by the East Cascades Birds Observatory (www.ecbcbirds.org/Default.aspx?tabid=73). JL & CP finished the Raptor Run season with one last run on 3/7 along the Inland or Yaquina River-Siletz Raptor Route that was 66 miles long and took 4.3 hours. JL reports that:

"the weather was warm and partly sunny after a series of stormy days, and fields and pastures were partly flooded. Since March count numbers are usually low, we were surprised to find more than our average number of RED-TAILED HAWKS (20), many of them flying, but no kites, harriers, peregrine or accipiters. We were also pleased to see one RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, a lone AMERICAN KESTREL, and five BALD EAGLES (all adults)."

Another Red-shouldered Hawk was at the HMSC during 3/7-8 (eBird), but we had no reports of White-tailed Kites.

1 or 2 OSPREY were intermittently reported during winter until 2/9, but the apparent first migrant was detected at Yachats on 3/4 (BB).

On 2/25, PD saw 4 COMMON RAVENS and a PEREGRINE FALCON flying north of Mo's Restaurant along the Newport Bayfront. The Peregrine was attacking by flying at one of the larger ravens, and the raven was doing aerial acrobatics in twisting and turning while in flight. PD said she felt like she was watching a WWII movie of fighters attacking bombers! Ravens have become more common in lower Yaquina Bay, but 4 ravens there also seems an unusually high number.

Update to the Peregrine soap opera at Yaquina Head, WH notes that he has seen 4 females there this winter, including the breeding female and the interloping female banded as C5. On 2/28, there was aerial combat between C5 and apparently the breeding female at Yaquina Head (DC).

No MERLINS were reported, and, other than during the Raptor Run, single kestrels were also at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz on 3/7 (JL) and at Beaver Creek on 3/11 (DHo).

SHOREBIRDS-WOODPECKERS

A WHIMBREL was at Seal Rocks on 3/8 (A&CH, HH, JSi & OH), and a BONAPARTE'S GULL at Yaquina Bay on 3/9 (CC) is a few weeks early so may be a vagrant rather than early migrant.

During a 1 hour morning seawatch on 3/10 at Boiler Bay, PP estimated 25,000+ COMMON MURRES in flocks streaming south. 2 MARBLED MURRELETS were at Seal Rocks on 3/8 (A&CH, HH, JSi & OH), and another 2 were off of 32nd Street in Lincoln City on 3/22 (MR).

An adult, rare PARAKEET AUKLET was less than 150 yards off Boiler Bay on 3/10 (PP).

The first BAND-TAILED PIGEONS arrived at Eckman Lake on 2/28 (RL).

JL saw 1-2 BARRED OWLS at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz during 5 days in March.

RL led the YBNFT on 3/22, and they observed female RUFOUS and ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS gathering furry cattail seeds to line their nests at Eckman Lake.

1 RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz on 3/11 & 19 (JL).

On 3/19, CP saw a NORTHERN FLICKER with yellow-shafts at his home in Toledo. For records through 1992, flickers with yellow-shafts were not reported here from 4/11 to 10/8 (SemiL). Will they be later this year?

[Image Not Included: Female Rufous Hummingbird harvesting fluffy cattail seeds for use as nesting material at Eckman Lake on March 22. Photo © by Roy Lowe from 1 of 7 photos of female Rufous and Anna's Hummingbirds harvesting cattail seeds at Eckman Lake at https://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157642817867604/]

FLYCATCHERS-GOLDFINCH

BW found a SAY'S PHOEBE near the apartments at the HMSC on 3/15 & 16 that was resighted in that area through 3/18 (m.ob.); click on MS's photo to see more photos at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17507536 Prior to 1993, we only had 3 records (SemiL), but since 2000, they were reported during Feb.-April in 2001 and 2006, there was 1 sighting each year during 2009-2011, 2 sightings in 2012, but none in 2013 (FN).

1-2 WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS were in Newport during 4 days in March, and 1 was also at Otter Crest north of Otter Rock on 3/5 (MG).

Spring firsts include: TREE SWALLOW on 2/22 at Beaver Creek (DHo), 3/1 at Yachats (BB), and 3/2 in Toledo (DHa & RP); first singing BROWN CREEPER on 3/12 in Toledo (DHa), and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW on 3/13 in the HMSC area (WW).

The only WESTERN BLUEBIRD record received during the reporting period was at Yaquina Head on 2/9 (BLM).

AMERICAN PIPITS were at Yaquina Head on 2/8-9 (BLM) during the cold snap as reported in last month's newsletter, but our only report after 2/15 was on 3/8 at the HMSC (A&CH, HH, JSi & OH).

A Slate-colored DARK-EYED JUNCO appeared at ME's feeder at Road's End, north of Lincoln City, on 3/13-14, and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW singing in Newport on 3/23 suggests their spring arrival, although some overwinter (RB).

A HOODED ORIOLE on private property about 2 miles south of Waldport on 2/14 (DR) was included in last month's newsletter. With landowner BC's gracious permission, one was appreciated and reported in the same area on 3/8 (A&CH, HH, JSi & OH); see AH's photos at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17366097 It was subsequently seen through 3/11 (m.ob.).

[Image Not Included: Male Hooded Oriole that had been coming to a hummingbird feeder south of Waldport. March 8 photo © by Jamie Simmons.]

With Spring, there are departures as well as arrivals. Our latest WESTERN MEADOWLARK was at the HMSC on 3/18 (MS); click on MS's meadowlark photo at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17507536 to see more. An uncommon LESSER GOLDFINCH was at HMSC feeders on 3/8 (A&CH, HH, JSi & OH). Thanks to their prompt reporting, CP saw it at the USFWS feeders at the south end of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center campus on 3/9.

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Birding Oregon (http://birdingoregon.info/),http://BirdNotes.net, Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), Don Campbell, Bob Carr, Cheryl Chessick, Pat Dickey, http://eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Mark Elliott, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Eve & Rob Gill, Michael Green, Jeff Harding, Oscar Harper, Dawn Harris (DHa), Hendrik Herlyn, Adrian & Christopher Hinkle, Wayne Hoffman, Deb Holland (DHo), Janet Lamberson, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, Kathy Merrifield, Sandra Morey, m.ob. (multiple observers), Michael & Sally Noack, Field Notes (FN; Lincoln County records from the Sandpiper since 1992 are searchable in search box at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#recent), Oregon Birders On-Line (OBOL; recent postings at http://birdnews.aba.org/maillist/OR01), Laimons & Vicki Osis, Ram Papish, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Mitch Ratzlaff, Doug Robinson, Jen Sanford (JSa), SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Jamie Simmons (JSi), Molly Sultany, Patti Truhn, Dawn Villaescusa, Wayne Weber, Ben Wishnek, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists (http://yaquina.info/ybn/) Field Trip (YBNFT) led by RL.


BIRD FIELD NOTES from the April 2014 Sandpiper 35(4)

for Observations Received During 3/24-4/27

Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations (numbers refer to site numbers in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide http://www.oregoncoastbirding.com/): BEAVER CREEK (#78, in part): creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), BOILER BAY STATE WAYSIDE (#59): about 0.5 mi north of Depoe Bay, ECKMAN LAKE (#84): lake 2 mi east of Waldport along HWY 34, "GULL PUDDLE": often wet area near west edge of large parking area along the YBSJ about 0.6 mile west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge where gulls often linger, HMSC (#75): OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, HIDDEN VALLEY: oxbow of Yaquina Bay with outlets with deteriorating trestles at Boone (west) and Nute (east) Sloughs near Milepost 9 along north Yaquina Bay Road, IDAHO FLATS: large embayment just east of the 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, McNARY LANE POND/PASTURE (near red barn) at about Milepost 5 along HWY 20 between Newport and Toledo, NUTE SLOUGH: freshwater slough at about mile 9.3 along north Yaquina Bay Road, ONA BEACH (renamed as Brian Booth State Park in 2013) (#77): State Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along HWY 101 at Beaver Creek, SPANISH HEAD: pullout north of Inn at Spanish Head at 4009 SW Highway 101 in Lincoln City, YBSJ (#71): Yaquina Bay South Jetty, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport (requires recreation pass or vehicle entrance fee).

WATERFOWL

Since late Nov., 10-17 GR. WHITE-FRONTED GEESE have often been inside the chain-link fence around the LNG tank or nearby. 16 were last noted on the tideflats near the fence on 4/4 (RB). Although large flocks of migrant white-fronts were reported at the end of the period in the Willamette Valley, none were reported here.

BRANT were migrating with a total of 1,170 Brant winging north during a 3 hour Boiler Bay seawatch on 4/14, and 285 heading north during a 1.25 hour Boiler Bay seawatch on 4/22 (PP). During the report period, the high count in Yaquina Bay was 133 on 4/4 (RB), and the high tally west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge was 45 on 4/7 (WH). The latest report was of 3-13 at Yaquina Bay on 4/22 (JL; DB).

The 30 GADWALL at Eckman Lake on 4/19 may be the latest this season (AH, HH, JS, OH).

CPh found an uncommon Eurasian (Common) GREEN-WINGED TEAL with 24+ Green-winged Teal at McNary Lane pond/pasture between Toledo and Newport on 3/30.

A CINNAMON TEAL was with 15 Green-wings at Eckman Lake on 4/19 (AH, HH, JS, OH).

The year's first REDHEAD was at the YBSJ on 3/28 (DHo), and CPh found another at McNary Lane pond/pasture on 4/27 that was relocated the same day (DHa & RP).

HARLEQUIN DUCKS were at Yaquina Head during 5 days in March (BLM) and were viewed an additional 11 times at various sites in April (m.ob.).

Along with spring arrivals are spring departures and the latest dates include BARROW'S GOLDENEYE on 3/29 at Yaquina Bay (SV), COMMON GOLDENEYE near the HMSC on 4/19 (MB), and LONG-TAILED DUCK on 4/20 at the Newport Bayfront (CPo).

[Image Not Included: 5 Brant with noticeable white necklaces and a Pelagic Cormorant at the YBSJ on March 12. Photo © by Roy Lowe.]

[Image Not Included: 4 adult male and 1 subadult male Harlequin Ducks at YBSJ on 3/30. The subadult is second from right; there were a total of 23 Harlequins there. Photo © by Steve Valasek at https://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_valasek/sets/72157643196418323/]

LOONS-HERON

Spring loon migration had commenced by 4/13, when PP tallied 4,500 PACIFIC LOONS, 500 RED-THROATED LOONS, and 10 COMMON LOONS passing Spanish Head in Lincoln City during a one-hour morning seawatch.

On 4/18, JL surveyed about 130 Horned Grebes in breeding or transitional plumage at Milepost 5 between Sawyer's Landing and River Bend along Yaquina Bay Road. This is a very large concentration for Yaquina Bay, especially that high up the estuary.

A CLARK'S GREBE was at Boiler Bay on 4/4 (DR) and YBSJ on 4/22 (DB).

In March, 2 NORTHERN FULMARS and 1 FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS were found along 4.6 miles of beach north of Ona Beach (B&SLo, L&VO).

Northerly migrating DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS that could be mistaken for migrating geese were noted on 4/13 at Yaquina Head (WH), Boiler Bay on 4/14 (PP), and along the coast in southwest Newport on 4/15 (RB). PP noted the largest flock of 180.

On 3/29, DD viewed 2 BROWN PELICANS flying north past Depoe Bay, and there were 21 records from 3/30 through 4/27 (m.ob.), so these are the first corroborated reports since November. This is a big change from the past 2 years when we had Brown Pelican records each month during Jan.-March, and there were records every month in 2008, 2010, & 2012. This year, the highest count was 24 passing during a Boiler Bay seawatch on 4/22 (PP). Not all records were only along the coast, since 4 were on the first rock finger groin west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on 4/25 (RB).

There were 6 reports of 1-2 GREAT EGRETS at Beaver Creek, the HMSC, and Alsea Bay (LO; DHo; MR).

In past years, a few GREEN HERONS used to overwinter, but wintering Green Herons seem to have become scarce. DE saw our first of season Green Heron at Eckman Lake on 4/11.

RAPTORS (including Falcons [which phylogenetically are now placed after woodpeckers])

No Red-shouldered Hawks were reported.

A WHITE-TAILED KITE was in Logsden on 3/23 & 29 (BLl), and 1 AMERICAN KESTREL was found on 4/4 near both the Logsden Store (BLl) and at Nute Slough at about mile 9.3 along north Yaquina Bay Road (DHo).

Historically, MERLINS have more frequent in April, and we had 5 reports of singletons in the Newport area, north Lincoln Co., and Boiler Bay during 4/2-19 (ER; RB; CT; PP; AH, HH, JS, OH; MB).

PEREGRINE FALCONS were frequent. At Yaquina Head, where a pair first nested in 2012, WH noted that he had seen at least 10 different female Peregrines since the first of the year on 4/10, "including 4 first-cycle birds, 2 second-cycle birds, and 4 adults (including the breeder and the banded C5). Besides the breeding male, I have only seen a couple other males."

This year, Peregrine incubation at Yaquina Head appears to have started on or by 4/10 (WH). If successful in hatching young, this would be earlier than when it approximately started in 2012 during 4/16-19 and in 2013 on 5/13 as back-calculated 30 days from when hatching was first noted (incubation can be 29-32 days). Other Yaquina Head nesting info includes first hatching: 2012 (5/16-19), 2013 (6/12); time of fledging: 2012 (6/26-30), 2013 (7/18-20); number of fledglings: 2012 (4), 2013 (2) (FN).

SORA-ALCIDS

DHo discovered the first SORA of the year at north Beaver Creek on 4/24. Last year we only had 1 Sora record, although they may be common but overlooked because they are secretive and concealed in the marshes.

Shorebird first of season reports include BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER at the YBSJ on 3/29 (CPh), and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER at Idaho Flats on 4/19 (AH, HH, JS, OH). Although the Semipalmated Plover report was listed by eBird as rare, this is a case of the eBird filters needing adjustment because Semipalmated Plovers are not rare in April in Lincoln County or Yaquina Bay.

On 4/13, it unseasonably warmed up to 79 F in Newport, and just before noon, 2-5 gulls were circling about 50-100 ft above the ground in southwest Newport about a block from the ocean and catching insects that were flying up with the warmth (RB). This is unseasonal because we often can see gulls hawking insects here during warm, non-windy days in July-September.

Gull northerly migration was apparent during a 3 hr Boiler Bay seawatch on 4/14, when PP detected a northward movement of 1,200+ BONAPARTE'S GULLS and 500+ CALIFORNIA GULLS.

DV discovered the season's first HEERMANN'S GULL at Lincoln City on 4/14, and another was at Boiler Bay on 4/22 (PP).

The season's first CASPIAN TERN was at Yaquina Head on 3/30 (WH; SV).

PP spotted 1-2 TUFTED PUFFINS during seawatches at Spanish Head or Boiler Bay on 4/13-14 & 22, and 2-18 MARBLED MURRELETS were at Spanish Head in Lincoln City or Boiler Bay during 4/13-22 (PP; SH).

BARRED OWL-WARBLERS

1-2 BARRED OWLS were at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz or at Logsden during 6 days in April (JL; BLl).

In Toledo, CPh watched the first VAUX'S SWIFT on 4/18, and our only RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was at Hudson Loop on 4/2 (JL).

A hybrid yellow-shafted X red-shafted NORTHERN FLICKER that had red-shafts but yellow-shafted head markings was in South Beach in mid-April (CS [fide FR]). Such hybrids could be easily overlooked if we look only for those with yellow-shafts, which have been reported here during October-April (SemiL).

CPh has been seeing BLACK PHOEBES at Toledo and Hidden Valley between Toledo and Newport in recent months. On 4/13, CPh observed that a pair had nearly completed a nest in the western section of Hidden Valley, in the general area where they were found during Christmas Bird Counts in 2012 & 2013. BT also saw a Black Phoebe in Hidden Valley on 4/18.

On 4/16, RL photographed a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY at a feeder at the USFWS building at the HMSC that was there through at least 4/21 (m.ob.). Another was at Boiler Bay on 4/22 (SH).

A STELLER'S JAY with a gray metal band was in South Beach in mid-April, but it was not possible to read the numbers with binoculars (CS [fide FR]).

Spring arrivals include BARN SWALLOW on 4/3 in Lincoln Co. (eBird), COMMON YELLOWTHROAT on 4/4 at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz (JL), HERMIT WARBLER early on 4/5 at Toledo (DHa & RP) and more typically on 4/19 at Fall Creek in eastern Lincoln Co. (AH, HH, JS, OH), NO. ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW on 4/8 at Beaver Creek (DHo), PURPLE MARTIN on 4/18 at the martin houses by the old barge at about Mile Post 7.5 along Yaquina Bay Road (JL), WILSON'S WARBLER on 4/19 during the YBNFT to Cape Perpetua (SaL & BB), at Depoe Bay (JR), and at Fall Creek (AH, HH, JS, OH); BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER on 4/19 at Fall Creek (AH, HH, JS, OH), and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER on April 20 at Beaver Creek (LO).

PIPIT-EVENING GROSBEAK

April is often a good month for AMERICAN PIPIT sightings, and 1-4 were in Newport on 4/4 (DR), Boiler Bay on 4/14 (PP), and south Siletz Bay on 4/20 (SR).

WH found a female-plumaged LAPLAND LONGSPUR at the "gull puddle" area along the YBSJ on 4/25, and 1-2 were also there the next day (WH; CPh).

SAVANNAH SPARROWS show a spring movement near the coast. On 4/26 at the YBSJ, WH noted many Savannahs that showed "the usual spring variation in appearance - pale ones, contrasty ones, grayish ones, brownish ones, ones with little facial yellow, ones with lots of yellow, etc." On 4/14 at Boiler Bay, PP saw a concentration of 15 Savannahs.

Spring-time brings departures as well as arrivals, and departures include a SLATE-COLORED DARK-EYED JUNCO on 4/5 in north Beaver Creek (LO), 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS on 4/15 in Toledo (CPh), and FOX SPARROW on 4/25 in Yachats (BB).

A female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK that was about 2-3 weeks early on 4/13 at BB's feeder in Yachats does not appear to have heralded their arrival as there were no other sightings through the end of the reporting period on 4/27.

Other spring arrivals include PURPLE FINCH on 3/25 at Depoe Bay (DD), BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD on 3/30 at McNary Lane Pond/Pasture (CPh), EVENING GROSBEAK on 4/7 in Toledo (CPh), and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH on 4/8 at Beaver Creek State Natural Area (DHo) and the next day in Yachats (BB). Note that Purple Finches and American Goldfinches sometimes overwinter at some sites, but that there is also a spring immigration.

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Betty Bahn, Deborah Barnes, Range Bayer, Mary Bourret, Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), Dick Demarest, eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Dan Elbert, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Skye Haas, Oscar Harper, Dawn Harris (DHa), Hendrik Herlyn, Adrian Hinkle, Wayne Hoffman, Deb Holland (DHo), Janet Lamberson, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Sally Lockyear (SaL), Bob Loeffel (BLo) & Shirley Loeffel (SLo), Roy Lowe, m.ob. (multiple observers), Field Notes (FN; Lincoln County records from the Sandpiper since 1992 are http://birdnews.aba.org/maillist/OR01), Laimons & Vicki Osis, Ram Papish, Chuck Philo (CPh), Phil Pickering, Carena Pooth (CPo), Mary Ratcliff, Fran Recht, Doug Robinson, Ernie Rose, Jennifer Rothe, Skip Russell, Cyreis Schmidt, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Jamie Simmons, Bill Tice, Craig Tumer, Steve Valasek, Dawn Villaescusa, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists (http://yaquina.info/ybn/) Field Trip (YBNFT) led by SaL & BB.


BIRD FIELD NOTES from the May 2014 Sandpiper 35(5)

for Observations Received During 4/28-5/26

Abbreviations, terms, and some Lincoln Co. site locations (numbers refer to site numbers in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide http://www.oregoncoastbirding.com/): BEAVER CREEK (#78, in part): creek flowing through Ona Beach State Park that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), BOILER BAY STATE WAYSIDE (#59): about 0.5 mi north of Depoe Bay, ECKMAN LAKE (#84): lake 2 mi east of Waldport along HWY 34, GRASS MOUNTAIN (E of Tidewater and NW of Alsea; most [including the top] in Benton Co., but part of north in Lincoln Co.; http://goo.gl/maps/2RQjB and http://www.summitpost.org/grass-mountain/225586), HMSC (#75): OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, HIDDEN VALLEY: oxbow of Yaquina Bay with outlets with deteriorating trestles at Boone (west) and Nute (east) Sloughs near Milepost 9 along north Yaquina Bay Road, IDAHO FLATS: large embayment just east of the HMSC, McNARY LANE POND/PASTURE (near red barn) at about Milepost 5 on the north side of HWY 20 between Newport and Toledo, NUTE SLOUGH: freshwater slough at about mile 9.3 along north Yaquina Bay Road, ONA BEACH STATE PARK (renamed as Brian Booth State Park in 2013) (#77): State Park about 6.6 mi south of Yaquina Bay bridge along HWY 101 at Beaver Creek, ROAD'S END STATE RECREATION SITE (#46): north of Lincoln City, USFWS: US Fish & Wildlife Service, YBSJ (#71): Yaquina Bay South Jetty, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport (requires recreation pass or vehicle entrance fee).

WATERFOWL-GREBES

Spring migration continues, and departures include our latest GR. WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE at Lincoln City on 5/14 (DV) and BRANT at Yachats on 5/25 (MG).

Flocks of northbound WESTERN CANADA GEESE (Branta canadensis moffitti) were first reported on 5/13 (RL) and continued through the end of the reporting period near the coast (DV; PP; RB). These flights occur in late May and early June and are thought to be molt migrations to the Columbia River by failed breeders and nonbreeders. Molt migrations of this subspecies have also been reported inland (e.g., http://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wilson/v097n03/p0296-p0305.pdf). Molt migration in other waterfowl is also known (scroll down http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-biology/why-waterfowl-migrate/page2 and see p. 94-98 in http://www.humboldt.edu/wildlife/faculty/black/pdf/O&B90CH5.pdf).

1 COMMON (EURASIAN) TEAL at McNary Lane Pond/Pasture on 3/30 (CP) may have been the same bird that was there on 5/4 (WHo). 1 CINNAMON TEAL was at Eckman Lake in mid-April, and 4 were there on 5/10 (AH, CH, JS).

The male REDHEAD at McNary Lane Pond/Pasture in late April continued until 5/13 (m.ob.).

2 CALIFORNIA QUAIL were about 7 miles east of Boiler Bay in a nonresidential area on 5/8 (JR) and are the first reported since last October (FN).

1-3 CLARK'S GREBES were at Spanish Head in Lincoln City and Yachats on 5/1 (PP; SMa), at Boiler Bay and the YBSJ on 5/10 (AH, CH, JS; MK), and off Lincoln City on 5/16 & 21 (DV).

TUBENOSES-IBISES

An ALBATROSS, probably a Black-footed, was seen from shore at Boiler Bay on 5/9 (PP). Black-footeds were also recorded during a 5/1 pelagic trip (eBird), the 5/18 BGPT (GG & others), and 5/21 Wings Seabird Cruise (eBird).

During a 5/21 cruise, a rare COOK'S PETREL was about 63 miles off Newport and during a 5/25 cruise, a rare HAWAIIAN PETREL was about 142 miles off Lincoln City (PL & others [fide SF]). These seem pretty far offshore to include in Lincoln Co., but they are still assigned to Oregon and Lincoln Co. by eBird (scroll down http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1375503) states: "Within eBird, we use a strict closest point of land (CPOL) rule to assign a country, state, and county to offshore observations that are within 200 nautical miles of land ..." A history of including county bird records out to 200 nautical miles can also be viewed by scrolling down http://www.californiabirds.org/counties.html

A rare ASHY STORM-PETREL was discerned during a 5/1 cruise (JG & others) and the 5/18 BGPT (GG & others [see photos at http://www.pbase.com/gregbirder/20140518_newport]). FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS were recorded during a 5/1 pelagic trip (eBird) and 5/18 BGPT (GG & others), and LEACH'S STORM-PETRELS were found during the 5/1 pelagic trip (eBird) and 5/21 Wings Seabird Cruise (eBird).

BROWN PELICANS were reported during 10 days in April at Yaquina Head (BLM), and there were also many reports in May (m.ob.) with a high total of 150 during PP's 1.5 hour Boiler Bay seawatch on 5/9.

The 2 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS reported at Ona Beach State Park on 5/7 (SM) were our first since Nov. 2012 (FN).

On 5/14, RL espied a flock of 21-25 WHITE-FACED IBIS flying north over HWY 101 towards Yaquina Bay. They circled over the Newport Bayfront and then headed north. On 5/19, PP saw a flock of 7 unidentified ibis (presumably White-faced) flying north over Lincoln City. Since 1999, we also had 1-3 reports of White-faced Ibis each year in May of 2000, 2001, 2006, and 2008 (FN).

RAPTORS-SHOREBIRDS

RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS may be nesting in Hidden Valley between Toledo and Newport as 1 was watched there on 5/10 (AH, CH, JS) and 5/19 (CP).

A MERLIN was in Depoe Bay on 4/28 (JR), and our latest was at Road's End in north Lincoln City on 5/2&7 (ME).

PEREGRINE FALCONS are nesting at Yaquina Head for the 3rd consecutive year. The first chick was noted on 5/17 that appeared to be 1-2 days old (MM). With this and past information for Yaquina Head (FN), Peregrine incubation approximately started there during 4/16-19 (2012), 5/13 (2013), and 4/17 (2014) as back-calculated 30 days from when hatching was first noted (incubation can be 29-32 days); first hatching was reported on 5/16-19 (2012), 6/12 (2013), and 5/17 (2014); time of fledging was during 6/26-30 (2012), and 7/18-20 (2013); and the number of fledglings was 4 (2012) and 2 (2013).

A SORA was at Nute Slough on 5/10 (CH, AH, JS) and north Beaver Creek on 5/13 (DHo).

A PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER visited South Beach State Park on 4/28 (JB).

TS found a SNOWY PLOVER, now rare in Lincoln Co., at South Beach State Park on 4/29; it was not relocated.

SOLITARY SANDPIPERS are scarcely reported here in spring or fall, though this may be a result of low observation effort in their preferred habitat, so that they are missed. Since 2000, there have been 1-2 reports only in the Mays of 2004, 2008, and 2013 (FN). This year, CP discovered 1 at McNary Lane Pond/Pasture on 5/3 and promptly reported it so that others could also see it, and 1-2 were relocated there on 5/3, 4, & 10 (RP & DHa; WHo; OH, AH, CH, JS). ME adds that the highlight of the 5/10 ASLC's field trip was a Solitary in the wetland across Logan Road from Road's End State Park.

For the 4/28 Shorebird Sister Schools Program field trip to Yaquina Bay, DHa reports: "We had a wonderful field trip for seventy 4th graders today. The students were looking for shorebirds and were not disappointed. We had hundreds of Western Sandpipers swirling over the heads of the students. Also mixed in were dowitcher sp., Whimbrel, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover (in stunning breeding plumage), and Semipalmated Plover."

RED KNOTS can be scarce, and our only reports were of 1 at D River Wayside in Lincoln City on 5/5 (CJ) and during the 5/18 BGPT (see photo at http://www.pbase.com/gregbirder/20140518_newport).

DI found a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Idaho Flats on 5/18 (see photos at http://www.birdfellow.com/photos/gallery/904-presumed-first-spring-sy-semipalmated-sandpiper-newport-oregon-18-may-2014). Since 1999, this is only our 10th record--5 during spring and 5 during fall migration (FN).

TERN-SAPSUCKER

1 COMMON TERN at the HMSC on 5/8 was our only report (SM), and 1-2 SOUTH POLAR SKUAS were appraised during the 5/18 BGPT (GG & others) and 5/21 Wings Seabird Cruise (eBird).

At least 1 PARASITIC JAEGER was observed during the 5/1 pelagic trip (eBird), 5/18 BGPT (GG & others), and 5/21 Wings Seabird Cruise (eBird). A LONG-TAILED JAEGER graced the 5/18 BGPT (GG & others).

1-6 TUFTED PUFFINS were recorded during the 5/1 pelagic trip (eBird), and at Boiler Bay on 5/3 (AH, CH, MS) and 5/22 (PP).

We had many BARRED OWL reports through the end of the 5/26 reporting period, with 1 near Siletz (PK), 5 reports 7 miles east of Boiler Bay (JR), 1 at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz (JL) and another at north Beaver Creek (DHo).

The first VAUX'S SWIFTS were at Eckman Lake on 5/3 (A &CH, MS). During the 5/17 YBNFT in Toledo led by DHa, CP said they watched Vaux's Swifts going up into trees to break off twigs for nesting. According to http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Vauxs_Swift/lifehistory their nest is a "Half-cup made of small twigs glued to vertical surface with the bird's sticky saliva."

2-7 BLACK SWIFTS migrated over Lincoln City on 5/19 (PP) and east of Devil's Lake on 5/20 (DV).

On 5/6, a male RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER courted a female with drumming on metal and a dance at Burnt Woods (KG [fide KM]). Another Red-breasted Sapsucker was at the northwest flank of Grass Mt. on 5/10 (AH, CH, JS).

FLYCATCHERS-KINGLET

Our first OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was east of Boiler Bay on 5/5 (CA).

BLACK PHOEBE nest building was reported in west Hidden Valley on 4/13 (CP), and singles were reported in Hidden Valley on 5/10 & 11 (AH, CH, JS; DHo). Another was reported at South Beach State Park on 5/10 (LH). WESTERN KINGBIRDS are a common spring migrant here near the coast. One seen and photographed on 5/2 at the HMSC (CJ, DV) is about a week later than many reports in the past (SemiL).

DF detected a rare RED-EYED VIREO at Thornton Creek between Eddyville and Toledo on 5/14. He also found our only other record since 1992 there on 5/16/2008 (FN).

The WESTERN SCRUB-JAY at the USFWS building at the HMSC lingered until at least 4/30 (RCh, RL). Others were also often reported in May in Newport (PR; eBird), where they appear to be resident in a few neighborhoods. 1 was also at Cape Perpetua on 5/17 (PO).

During 5/5-6, apparently the same AMERICAN CROW brought food to soak in a birdbath by the USFWS building at the south HMSC to soak (RL, DHa). Recognizable food items included a White-crowned Sparrow, small mammal (vole?), worm, and snake. Remnants were often abandoned in the bird bath, which made it rather gruesome, so that it needed refreshing.

After several years' absence [at BLl's home near Logsden], CLIFF SWALLOWS were nesting at BLl's home near Logsden on 5/17.

2 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS were about 15 mi east of Boiler Bay on 5/5 (CA) and at north Beaver Cr. on 5/24 (DHo).

A TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was about 12 miles east of Boiler Bay on 5/2 (CA), and SWAINSON'S THRUSHES arrived on 5/10 & 13 at Beaver Creek (DB; LO). During migration, there are also departures and the latest RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was at the HMSC on 4/28 (WHe).

[Image Not Included: Pacific Wren fledgling with yellow bill and lingering few wisps of white feathers on its head (which are barely visible in this photo at this size) on May 12 at Depoe Bay. Photo by Dawn Villaescusa at http://s1014.photobucket.com/user/villaesc/media/Birds/2014/IMG_3725_1_zps038b3dae.jpg.html]

PIPIT-EVENING GROSBEAK

AMERICAN PIPITS continued their good spring showing with 1-6 at Yachats on 4/30 (WHo) and the HMSC on 5/3 (AH, CH, MS).

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was first found at the YBSJ on 4/25 (WHo), and 1-2 lingered there until 4/28 (WHo; CP; WHe; DHo).

A NASHVILLE WARBLER showed at Road's End on 5/8 (ME), Hidden Valley on 5/10 (AH, CH, JS), and just east of the path into Yachats Commons Park on 5/18 (DI & DP). In recent years, Nashville Warblers have been rare in spring in Lincoln County, since we only have 3 spring records (all in May) of singletons since 1993 in 2003 (2 records) and 2012; there are also 7 non-spring Lincoln Co. records, including during the 12/29/2012 Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count (FN).

CHIPPING SPARROWS were at Nute Slough on 5/2 (AH, CH) and Eddyville on 5/10 (AH, CH, JS).

Our latest GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW persisted at South Beach State Park on 5/14 (DB).

Arrivals include BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK on 5/1 at the HMSC and Newport (DHa; MH) and WESTERN TANAGER in Toledo on 5/1 (RP).

RL spotted an adult HOUSE FINCH feeding a fledgling at the USFWS feeder at the HMSC on 4/28. This seems early as p. 602 of the Birds of Oregon: General Reference indicates House Finch fledging starts in mid-May.

On 5/14 in Newport, BO watched EVENING GROSBEAKS flying out from a Douglas fir to "hawk" flying carpenter ants. The flying ants were probably a consequence of it being a very hot day of 88 F in Newport, which set a record high in May for Newport.

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Christopher Adlam, Audubon Society of Lincoln City (ASLC) (http://www.lincolncityaudubon.org/) field trip, David Barber, Range Bayer, Bird Guide Pelagic Trip out of Newport (BGPT; info about pelagic trips at http://thebirdguide.com/pelagics/), Birding Oregon (http://birdingoregon.info/), Jeff Boatright, Derek Buchner, Rebecca Chuck (RCh), http://BirdNotes.net, Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), http://eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Mark Elliott, Darrel Faxon, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Shawneen Finnegan, Kim Garry, Jeff Gilligan, Greg Gillson, Merle Greenway, Luke Hanes, Oscar Harper, Dawn Harris (DHa), William Hemstrom (WHe), Adrian Hinkle, Christopher Hinkle, Wayne Hoffman (WHo), Mary Holbert, Deb Holland (DHo), Dave Irons, Courtney Kelly Jett (CJ), Penelope Kaczmarek, Marlowe Kissinger, Janet Lamberson, Paul Lehman, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Roy Lowe, m.ob. (multiple observers), Shari M. (as given in eBird) (SM), Sylvia Maulding (SMa), Michael Mefford, Kathy Merrifield, Field Notes (FN; Lincoln County records from the Sandpiper since 1992 are searchable in search box at http://yaquina.info/ybn/bird/bird.htm#recent), Bob Olson, Oregon Birders On-Line (OBOL; recent postings at http://birdnews.aba.org/maillist/OR01), Laimons Osis, Pam Otley, Ram Papish, Diane Pettey, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, Paul Reed, Jennifer Rothe, Mary Lynn Scattaregia (MS), Trent Seager, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Jamie Simmons, Dawn Villaescusa, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists (http://yaquina.info/ybn/) Field Trip (YBNFT) led by DHa.


Back to Other Bird Field Notes Columns in the Sandpiper since 1992 or to Lincoln County (Oregon) Bird Information
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