Jan.-May 2015 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 36
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January 2015 
February 2015 
March 2015 
April 2015 
May 2015 

BIRD FIELD NOTES from the January 2015 Sandpiper 36(1), published on Feb 1 for Observations Received during Dec. 29-Jan. 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 (now known as Brian Booth State Park) that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), 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 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, 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 1/3, YBSJ (#71): Yaquina Bay South Jetty, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport (requires recreation pass or vehicle entrance fee).

YAQUINA BAY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT (CBC) on Jan. 3 by Dawn Harris, Compiler

The 42nd Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, January 3, 2015. Seven feeder watchers and 29 field observers enjoyed a day of almost no wind and only light rain in the early morning followed by mild temperatures and overcast skies.

We had a record-setting total of 152 bird species found on Count Day! A few observations came in from birders in the area who weren't signed up for the count including the WHITE-WINGED DOVE at Deb Holland's feeder in north Newport and a BARRED OWL found by Jamie Simmons. One rare bird, THICK-BILLED MURRE, was spotted by Wayne Hoffman who was poaching during the day. Other notable species included the RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD that has overwintered at Linda & John MacKown's house for the third year in a row, PALM WARBLER, CLARK'S GREBE, LONG-TAILED DUCK, MOUNTAIN QUAIL, RUFFED GROUSE, SORA, and the popular BURROWING OWL at Yaquina Head.

Our intrepid volunteer birders also tallied record high numbers for a dozen species including SURF SCOTER (2,695), RUDDY DUCK (779), COMMON LOON (146), HORNED GREBE (276), RED-NECKED GREBE (111), and WESTERN GREBE (615) by a single bird! BROWN PELICAN at 190 birds doubled the previous record. PEREGRINE FALCON (11), ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (54), NORTHERN FLICKER (64), VARIED THRUSH (453), and PINE SISKIN (795) also had record highs. I am pleased to report that only 757 EUROPEAN STARLINGS were recorded down from their record high of 5,019. Fortunately we didn't miss many birds that are usually seen on the count, but COMMON MERGANSER was a miss this year.

A huge thanks to all of the volunteers who contributed to this record year for the Yaquina Bay CBC!

[Editor: And a big thank-you to Dawn for organizing and compiling this CBC!]

[Image Not Included: Skip Russell's Jan. 11 photo of the continuing Burrowing Owl at Yaquina Head. The owl is relaxed enough to stand on one leg with partially open eyes. Cropped from http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21310258 & https://www.flickr.com/photos/skipr/16260249272/in/photostream/ that allows noncommercial use of the photo with attribution.]

WATERFOWL-PELICAN

GR. WHITE-FRONTED GEESE continued to winter and graze grass inside the chain-link fence around the LNG tank into early January. They evidently feel safe from the nearby people and dogs on the other side of the fence. "Good fences make good neighbors".

The ROSS'S GOOSE that WHo found at Beaver Creek on 12/7 for our 3rd record overall & 1st on the ground continued there on 1/11 (WHo). It was also noted on 6 other days through 1/20, when it was present for the Portland Audubon Field Trip (DD; eBird).

ER photographed a TUNDRA SWAN feeding alongside Mallards in the Salmon River estuary on 1/2.

KM found the customary concentration of BLACK SCOTERS north of Yaquina Head during the 1/3 Yaquina Bay CBC. KM noted that there were courtship displays, including a male exhibiting a Low Rush display to a female (for drawings of Black Scoter displays, see p. 279-280 in http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1017&context=bioscihandwaterfowl). P. A. Johnsgard's (1965) entire "Handbook of Waterfowl Behavior" is available free to view at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/bioscihandwaterfowl/

There were 5 reports of 1-2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS at Sally's Bend or downstream at Yaquina Bay where they are regularly in winter (m.o.), and 1 in the ocean off 68th Street north of Yaquina Head on 1/1 (JSu), where the King Eider was last winter and a Long-tailed Duck could be expected. But the location that is most curious and unexpected is in Toledo near Depot Slough at about River Mile 12 where a female was independently spotted by CP on 1/20 and SH on 1/22--they are not normally found above about River Mile 4 near Coquille Point at the southeast corner of Sally's Bend in the Yaquina Estuary.

A REDHEAD was at Yaquina Bay on 1/12 & 19 (NN &SN; ID), and 1-5 BARROW'S GOLDENEYES were at Yaquina Bay (m.o.), and 1 was at Yachats on 1/20 (m.o.).

A CLARK'S GREBE was at Yachats, Toledo, and the YBSJ through 1/14 (m.o.).

BROWN PELICANS are much more common this winter than last winter, with 20 reports at just Yaquina Head in Dec. (BLM). Through the end of the 1/26 report period there were 23 records, with counts of 50 or more on 5 different dates and the highest counts of 65 at Seal Rock on 1/23 (RL), and 93 on the rocks at Yaquina Head with "another dozen or so on the water or flying" on 1/20 (CB).

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 (http://www.ecaudubon.org/#!winter-raptor-survey/c1ke4); 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) is around the Salmon River Estuary and east shore of Devils's Lake and was done on 11/6 by DV. The Inland or Yaquina River-Siletz Raptor Route is about 65-70 miles long and is from the LNG tank upstream along Yaquina Bay Road, Hidden Valley between Newport and Toledo, and Toledo north to Kernville along HWY 229; it was completed on 11/6, 12/3, and 1/24 by JL & CP and took 4.6-5.0 hr. The Coastal Route is about 58-62 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 done on 11/11 by JL, CP, & WHo; and on 12/3 & 1/14 by JL & CP; it took 5.0-5.3 hr.

-----------------------------------------
               North|Inland____|Coast____
                 11/|11/ 12/ 1/|11/ 12/ 1/
Raptor           10 | 7   3  24|11  12 14
-----------------------------------------
White-tailed Kite 0 | 0   3   2| 0   0  0
Bald Eagle adult  5 | 0   1   3| 7   6  6
   "    subadults 1 | 0   0   0| 1   0  0
Northern Harrier  0 | 0   1   2| 6   3  1
Sharp-shin. Hawk  1 | 1   2   0| 4   1  0
Cooper's Hawk     0 | 0   1   0| 0   1  0
unknown accipiter 0 | 0   0   0| 1   0  0
Red-should. Hawk  1 | 0   1   0| 0   5  1
Red-tailed Hawk   7 |15  10  20|61  11 14
Am. Kestrel       0 | 2   4   2| 0   0  1
Merlin            0 | 0   0   0| 0   0  0
Peregrine Falcon  0 | 0   2   1| 2   1  2

           SUM   15 |18  26  30|82  28 25

On the Inland and Coastal Routes in Jan., Red-tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles were the first- and second-most abundant species, respectively. White-tailed Kites were only found on the Inland Route, but kestrels and Peregrines were found on both Routes. 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.ecaudubon.org/#!winter-raptor-survey/c1ke4).

Non-Raptor Route Raptor Reports

A TURKEY VULTURE at Salmon River on 1/26 (DV) was probably a vagrant rather than the vanguard of spring migration. "One vulture doth not Spring make" though we had a lot of nice weather in January.

A WHITE-TAILED KITE remained in the Salmon River area on 12/31 & 1/1, and one was also in the Drift Creek area of Lincoln City during 6 days in Jan. through the 1/26 reporting period (m.o.).

RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS have been become common in winter near the coast with 22 reports at various locations through the end of the period (m.o.).

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK intermittently observed at Salmon River Estuary since 11/23 continued on 1/1 (RN) and 1/4 (DF).

1-2 MERLINS were at the HMSC on 12/31, 1/19, and 1/24 (JSh; CA; BC) and in north Newport on 1/3 (PR).

[Image Not Included: Ernie Rose's Jan. 24 photo of an adult Bald Eagle, impressive talons dangling, at the Salmon River.]

SHOREBIRDS-PHOEBE

1-4 SNOWY PLOVERS at South Beach were noted 10 times through the end of the 1/26 reporting period (m.o.).

On 1/8, DR heard a flying and calling SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. Last month 1 was near the HMSC on 12/19. A few occasionally winter (SemiL).

Counts of 12 or more BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS at a time include 21 on 1/10, 13 on 1/20, and 22 on 1/25 (eBird), and 12 at Yachats on 1/19 (SaL). Flocks in winter are seen at favored roosting areas when foraging areas are covered.

WHIMBRELS have uncommonly overwintered in recent winters, but 1 was Yachats on 12/29 (D&HB) and at Seal Rocks on 1/17, 20, & 25 (DD; eBird).

1-5 ROCK SANDPIPERS were at Seal Rocks through at least 1/20 (m.o.).

The WHITE-WINGED DOVE found by DHo on 12/26 in NW Newport returned on 1/3 (DHo) and continued through 1/9 with at least 6 observers (m.o.), but it was predated the next day (1/10) and all that remained was a pile of feathers (DHo & others).

The Yaquina Head BURROWING OWL was seen 19 days in Dec. by BLM personnel. In January, there were 20 reports through 1/25 (m.o.). This is perhaps the most seen Burrowing Owl in Lincoln Co.

A "pure" yellow-shafted NORTHERN FLICKER was in Depoe Bay on 1/21 (JG, OS, & GL), and there were 5 sightings of RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS in January (m.o.).

We had no BLACK PHOEBE reports during June-September, but since then they have occasionally been detected. Singles graced the 1/3 YCBC at Hidden Valley between Newport and Toledo, Toledo, and Beaver Creek, and 1 was also at Beaver Creek on 1/1, 12, & 14 (RN; DHo; DR). 2 were recorded during the 1/24 Inland Raptor Route (JL & CP).

SCRUB-JAY-ORIOLE

A WESTERN SCRUB-JAY was in Newport where they have become regular during 4 days during 1/6-18 (m.o.), and 1 was at Beaver Cr. State Natural Area, where they have been unusual, on 1/20 (NN).

Our only swallows were 2 unseasonal BARN SWALLOWS at the YBSJ during the 1/10 Lincoln City Audubon Field Trip (ME), and our only WESTERN BLUEBIRD was at Beaver Creek on 1/3 (DR).

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, our 4th record so far this winter, was at the HMSC on 1/7 (DR), and we had 11 reports of 1-2 PALM WARBLERS at the HMSC through 1/26 (m.o.).

A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was in Toledo during the 1/3 YCBC (J&KL), and one was also found during the 1/20 Portland Audubon Field Trip (DD).

A first-year male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE intermittently came to RK's suet & hummingbird feeders in NW Newport during 12/27-1/4, but, unfortunately, not on Count Day of the Yaquina Bay CBC. Another was reported coming to a Depoe Bay hummingbird feeder 2-3 times per day "for weeks" as of 1/21 (fide JG). Bullock's are uncommon here in winter. During the 2013/2014 winter, a female Bullock's Oriole was at Toledo on Dec. 12, and an adult male was between the HMSC and Oregon Coast Aquarium on Jan. 14. But many winters, none are found.

[Image Not Included: Robin Karnes's Dec. 28 photo of a first year male Bullock's Oriole that came to his suet or hummingbird feeders in NW Newport.]

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Christopher Adlam, Audubon Society of Lincoln City (http://www.lincolncityaudubon.org/) field trip (ASLCFT) on 1/10 led by ME, Birding Oregon (http://birdingoregon.info/), BirdNotes.net, Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), Chris Burns, David & Henry Burton, Bryan Crawford, Dick Demarest, Isaac Denzer, 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), Jeff Gilligan, Dawn Harris (DHa), Wayne Hoffman (WHo), Deb Holland (DHo), Signe Hurd, Robin Karnes, Janet & Karin Lamberson, Gerard Lillie, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Sally Lockyear (SaL), Roy Lowe, Kathy Merrifield, m.o. (many observers), Russ Namitz, Nels Nelson, 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), Chuck Philo, Paul Reed, Doug Robinson, Ernie Rose, Owen Schmidt, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), John Shewey (JSh), John Sullivan (JSu), Dawn Villaescusa, Yaquina Bay CBC (YBCBC) compiled by DHa.


BIRD FIELD NOTES from the February 2015 Sandpiper 36(2), published on March 12 for Observations Received during Jan. 27-March 1

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 (now known as Brian Booth State Park) that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), 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 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, 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 without a recreation pass).

WATERFOWL-CORMORANTS

The Beaver Creek ROSS'S GOOSE was last noted on 1/29 (eBird), and at Yaquina Bay there were 7 records of 1-4 BARROW'S GOLDENEYES (eBird) and 3 reports of a single Barrow's X Common Goldeneye (RL; eBird).

On 2/21, 8 LAYSAN ALBATROSSES were tallied during Oregon Pelagic Tours out of Newport (OPT).

On 1/25 along a Newport beach, SHa found a dead BRANDT'S CORMORANT with a silver metal USFWS band that she reported. She heard back that it had been banded as a chick on Southeast Farallon Island near San Francisco in 2014. Birds in their first year of life have a high mortality.

As a side note, if you find dead birds on the beach with plastic cables (zip ties) on their legs, leave the carcasses and tags alone and do not report them anywhere. They are part of the COASST project (http://depts.washington.edu/coasst/) to see how long these carcasses remain on the beach, and COASST volunteers monitor them. If the carcasses are removed, then they would not have lingered as long as if they had been left alone. COASST has not well-publicized leaving these carcasses alone (e.g., search for "zip" at http://blogs.uw.edu/coasst/2015/01/06/cassins-auklet-die-off-continues/ and "cable" at http://blogs.uw.edu/coasst/2013/09/09/whats-washed-in-9913/).

[Image Not Included: Nancy Brown's March 1 photo of a female Long-tailed Duck with male Surf Scoters at the YBSJ.]

[Image Not Included: Roy Lowe's Feb. 19 photo, of, from left to right, a male (in breeding plumage) and female Common Goldeneye and a hybrid male Barrow's X Common Goldeneye in breeding plumage at the YBSJ. The white "crescent" of the male hybrid is more like the white spot of a male Common than the more elongated, upward crescent of a Barrow's. Also note the more dome-shaped head of the hybrid male compared to the more rounded-head of the Common male, as well as the hybrid's mostly black scapulars with white spots above the white flanks but the Common's mostly white scapulars. Photo cropped from https://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157648596916143/]

PELICAN-RAPTORS (including Falcons)

BROWN PELICANS have been recorded each month of the year in the even-numbered years 2008, 2010, and 2012, but not 2014 (FN). 2015 may be the first odd-numbered year with reports each month as we have had many records for Jan.-March 1, and Feb.-March is when they are least frequent. This Feb. we had 18 days of records, with high counts of 200 pelicans on 2/14 (eBird) and at least 127 at Yaquina Head on 12/12 (RL).

Lincoln Co. has 3 Raptor Routes. The North Lincoln Raptor Route (see map at http://goo.gl/maps/cqiSX) is around the Salmon River Estuary and east shore of Devils's Lake and was surveyed on 11/6 by DV (not shown in this month's Table because of Table width constraints). The Inland or Yaquina River-Siletz Raptor Route is about 65-70 miles long and is from the LNG tank upstream along Yaquina Bay Road, Hidden Valley between Newport and Toledo, and Toledo north to Kernville along HWY 229; it was completed on 11/7, 12/3, 1/24 & 2/23 by JL & CP and took 4.6-5.0 hr. The Coastal Route is about 55-62 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 done on 11/11 by JL, CP, & WHo; and on 12/12, 1/14, & 2/11 by JL & CP; it took 4.5-5.3 hr.

--------------------------------------------
                 Inland_______|Coast________
                 11/ 12/ 1/ 2/|11/ 12/ 1/ 2/
Raptor            7   3  24 23|11  12 14  11
--------------------------------------------
White-tailed Kite 0   3   2  0| 0   0  0   0
Bald Eagle adult  0   1   3  3| 7   6  6   7
   "    subadults 0   0   0  3| 1   0  0   0
Northern Harrier  0   1   2  2| 6   3  1   0
Sharp-shin. Hawk  1   2   0  0| 4   1  0   0
Cooper's Hawk     0   1   0  1| 0   1  0   0
unknown accipiter 0   0   0  0| 1   0  0   0
Red-should. Hawk  0   1   0  0| 0   5  1   1
Red-tailed Hawk  15  10  20 10|61  11 14  14
Am. Kestrel       2   4   2  2| 0   0  1   0
Merlin            0   0   0  0| 0   0  0   1
Peregrine Falcon  0   2   1  0| 2   1  2   3

           SUM   18  26  30 21|82  28 25  26

On both Routes in Feb., Red-tailed Hawks were the most abundant species, and Bald Eagles were second-most numerous. 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.ecaudubon.org/#!winter-raptor-survey/c1ke4).

The Coast Route usually has many more eagles than the Inland Route, but not this Feb. when 6 were Inland and 7 were along the Coast.

For Nov.-Feb., kestrels and kites were more common Inland, and Bald Eagle adults and Red-shouldered Hawks were regular for the Coast Route.

Non-Raptor Route Raptors. A TURKEY VULTURE was reported at Salmon River on 1/26 (DV), and our next reports were on 2/6 & 13 (eBird), 2/14 at Lincoln City (NE), and 2/16 over Toledo (DHa). There were also another 5 reports of single Red-shouldered Hawks in Feb. (m.o.); they have become winter regulars near the coast.

On 2/17, PD several times watched an apparent pair of PEREGRINE FALCONS flying over the Newport Bayfront.

[Image Not Included: Ernie Rose's Feb. 19 photo of a Bald Eagle flying by conifer trees near Road's End (Lincoln City).]

[Image Not Included: Roy Lowe's Feb. 15 photo of an adult Brown Pelican in breeding plumage at Yaquina Head. It has dark brown along the back of its head and neck and a reddish throat like California breeders. A nondescript immature pelican is in the background. Photo cropped from https://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157650399059177/]

SHOREBIRDS-SISKINS

2-4 SNOWY PLOVERS were at South Beach on 3 days during 2/6-16 (eBird), and an apparently overwintering WHIMBREL at Seal Rocks continued from last month with reports on 2/10 & 21 (eBird).

On 2/19, RL photographed a 2nd winter GLAUCOUS GULL in a large gull flock near the southernmost Seal Rock pullout along Hwy 101.

2 PARAKEET AUKLETS were discovered during the 2/21 Oregon Pelagic Tours trip out of Newport.

First-of-year BAND-TAILED PIGEONS were discovered on 1/28 at Yachats feeders with 10 sometimes present by 2/4 (BBa) and on 2/7 about 4 miles east of Siletz (SHu).

The Yaquina Head BURROWING OWL was appreciated through at least the end of the reporting period on 3/1 (BLM; m.o.).

Late report: a SNOWY OWL was on the roof a house at Longview Hills (NE 56th Street, Newport) for several days last Nov.; BBu showed a photo of it on a cell phone at the 2/19 YB&N meeting.

Our only BARN OWL was about 4 miles east of Siletz on 2/16 (SHu).

Our first migrant male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD arrived at Waldport on 2/5 (RL); the next report was on 2/16 (eBird). For the 3rd year in a row, one Rufous wintered at Coquille Point east of Sally's Bend, where ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS were collecting nesting materials on 2/10 (L&JM).

Single BLACK PHOEBES were at north Beaver Creek on 2/21 (A&CH) and the portion of a Raptor Route between Newport & Toledo on 2/23 (JL & CP).

Single WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS were also at Alsea Bay (2/13) and Newport (2/19) (eBird).

Other arrivals include TREE SWALLOWS at the Beaver Creek Visitor Center on 2/11 (JL & CP), Logsden on 2/17 (BL), and just north of Ona Beach on 2/19 (RC). On 2/18, TW found 3 VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS along the HMSC Nature Trail, perching on some of the nesting boxes (including one special to the editor).

A pair of WESTERN BLUEBIRDS graced a north Beaver Creek clearcut on 2/13 (DHo).

8 CEDAR WAXWINGS at Taft in Lincoln City on 2/27 (DO & JK) were probably vagrants; a few straggle here but may not linger before they arrive in numbers in May.

A PALM WARBLER was in the Newport area on 2/4, 10, 13, & 3/1 (eBird); and PINE SISKINS started appearing at Yachats on 1/22 (BBa) and east of Siletz the last week of Feb. (SHu).

[Image Not Included: Mark Elliott's Feb. 27 photo of a Northern Pygmy-Owl looking at Mark. It turned away, which revealed the false eye-spots on the back of its head that are typical of pygmy-owls. Photo near Nehalem, Tillamook Co.]

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Betty Bahn (BBa), Barb Burgess (BBu), Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), Rebecca Cheek, http://eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Pat Dickey, Nancy Edwards, Dawn Harris (DHa), Sandy Hayden (SHa), Adrian & Christopher Hinkle, Wayne Hoffman, Deb Holland (DHo), Signe Hurd (SHu), Julie Karlson, Janet Lamberson, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Bob Llewellyn (BL), Roy Lowe, Linda & John MacKown, 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), m.o. (many observers), Oregon Birders On-Line (OBOL; recent postings at http://birdnews.aba.org/maillist/OR01), Oregon Pelagic Tours (OPT), Doug Overacker, Chuck Philo, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Dawn Villaescusa, Tom Wainwright.

BIRD FIELD NOTES from the March 2015 Sandpiper 36(3), published on March 27 for Observations Received during March 2-March 24

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 (now known as Brian Booth State Park) that includes Beaver Creek State Natural Area (SNA) (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_261.php), BOONE SLOUGH: freshwater slough at about mile 8.9 along north Yaquina Bay Road, ECKMAN LAKE (#84): lake 2 mi east of Waldport along HWY 34, HMSC (#75): OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, 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, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport (requires a vehicle entrance fee or a recreation pass such as the Oregon Pacific Coast Passport or America the Beautiful Passes honored by federal agencies [http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/yaquina/files/yh_passes.pdf]).

WATERFOWL-RAPTOR ROUTE

The first flock of GR. WHITE-FRONTED GEESE (70) flew north near Ona Beach on 3/3 (RC), and a SNOW GOOSE was at Alsea Bay on 3/8 (CS). 28 CACKLING GEESE were at Alsea Bay on 3/8 (CS), and 5 visited Eckman Lake on 3/12 (RL).

At Yaquina Bay, a LONG-TAILED DUCK lingered through the end of the reporting period on 3/24 (m.o.), and 1-2 BARROW'S GOLDENEYES remained through 3/22 (eBird).

BROWN PELICANS were absent during 3/2-12, even though birders were searching for them, but there were 1-4 during 5 days from 3/13 to the end of the 3/24 reporting period (RL; eBird).

--------------------------------------------
               Lincoln Co. Raptor Routes_____
               Inland__________|Coast________
               11/ 12/ 1/ 2/ 3/|11/ 12/ 1/ 2/
Raptor          7   3  24 23 18|11  12 14  11
---------------------------------------------
Turkey Vulture  0   0   0  0  0| 0   0  0   0
Osprey          0   0   0  0  0| 0   0  0   0
White-t. Kite   0   3   2  0  2| 0   0  0   0
Bald Eagle ad.  0   1   3  3  5| 7   6  6   7
   "    subad.  0   0   0  3  0| 1   0  0   0
No. Harrier     0   1   2  2  4| 6   3  1   0
Sharp-sh. Hawk  1   2   0  0  0| 4   1  0   0
Cooper's Hawk   0   1   0  1  0| 0   1  0   0
unk. accipiter  0   0   0  0  1| 1   0  0   0
Red-shld. Hawk  0   1   0  0  0| 0   5  1   1
Red-tail. Hawk 15  10  20 10  9|61  11 14  14
Am. Kestrel     2   4   2  2  3| 0   0  1   0
Merlin          0   0   0  0  0| 0   0  0   1
Peregr. Falcon  0   2   1  0  0| 2   1  2   3

           SUM 18  26  30 21 24|82  28 25  26

Lincoln Co. has 3 Raptor Routes. The North Lincoln Raptor Route (see map at http://goo.gl/maps/cqiSX) is around the Salmon River Estuary and east shore of Devils's Lake and was surveyed on 11/6 by DV (not shown in this month's Table because of Table width constraints). The Inland or Yaquina River-Siletz Raptor Route is about 65-70 miles long and is from the LNG tank upstream along Yaquina Bay Road, Hidden Valley between Newport and Toledo, and Toledo north to Kernville along HWY 229; it was completed on 11/7, 12/3, 1/24, 2/23, & 3/18 by JL & CP and took 4.6-5.0 hr. The Coastal Route is about 55-62 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 done on 11/11 by JL, CP, & WHo; and on 12/12, 1/14, & 2/11 by JL & CP; it took 4.5-5.3 hr.

Statewide, the 5 most numerous ("prominent") species on Raptor Routes 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.ecaudubon.org/#!winter-raptor-survey/c1ke4).

On 3/18, JL & CP did their last Raptor Route of the season, the Inland Route, and its results were similar to state-wide results, except there were no Rough-legged Hawks, which are rare here. The number of Red-tails were down, but not markedly from December and February surveys. And as JL points out, the reduced number may be a result of 1-2 adults now being at their nests, rather than migration. Sometimes all we can determine is that numbers are down (or up), not the reason!

Because Raptor Routes are standardized for route and time and usually have the same observer(s), they are a great indicator of the most numerous raptors and fluctuations and their numbers. Thanks to JL & CP for doing these Raptor Routes and to DV for doing the North Lincoln Raptor Route in Nov.!

[Image Not Included: Don Campbell's photo of 2 Peregrine Falcon eggs at their Yaquina Head nest on a rocky cliff edge on March 23.]

OTHER RAPTOR REPORTS

On 3/8, the first OSPREY of the season was at the HMSC (KO & LF) and Eckman Lake (DE [fide RL). A pair was at their Eckman Lake nest on 3/12 (RL).

At the 3/22 YBNFT, field trip leader RL noted "Probably the best observation today was an adult BALD EAGLE that swooped down in front of us at the Port of Alsea (Waldport) and snatched a mammal carcass out of the bay that the gulls were working. It flew away with a pack of gulls in hot pursuit ... !"

No RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS were reported.

At low elevations in the Pacific Northwest, PEREGRINE FALCON adults remain in the nest vicinity throughout the year, 2-4 eggs are laid at about 2-day intervals with clutches usually complete from mid-March to mid-April, incubation is 28-33 days, first flights from nests are 37-54 days after hatching, and fledging occurs from late May through mid-August (sources: p. 168-169 in Birds of Oregon: General Reference; http://www.seattleaudubon.org/birdweb/).

A pair of PEREGRINE FALCONS first nested at Yaquina Head in 2012, and the same or different Peregrines also had a nest there in 2013 and 2014 (FN). None of the nesters were individually identifiable by being banded. Because of various factors, the actual first dates of eggs, incubation, and hatching is somewhat uncertain. What we have are the first dates that observers recorded these events, which can be after they occurred. Prior to 2015, RB knows of no dates recorded for first eggs, but this year WHo saw 2 eggs in the nest on 3/22, when a female may have been incubating them (fide DC), and DC counted at least 3 eggs on 3/26. This seems early compared to past records for Yaquina Head, when incubation started approximately 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 28-33 days); first hatching was reported on 5/16-19 (2012), 6/12 (2013), and 5/17 (2014); time of first flights/fledging was 6/26-30 (2012), 7/18-20 (2013), and 6/28 (2014); and the number of fledglings was 4 (2012), 2 (2013), and 3 (2014).

This month we had many PEREGRINE FALCON sightings along the coast, but there was also one in Toledo on 3/6 (SK).

[Image Not Included: Roy Lowe's photo of a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull roosting with gulls at Seal Rocks on Feb. 19. Photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/24707703@N06/sets/72157650854677476/]

OTHER BIRDS

A few BAND-TAILED PIGEONS arrived in Feb., but only 1-11 were noted through 3/24 (RL; eBird), so the big influx has not yet arrived.

The BURROWING OWL continued to put on a show at Yaquina Head (m.o.) and was last noted during 5 hours on 3/18 (E&RG). Our only BARRED OWL was near Lincoln City on 3/11 (NR).

NORTHERN FLICKERS WERE "drumming at about daybreak" for about 2 weeks in late Feb. and early March in Toledo (SK). JL discerned a hybrid Red-shafted X Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker at Hudson Loop between Toledo and Siletz on 3/4.

There were no mentions of BLACK PHOEBES or WESTERN SCRUB-JAYS.

A first-of-year ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was singing near Boone Slough at Yaquina Bay Road on 3/18 (JL & CP), and a PALM WARBLER lingered to 3/8 at Alsea Bay (CS) and the HMSC (KO & LF).

A BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD at north Beaver Creek on 3/18 (DHo) is about 3 weeks early, and the only one reported.

A LESSER GOLDFINCH visited Newport on 3/21 (DHo).

[Image Not Included: Gloria Beerman's photo of a Whimbrel and a Black Oystercatcher on mussel-covered rocks at Seal Rocks on March 22. A Whimbrel has been there since mid-January. Whimbrels are usually associated here with sand or mudflats, not rocky areas. Photo cropped from http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22509220]

[Image Not Included: Bob Archer's photo of a rare Parakeet Auklet during the Feb. 21 Oregon Pelagic Tours trip out of Newport. This and his other photos from this pelagic are at http://outandaboutoregonbirds.blogspot.com/2015/02/newport-pelagic-feb-212015.html

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Range Bayer, Birding Oregon (http://birdingoregon.info/), BirdNotes.net, Don Campbell, Rebecca Cheek, http://eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Dan Elbert, Luke Ferrenburg, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Eve & Rob Gill, Wayne Hoffman (WHo), Deb Holland (DHo), Steve Kupillas, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Janet Lamberson, Roy Lowe, m.o. (many observers), 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), Kelsey O'Sullivan, Oregon Pelagic Tours (OPT) out of Newport (http://www.oregonpelagictours.com/), Chuck Philo, Nick Rothman, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Cody Smith, Dawn Villaescusa, Yaquina Birders & Naturalists (http://yaquina.info/ybn/) Field Trip (YBNFT) led by RL.


BIRD FIELD NOTES from the April 2015 Sandpiper 36(4), published on May 6 for Observations Received during March 25-April 28

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 (now known as Brian Booth 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, McNARY LANE POND/PASTURE (near red barn) at about Milepost 5 on the north side of HWY 20 between Newport and Toledo, 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, YBSJ (#71): Yaquina Bay South Jetty, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport (requires recreation pass or vehicle entrance fee).

BOILER BAY SEAWATCHES BY SWEDISH BIRDERS

Because we may often discount the familiar, we may forget that we live in a special place.

The reputation of Boiler Bay for seawatching goes beyond the borders of Lincoln County or Oregon. 3 young experienced birders from Sweden arrived to seawatch and share their sightings on their blog https://boilerbayseawatch.wordpress.com/ and in eBird (e.g., http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22975076). The "About" section of their blog includes a photograph of them by LO and states:

"This blog is written by three enthusiastic birders from Sweden, Jon Jorpeland, Rasmus Elleby and Jacob Rudhe [JJ, RE, & JR]. We'll be watching and counting the spring migration of seabirds from Boiler Bay, Lincoln County in Oregon from 13th of April until the 5th of May. All of us grew up in Stockholm, Sweden and have known each other since our early teens when we started to watch birds in general and migration in particular.
"Last year plans were made for a trip to watch the migration of seabirds along the West Coast of North America. The choice fell on Boiler Bay, one of the best places in Oregon to watch migrating seabirds on their journey towards their breeding grounds further up north. We hope that this blog will inspire more people to discover seabird migration and further highlight the huge potential of the Oregon coastline."

Previously, Jon researched and published a report in 2013 about a fall seabird migration in Estonia for which Jacob was one of the observers (http://bit.ly/1Q3g50T). All 3 participated in a Batumi Raptor Count in the Republic of Georgia by the Black Sea (http://www.batumiraptorcount.org/participants) and in a seawatch in Ireland (http://seabirdwatchireland.blogspot.com/2013/08/bridges-of-ross-23rd-august-2013.html).

Thanks to Janet & Phil Lamberson for providing them a place to stay while they are here!

They have many more bird notes for April than can be summarized here, but some highlights are given below.

[Image Not Included: Image of several skeins of Gr. White-fronted Geese ("Specklebellies") migrating north over Boiler Bay on April 19. The original color photo is in the blog by Jon Jorpeland, Rasmus Elleby and Jacob Rudhe at https://boilerbayseawatch.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/19-april/ RB greatly increased the photo brightness and contrast, enlarged it, and converted the image to black and white to more clearly illustrate that the flocks are not in a perfect "V" and they not all are together! This is but a static image--viewing them as they pass gives a better feeling for the captivating, undulating skeins that when the geese are close enough is accompanied by their loud "high-pitched laughing or yelping" calls (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Greater_White-fronted_Goose/sounds)!]

WATERFOWL

On 4/18, the noise of unidentified geese flying over Lincoln City woke DV up "in the wee hours before sunrise this morning. Not sure what time, but it was dark out." The same morning, PP heard many flocks of GR. WHITE-FRONTED GEESE moving over the ocean as early as 5:00 AM and saw flocks of up to 380 and a total of 3,500 white-fronts during a 6:45-8:00 AM Boiler Bay seawatch; he also heard a continuing stream of flocks passing his Lincoln City house after 8:45 AM. Also on 4/18 during a 6:05 AM-2:35 PM seawatch at Boiler Bay, JJ, RE, & JR tallied 9,141 White-fronts.

1,281 white-fronts still passed during a Boiler Bay seawatch at the end of the reporting period on 4/28 (JJ, RE, & JR).

1-7 SNOW GEESE, uncommonly reported in Spring, passed during Boiler Bay seawatches on 4/18 & 19 (JJ, RE, & JR).

The afternoon of 4/13, RL detected a flock of approximately 500 ALEUTIAN CACKLING GEESE flying over his Eckman Lake home in heavy rain and wrote: "They were so loud I could hear them even though no windows were open." Now retired from the USFWS, RL reflects that "their recovery is really amazing. When I started looking at them in college [he graduated in 1977] the population was very small. In fact, that flock that flew over my house on 4/13 would have constituted half the world population back then!"

During Boiler Bay seawatches, 6 Aleutians were embedded in flocks of White-fronts on 4/18 (PP), a total of 1,895 Cacklers were surveyed on 4/21 (JJ, RE, & JR), and 17 Cacklers were still passing near the end of the reporting period on 4/27 (JJ, RE, & JR).

On 4/20, RL discovered the first brood of ducks --a hen MALLARD with 13 ducklings at Eckman Lake! Ducklings are very vulnerable to predation, but all 13 were still with her on 4/23 (RL).

On 4/24 at Eckman Lake, RL spotted the first gosling of WESTERN CANADA GEESE.

On 4/11, CP identified a migrant pair of CINNAMON TEAL and 1 EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL at McNary Lane Pond/Pasture at about Milepost 5 on the north side of HWY 20 between Newport and Toledo. DHo also saw the pair of Cinnamons there on 4/11; and PP spotted another pair passing Spanish Head in Lincoln City on 4/17.

Our latest LONG-TAILED DUCK was on 4/19 (eBird).

QUAIL-EGRET

An unspecified number of CALIFORNIA QUAIL at the HMSC on 4/10 (SD) is our first record since last November (FN).

A rare MURPHY'S PETREL was about 50 miles off Newport during the Grand Princess cruise on 3/21 (PL fide SF). A FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL was noted during Boiler Bay seawatches on 4/14 & 15 (JJ, RE, & JR), and 2 were tallied during an offshore cruise on 4/27 (JC).

1-30 BROWN PELICANS were viewed during 3/23-4/12 (ME; RL; eBird), and our first report of more than 30 was on 4/13, with a tally of 244 at Boiler Bay (JJ, RE, & JR). They were common and numerous thereafter, with a high total of 800+ at Boiler Bay during PP's 4/19 seawatch. This year continues to be on track for being the first odd-numbered year with Brown Pelican records each month of the year.

AMERICAN BITTERNS are probably regularly here but seldom reported because they are secretive. On 4/4, JL identified one at Sturdevant Road marsh east of Toledo and called CP, DHa & RP who fortunately were also able to appreciate it.

On 4/14, RL detected our first GREEN HERON of the season at the Eckman Lake outfall.

GREAT EGRETS were first recorded in Lincoln County in 1965 (SemiL), and sometimes have been observed here during the nesting season, even in Great Blue Heron colonies where Great Egrets have sometimes nested elsewhere, but they have not yet been documented as nesting here. On 4/15, RL wrote: "You might remember Great Egrets were observed nesting for the first time in coastal Douglas County (Bolon Is.) last year. It took them more than 20 years [for their nesting] to move north from Coos County to Douglas County. Now this year they have leaped to Lane County [DP found 6 Great Egret nests near Florence in Lane Co. on 4/14]. Will Lincoln County be next and when? I've noted that 4 Great Egrets are still here at Eckman Lake and a few at Lint Slough at Alsea Bay. I got a little excited yesterday when I saw a Great Egret searching for and finding the right stick and then flying away with it! I got in the clear to watch where it was going and it only flew about 100 yards before landing in the marsh and dropping the stick. . . . But who knows, maybe sometime in the next few years they will nest here as well."

It is possible that Great Egrets have already done so, but our observation effort has been too low. Good observation effort or just a lucky sighting may be what it takes to document their first nesting in Lincoln County.

[Image Not Included: Roy Lowe's photo of an immature Great Egret with a stick at Eckman Lake on April 14. It is an immature because it does not have breeding plumes at the base of the neck or on its back, the lores is not lime green (though a tinge is visible on magnification), and there is no dark ridge atop the bill as some adults have in breeding plumage. Determining if they are adults in breeding plumage may help determine their likelihood of nesting as immatures are much less likely to try to nest.]

RAPTORS

Nesting OSPREY have become relatively common here in recent years. On 3/28 from the viewing platform outside of Georgia Pacific in Toledo, PD saw 2 nesting on a nesting platform inside the fence at Georgia Pacific. On 4/1 at Toledo, CP established that there were 2 Osprey nests only about 230 yards apart and a third nest that was about 400 yards away.

Our only RED-SHOULDERED HAWK report for March and April was by ER who noted one on an unspecified date in March, and he wrote: "There is one that is often seen along Logan Creek at Roads End in Lincoln City. I've seen it since the beginning of the year, and one day I saw it flying with nesting material in its talons." So far, there have been no nesting records for Lincoln County.

Our latest MERLIN lingered through the end of the reporting period on 4/28 (eBird).

A PEREGRINE FALCON nest at Yaquina Head continues with a clutch of 4 eggs by 3/29 (DC) that was being incubated by the female (WHo). Based on individually distinguishing plumage differences, WHo notes that the male of the pair was last seen on 3/31 and has been replaced by another male. The new male has brought the nesting female food, including 1 EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE on 4/4.

On 4/12, WHo spent most of the day at Yaquina Head and reported that the female Peregrine and the new male were present most of the day, with the female incubating almost continuously, but the new male did not bring her any food. Based on the new male's behavior, WHo had the impression that the new male "was trying to attract her to [a new] location to (re)nest. So far she is not buying it, but I get the sense he is not feeling invested in the current clutch of eggs. At this point, the fate of the current clutch seems pretty much up in the air." [Update for after the 4/28 reporting period: On 5/4, DC saw 2 chicks in the Peregrine nest that MM estimated to be a day old that the female was feeding from food brought in by a male; it was not specified if the food was brought in by the new male. Based on their hatching date, MM is predicting fledging during June 8-13.]

[Image Not Included: Ernie Rose's photo of an Osprey at an unspecified location on April 12.]

SORA-ALCIDS

DHo observed our only SORA at north Beaver Creek on 4/16, but marsh birds such as Soras, bitterns, and night-herons are tough to see, though they may be quite common in the appropriate habitat.

There were no SNOWY PLOVER reports, but 1-2 uncommon SOLITARY SANDPIPERS were at McNary Lane Pond on 4/24 (DHo) and 4/26 (JR & RE).

1-15 LONG-BILLED CURLEWS were identified during 4 Boiler Bay seawatches during 4/17-28 (JJ, RE, & JR).

2 MARBLED GODWITS on 4/10 were the first-of-the year (eBird), and one also graced the HMSC 50th Reunion field trip led by DHa at Idaho Flats on 4/12. The high count of 89 was during a 4/17 Boiler Bay seawatch (JJ, RE, & JR).

The season's first WANDERING TATTLER was at the YBSJ on 4/10 (SD).

The first big count of peeps (small shorebirds, including Western and Least Sandpipers) indicating en masse migration was during PP's 4/19 Boiler Bay seawatch when he tallied 7,000+ WESTERN SANDPIPERS. Also for Boiler Bay seawatches, there were 5,715-7,400 peeps during 4/19-21, counts of 1,100 or less on 4/24-25 & 27, and 20,155 on the last day of the reporting period on 4/28 (JJ, RE, & JR).

Our first CASPIAN TERN was at Seal Rocks on 4/4 (OH, HH, C & AH), and 2-10 COMMON TERNS were at Boiler Bay on 4/11 (SD) and during an offshore cruise on 4/27 (JC).

A POMARINE JAEGER was discerned during a 4/17 seawatch at Spanish Head (Lincoln City) (PP).

A TUFTED PUFFIN passed Spanish Head on 4/17 (PP) and Boiler Bay on 4/26 (JJ, RE, & JR), and our only CASSIN'S AUKLET was a singleton tallied during an offshore cruise on 4/27 (JC).

The Yaquina Head BURROWING OWL lingered until 3/18 (BLM), and CP found one BARN OWL at a nest at Elk City and saw a second bring in food on 4/1.

On 4/26 near Eckman Lake, RL heard 2 BARRED OWLS "calling up a storm near my house. I went out on the deck and started doing a Great Horned Owl call and they immediately responded by calling back and then flying into the tree right above me where they continued to call!"

SWIFT-GROSBEAK

2 VAUX'S SWIFTS in Newport on 4/15 (DM) are about 2 weeks early but do not appear to have been a part of a wave of migrants because the next reports did not come until 4/25 & 26 (eBird).

Other spring arrivals include NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW at Waldport on 4/3 (DHo), PURPLE MARTIN at the HMSC on 4/10 (SD) and at nesting boxes on pilings north of the HMSC Visitor Center Parking Lot during the HMSC 50th Reunion field trip led by DHa on 4/12, BARN SWALLOW at Lincoln City on 4/11 (A&CH), and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER on 4/25 (eBird) and in Toledo the next morning (DHa).

The last BLACK PHOEBE was reported on Feb. 23, but they could be present but not reported.

We had 4 WESTERN SCRUB-JAY records during the reporting period (eBird).

In a clearcut by Logsden, WESTERN BLUEBIRDS lingered until 3/24, and a solitary TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was present on 4/5 (BLl).

At least one CEDAR WAXWING was at Seal Rocks on 4/10 (SD), but some stragglers occasionally appear before migration customarily becomes evident in mid-May.

More Spring arrivals include YELLOW WARBLER and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT at Devils Lake State Park during a Lincoln City Audubon field trip on 4/2 (ME), AMERICAN PIPIT at Beverly Beach on 4/9 (DHo), CHIPPING SPARROW at South Beach on 4/13 (JP), WILSON'S WARBLER at Alsea Bay on 4/15 (DHo), BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER east of Lincoln City on 4/25 (JR & RE), and HERMIT WARBLER east of Toledo on 4/27 (DHo).

Spring also brings departures, including TOWNSEND'S WARBLER at Beverly Beach on 4/9 (DHo), PALM WARBLER in the Newport area on 4/20 (eBird), and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in Newport on 4/22 (DHo). A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was in Toledo on 4/19, but they can also be found in May in some years (SemiL).

On 3/26, CP found a rare SAGEBRUSH SPARROW near the Toledo Post Office that was seen by others (WH, DHa & RP). Sagebrush Sparrow was split from the former Sage Sparrow. We had Sage Sparrow records on 4/12/1977 between Toledo and Eddyville and 3/11-12/2012 at the YBSJ (SemiL; FN).

On 4/20, "a dozen hungry Evening Grosbeaks arrived" at BB's feeders in Yachats, which is our first report of large numbers of them this Spring.

[Image Not Included: Roy Lowe's photo of an American Crow dive bombing a passing Common Raven that turned over in flight to face its attacker. The photo was taken north of Sea Lion Caves (Lane Co.) on April 20.]

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Birding Oregon (http://birdingoregon.info/), Bureau of Land Management staff and volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (BLM), Don Campbell, Jonathan Coffey, Pat Dickey, Steve Dougill, http://eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Rasmus Elleby, Mark Elliott, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Shawneen Finnegan, Oscar Harper, Dawn Harris (DHa), Hendrik Herlyn, Adrian & Christopher Hinkle, Wayne Hoffman (WHo), Deb Holland (DHo), Jon Jorpeland, Paul Lehman, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Janet Lamberson, Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Roy Lowe, Michael Mefford, Dave Miller, 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 Osis, Ram Papish, Diane Pettey, Chuck Philo, Phil Pickering, John Powell, Ernie Rose, Jacob Rudhe, SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Dawn Villaescusa.


BIRD FIELD NOTES from the May 2015 Sandpiper 36(5), published on May 29 for Observations Received during April 29-May 25

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 (now known as Brian Booth 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): at about mile 3.5 along north Yaquina Bay Road at the southeast corner of Sally's Bend, 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, FISHING ROCK STATE PARK: a small park about 300 ft north of Fogarty Creek State Park along HWY 101 and south of Lincoln Beach, HMSC (#75): OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, LINCOLN BEACH: area along HWY 101 between Depoe Bay and Kernville, 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 (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, YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA (#65): headland north of Newport (requires recreation pass or vehicle entrance fee).

[Image Not Included: Roy Lowe's photo of a Green Heron at the Eckman Lake outlet on April 30. Roy writes that this Green Heron "is not real fond of people!"]

LINCOLN CO. NORTH AMERICAN MIGRATION COUNT (NAMC) RESULTS by Compiler Dawn Villaescusa

With all but one of the reports in, we have the following results from the weekend count during May 9-10 in Lincoln County: 129 total species with an additional 17 species during Count Week. We had 9 teams, including two field trips, and three yard/feeder counters.

Special thanks to Deb Holland who birded a number of areas that we didn't have covered and graciously allowed me to use her Saturday eBird reports for the count. She saw our only RUFFED GROUSE, MOURNING DOVE, and WESTERN SCRUB JAY, among others. Desi and I were delighted to have a SORA out in the open at Eckman Lake - it was a life bird for me. Lincoln City Audubon had a huge group on their bird walk (38 people) and saw our only DOWNY WOODPECKER (thank you Caren Willoughby for compiling). Linda and Johnny Fink, the 4-county wonder-team, added our only RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, AMERICAN DIPPER, and NASHVILLE WARBLER. Ernie Rose walked his neighborhood and saw our lone WOOD DUCK.

This is truly a fun count and I hope more of you can come over to the coast and help us out this Fall - mark your calendars and come join us!

A big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers!

WATERFOWL

May is the departure time for many waterfowl, but some like WESTERN CANADA GEESE, COMMON and HOODED MERGANSERS and MALLARDS nest here, a few RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and SCAUP often linger into June, and others such as scoters and occasional BRANT and HARLEQUIN DUCKS can oversummer as nonbreeders.

Last dates for departing waterfowl include LONG-TAILED DUCK on 5/1 at Boiler Bay (JJ, RE, & JR), GADWALL on 5/4 at Boiler Bay (JJ, RE, & JR), GR. WHITE FRONTED GOOSE on 5/6 at Eckman Lake (SN), NORTHERN PINTAIL on 5/9 at Alsea Bay (DHo), RING-NECKED DUCK on 5/10 at Eckman Lake (DV), BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON or BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, and RUDDY DUCK on 5/16 at Sally's Bend (DHo); CACKLING GOOSE on 5/18 at Newport (JGr), NORTHERN SHOVELER on 5/19 at Boiler Bay (RH), BRANT on 5/24 at Yaquina Bay (M&JG), AMERICAN WIGEON on 5/25 at the HMSC (MSu), and GREEN-WINGED TEAL on 5/25 at Eckman Lake (DHo).

Flocks of northward nonbreeding or failed breeding WESTERN CANADA GEESE going on an apparent molt migration to the Columbia River area were noticed on 5/15 over Lincoln City DV), on 5/17 over Eckman Lake (RL) and on 5/23 over Newport (RB). These flights often continue into June.

One area for nesting waterfowl in Lincoln County includes the Siletz River near Logsden, where BLl found pairs of WOOD DUCKS & MALLARDS and 3 COMMON MERGANSERS on 5/11.

[Image Not Included: Ernie Rose's photo of a male Surf Scoter walking the beach at north Lincoln City on May 17. Though rare on land, they can walk!]

[Image Not Included: Don Campbell's photo of the female Peregrine feeding her 4 small young at Yaquina Head on May 8. Don took 496 photos that day in "an effort to catch the rare event of all chicks with their heads up and none obscured by either the female adult or other chicks to the point of missing the correct count." This was challenging because the fourth chick was smaller and visible only for a few seconds.]

GREBE-RAPTORS

A single CLARK'S GREBE was at Boiler Bay on 5/3 (SH) and by Fishing Rock Drive on 5/25 (SRo).

The three young Swedes (JJ, RE, & JR) finished their Boiler Bay seawatches as they scheduled on 5/5. See their blog at https://boilerbayseawatch.wordpress.com/ for details. They had our only FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS during 5/2-5.

A rare MURPHY'S PETREL was about 50 miles off Yachats during a Princess Cruise on 5/21 (PL fide TR).

May also brings northward flights of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS that can appear like geese. BB & SaL saw a "V" formation of them on 5/3 near Waldport.

A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK flying over Yachats on 5/2 (BB) is only our second since February, and our latest MERLIN was in Toledo on 5/5 (JJ, RE, & JR).

On 5/4, DC saw 2 chicks in the PEREGRINE FALCON nest at Yaquina Head that MMe estimated to be a day old and predicted would fledge during June 8-13. A very patient DC found 3 chicks on 5/3, and 4 chicks on 5/8. Their nesting this year at Yaquina Head is 12-13 days earlier than in the past three years, when first hatching was reported on 5/16-19 (2012), 6/12 (2013), and 5/17 (2014).

The evening of 5/18, MMa was climbing the stairs at Cobble Beach at Yaquina Head when she spied a Peregrine "strolling on the beach just a few feet from the (somewhat alarmed/interested) harbor seals." The Peregrine was picking at things in the rocks before a flock of 3-4 crows came in squawking and chased it off the beach and over the hill.

SORA-ALCIDS

D&DeV found a SORA at Eckman Lake on 5/9 or 10. On 5/12, RC was on a trail at South Beach State Park and heard "an increasing racket of loud calls from the brush when the source stepped out onto the path ahead - a Sora. There were two of them calling loudly back and forth. The bird in the open remained on the path for 15 seconds and then crossed to the marshy pond on the north side and disappeared. I never saw the other bird, which remained hidden on the south side of the path, but the calling continued for another half-minute."

There were no SNOWY PLOVERS, but a probable GOLDEN-PLOVER sp. flew by Boiler Bay on 5/3 (PP, DR).

Our only LONG-BILLED CURLEWS were 10 passing during a 5/1 Boiler Bay seawatch (PP; JJ, RE, & JR), but it was a good May for MARBLED GODWIT sightings with 10 reports of 1-13 through 5/23 (m.o.).

There were 11 sightings of 1-3 RUDDY TURNSTONES, not including a total of 29 passing during an 8.5 hr Boiler Bay seawatch on 5/2 (JJ, RE, & JR). The last Ruddy was at Yachats on 5/15 (AF).

1-14 RED KNOTS were noted 9 times, with the latest on 5/14 (m.o.).

The most numerous migrating shorebirds were tallies during Boiler Bay seawatches of 1,200-8,000 DUNLIN, 12,000-54,000 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, and 200 or fewer LEAST SANDPIPERS during 5/1-5/3; 2,000-35,000 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES passed during 5/2-3 (PP; JJ, RE, & JR). Red-necked Phalaropes continued through the end of the 5/25 reporting period, but no Red Phalaropes were identified.

2 uncommon FRANKLIN'S GULLS passed Boiler Bay on 5/1 (PP; JJ, RE, & JR), and we had only 2 reports of single HEERMANN'S GULLS at Boiler Bay on 5/3 (JJ, RE, & JR) & 5/11 at Lincoln City (DV). Heermann's typically are more expected in mid-June.

12-16 ARCTIC TERNS flew by Boiler Bay on 5/2-3 (PP; JJ, RE, & JR; C&AH, WW), but there were no COMMON TERNS.

On 5/19, JGi & CB watched a rare LONG-BILLED MURRELET for at least an hour at north Depoe Bay that was on the water about 150-200 ft from shore.

A single TUFTED PUFFIN was noted during Boiler Bay seawatches on 5/1, 2 & 4 (JJ, RE, & JR; PP).]

[Image Not Included: Ernie Rose's photo of an adult Bonaparte's Gull in breeding plumage at Lincoln City on May 3.]

DOVE-SWIFT

On 5/10, RC & WN were working in their garden north of Ona Beach, when they "heard a terrific clatter of wings from the top of a close-by pine; looked up to see a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE tumbling down through the branches, flapping wildly but unable to take flight. The bird tumbled all the way to the ground and disappeared behind our fence, then managed to get off the ground a minute later as it reappeared on the fence right by where we stood. It still could not really fly, but fluttered past us and then walked rapidly around on the driveway, quivering its folded wings and generally looking disoriented and agitated. We were baffled as to what was wrong, but then a dark shape moved overhead, and we looked up to see a COMMON RAVEN flying off with a chick in its beak. I knew the doves had a nest in one of the pines by the garden, but didn't know exactly where it was. The raven must have spotted the nest from above, and judging from the dove's fall and subsequent behavior, the dove was on the nest brooding the chicks, and the raven attacked the dove violently enough to partially stun it and knock it out of the tree. Within a couple of minutes after the attack the dove seemed recovered enough to fly normally. Five minutes after the first theft the raven came back and carried off the remaining chick(s). The dove pair spent the next hour flying into and out of the nest site, calling and singing, more active than usual."

Migrant VAUX'S SWIFTS were first reported on 4/25 (eBird), and about 6 were in the area between NE Douglas/Eads and NE 7/8th in Newport around 5/4 (SS).

[Image Not Included: John & Linda MacKown's photo of a Northern Mockingbird at their home near Coquille Point on May 11. This is only the second since 2011 (FN).]

SPRING ARRIVALS, DEPARTURES, AND VAGRANTS

Spring arrivals include BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK on 4/30 at Yachats (BB), WESTERN TANAGER on 5/1 east of Lincoln Beach (JeRo), HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER on 5/1 between Toledo and Eddyville (JJ, RE, & JR), WARBLING VIREO on 5/1 (eBird), OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER on 5/3 at north Beaver Creek (EH), SWAINSON'S THRUSH on 5/5 east of Lincoln Beach (JeRo), MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER and NASHVILLE WARBLER on 5/8 east of Lincoln City (EC & SRu), WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE on 5/11 at Logsden (BLl), and migrant CEDAR WAXWING on 5/16 at the HMSC (ID).

Departures include AMERICAN PIPIT at Yaquina Bay on 5/8 (EC & SRu), TOWNSEND'S WARBLER east of Lincoln Beach on 5/9 (JeRo), LINCOLN'S SPARROW on 5/10 at the HMSC (PO), and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW on 5/16 at Yaquina Head (IS & MSt).

A WESTERN SCRUB-JAY was in SW Newport on 5/9 (DHo) and in NE Newport on 5/14, where PR had not seen one since January.

WESTERN BLUEBIRDS nest in clearcuts near the coast, and 2 were between Toledo and Siletz on 4/29 (JJ, RE, & JR) and north Beaver Creek on 5/8 (DHo).

The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT appearing in BLl's Logsden neighborhood on 5/10-11 is only our ninth record (SemiL; FN).

A LARK SPARROW visited Yachats Commons Park on 5/16 (AF), which is the first since 2009 and our 11th overall (SemiL; FN).

LAZULI BUNTINGS are a spring and fall vagrant, and SK saw and photographed a male near Toledo on 5/16.

JRob watched a young male oriole, apparently a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, which has been coming to a hummingbird feeder in the Newport area for 3 months through at least 5/16.

[Image Not Included: Laimons Osis's photo of a pale male American Goldfinch between 2 normal plumaged males on May 16 at north Beaver Creek. For the pale male, the yellow has been replaced by white, but the black forecrown and wings are still black.]

OBSERVERS/SOURCES: Betty Bahn, Range Bayer, Birding Oregon (http://birdingoregon.info/), Clark Blake, Don Campbell, Rebecca Cheek, Earlham College, http://eBird.org (location and observer not accessible in "View and Explore Data" for "All Observations" but available through "Bar Charts"), Isaac Denzer, Rasmus Elleby, fide ("as reported by" someone other than the observer), Andy Frank, Jeff Gilligan (JGi), Mel & Jeanne Goff, Jerry Griggs (JGr), Dawn Harris (DHa), Sally Hill, Christopher & Adrian Hinkle, Deb Holland (DHo), Eric Horvath, Rich Hoyer, Jon Jorpeland, Steve Kupillas, Lincoln Co. Birding & Nature Observing (LCBNO) (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LCBNO/info), Paul Lehman, Bob Llewellyn (BLl), Sally Lockyear (SaL), Roy Lowe, m.o. (many observers), Meredith Matherly (MMa), Scott McNeeley, Michael Mefford (MMe), Walt Nelson, 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), Oregon Pelagic Tours (OPT) out of Newport (http://www.oregonpelagictours.com/), Pam Otley, Phil Pickering, Paul Reed, Jerry Robbins (JRob), Doug Robinson, Tim Rodenkirk, Jennifer Rothe (JeRo), Stephen Rossiter (SRo), Jacob Rudhe, Skip Russell (SRu), SemiL (semimonthly Lincoln Co. bird records through 1992 for each species at ScholarsArchive@OSU [http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8070]), Ian Souza-Cole, Mark Stevens (MSt), Molly Sultany (MSu), Stacy Strickland, Dawn (DV) & Desi (DeV) Villaescusa, Will Wright.

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