Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Coastal Trip

Here are some of the photos from our trip. We will be posting some each day for the next few days (we took a lot!). This was our first adventure to try and identify shore/coastal birds. Although we have tried really hard to make sure that our identifications are correct, there is a great likely hood that some of these labels may be incorrect. Please let us know if we have erred.

We will try to go in order of our stops. We picked up the Oregon Coast Birding Trail guide at the Audubon and it lists most of the major birding spots along the coast. They are numbered in the guide and we will post the corresponding number in the description.

This Spotted Sandpiper was actually photographed just on the backside of the Safeway in Astoria. There, we also saw White-Crowned Sparrows, Wilson's Warblers, Brandt's and Pelagic Cormorants and slightly less than 3 million Gulls.

As we on our way through Astoria, there was a big rally going on. Michelle and I both thought that it was religious in nature because there were a lot of people holding religion-themed signs. We rolled down the windows to hear the speaker and it only took about 2 seconds to recognize the voice. Bill Clinton. Even though we are voting for Obama, it was still pretty cool!

Barn Swallows sitting on the railing at stop number 7 (Astoria Mitigation Wetlands). We also spotted American Goldfinches, a Life List Hermit Thrush, many, many Warblers, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Blue Herons, a Bald Eagle and some still-yet-to-be-identified shore birds.

There was a flock of at least 500 Western Sandpipers, also at #7.

#8 in the Oregon Coast Birding Trail guide is Fort Stevens State Park. We went up to parking lot "D" and walked down to the beach. There are nesting Caspian Terns there. Lots of them. Maybe up to 1000. They were not overly pleased with our presence and, a few times, we were actually concerned about being attacked. They were vigorously defending their territory.

As we watched the Terns, a Bald Eagle came in for some lunch. The Terns went absolutely crazy. The were swarming the Eagle and diving on him. It was incredible to witness. The Eagle wasn't deterred much, but we didn't see him get any of them, either. #8

Here's one of the Terns flying only a couple of feet above the Bald. The Tern was making a terrific amount of noise. #8

This is a Surf Scoter. They are incredible looking creatures. There was 15-20 of the along the shoreline. #8

It took us a little while to ID these guys, but we were eventually rewarded with Life List Bonaparte's gulls! The one on the right is just starting to get his black face.

Stop #13 in the guide is a place called the Necanicum Estuary. The first birds we came across were these two Brants. After getting home and looking at the photos on the computer, we noticed that these Brants have a faint Cranberry colored line just below their white necklaces. None of the photos we can find, nor in the books we read, have Brants with red below the white. Is this normal?
Here's the same shot just cropped more.
A Semipalmated Plover. We saw quite a few of these on our trip. Here, we also saw Blue Herons, Common Mergansers, Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Buffleheds and, again, many unidentified shore birds. #13

Here is a Black-Bellied Plover. He was the only one we saw on our trip.
This Western Gull was at a pull out along Hwy 101.

Here is a flock of Pelagic Cormorants at Ecola State Park on the Indian Beach side. Stop # 22

Not bird related, but it was too cute of a photo to pass up.

We will post more tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

We are out O' town!!

Seth and I will be out of town for the next few days. We keep hearing about the extremely large volume of shorebirds migrating along the Oregon Coast so we have put our day jobs on hiatus (with management approval, of course) and are headed to the coast. We will be back in town Wednesday night and will try to post Wednesday evening (with dial up that means Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday). With the amount of digital memory we are taking with us, the S&M coastal show will never end. Enjoy, good birding, and check back for the S&M Oregon Coast Migratory update.
Michelle and Seth

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mt. Tabor, Marine Drive and the Backyard


Swainson's Thrush

Townsend's Solitaire. They don't belong in the valley

A Western Kingbird along Marine Drive

A pair of Turkey Vultures sitting along Marine Drive

Same Vulture
His mate
A female Western Tanager
A male Western Tanager

Audubon's Warbler taking a bath

Savannah Sparrow
A female American Kestrel

One of the Opsrey, who has a nest on 148th and Marine Drive

Do you recognize this hawk? I figured he was pretty distinguishable from his missing feathers

A Black-Headed Grosbeak

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Black-Headed Grosbeaks!!

We just had 2 male Black-Headed Gosbeaks come into the yard! It's the first time we have seen them this year. They are still in our Mountain Ash tree as I write this. I Hope they stay around this summer!

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Pics from the yard

Here are some recent photos taken from the yard. We hope you like them!

A Pine Siskin eating from a thistle sock

We are still getting 5-10 Siskins in the yard everyday

Note: Left bottom: Ashley, one of our Cocker Spaniels; Top Right: Sharp-Sinned Hawk (look close)! They seem to both be watching something very interesting!

A Male House Finch enjoying the apple tree

A Male Brown-Headed Cowbird. He, and the female, have been in the yard and on the feeders for the last week or so.

Okay, so this was not in the backyard. This was in the parking lot of the Clackamas County Fairgrounds on Sat. the 3rd of May. By the way that they were acting, we are sure that they are nesting around the gravel lot

A Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, stopping by to get nesting materials! He was using lint from our drier! How cool!

A Canada Goose Golsing, telling me to "back off"!

A pair of Bushtits

Calliope Hummingbird! We were so excited when we saw him!

Female Ann's in one of our apple trees~

Another shot

A Rufous Hummingbird

Female Rufous

A Male Rufous!

A Male Anna's Hummingbird!

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