Bayocean Spit birding

2011 Birding Field Trips and Birds Spotted


October 8, 2011
Boiler Bay, Rocky Creek State Park,
Cape Foul Weather/Otter Crest Loop, and Devil's Punch Bowl


boiler bay

The morning started out with a few showers but that did not stop 16 birders that met at Boiler Bay. The ocean waves were strong and we managed to see a nice variety of birds. With migration in progress it was an eventful outing. Clouds started to clear and the sun came out as we drove to Rocky Creek State Park, Cape Foul Weather/Otter Crest Loop, and on to Devil's Punch Bowl. The last stop was especially exciting as we were able to see a migrating gray whale perform for us.

peregrine falcon

Sightings of the Day
Brown Pelicans
Heermann's Gull
Mew Gull
Pelagic Cormorant
Common Murre
Song Sparrow
Western Grebe
Black Oystercatcher
White-winged Scoter
Horned Grebes
Red-necked Phalarope
Brewers Blackbird
American Crow
Surf Scoters
Western Gull
Double-crested Cormorant
Surfbird
California Gull
Peregrine Falcon
Harlequin Duck
Ring-billed Gull
Whales

blackbird blackbird
boiler bay

September 10, 2011
Beaver Creek State Natural Area, Oregon

Here in Oregon, when soaring temperatures blister the inner valley areas, the inversion effect of sea fog rolls in with the waves along the coastline. That is the way the day began driving south to Beaver Creek State Natural Area which is locate between Newport and Waldport. But the sky was absolutely clear when the birders arrived at Beaver Creek. Eighteen birders, one living as far away as Utah, nestled in their kayaks and canoes and headed upstream with binoculars and cameras at the ready. Interestingly, although the creek flows out to the ocean, it is affected little, if at all, by the changing of the tides.

As we paddled very casually upstream, we were all exclaiming how gentle and peaceful the ride was and were in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. A kayaker from another group who was paddling in the opposite direction got wind that we were Audubon members and said that she saw a Green Heron further upstream. That got our juices going and our eyes and ears primed for whatever feathered friends were moving about in our vicinity.

"Ah, look to the left, there's a Double-crested Cormorant," shouted our field guide, Mark Elliott, so all could hear. It was standing on a surfaced limb of a submerged tree. Those of us who had cameras wanted to get closer for this fortuitous "photo op." Surprisingly, that Cormorant was not a timid or bashful sort . . . in fact, it didn't budge until nearly knocked over by one of our canoes! Roosting in a tree was seen a Great Blue Heron. Atop an old snag, further upstream, sat a Raven just above an Osprey, perhaps waiting for the chance to harass it.

double-crested cormorant

One of our kayakers loved to explore the more narrow veins of the creek to see what he would find. Because his curiosity flushed up many birds we might not have seen otherwise, he was bestowed the nickname of "Bird Dog." He spooked up a Great Blue Heron and a couple of Great Egrets. Speaking about those birds, further upstream we saw the strangest sight . . . a Great Egret being followed by a Great Blue Heron, looking as if they were partners. When the egret landed on a snag tree, the blue heron perched on another very close by. The Great Egret flew off. The Great Blue Heron followed close behind. What was that all about? A few years back, there was a story about a moose back east that was very attracted to a cow. Could this be the same kind of event?!!!

In all, 17 birds were sighted this day. We all had a great time and new friendships were made. That's the joy of birding the Oregon coast!

great egret mark elliott ASLCfield guide double-crested cormorant Beaver Creek
Sightings of the Day
Belted Kingfisher
Stellar Jay
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eared Grebe
Turkey Vulture
Great Blue Heron
Common Raven
Osprey
Barn Swallow
Song Sparrow
Mallards
Great Egret
Doubled-crested Cormorant
Red-tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Rufus Hummingbird
Merlin

August 13, 2011
Bayocean Spit, Oregon

Twenty-two birders gathered at the Bayocean Spit, west of Tillamook, for the ASLC event starting at 1pm. The dusty road didn't dissuade folks from starting the Audubon Society of Lincoln City birdwalk, with binoculars, field guides, and cameras in hand. As has been a regular, opening sight in our birding events, Bald Eagle welcomed us as it sat watching our forward progress toward the end of the Bayocean Spit. Sparrows and Chickadees flittered in the brush, and Great Blue Herons were spotted roosting in the evergreens above. Chattering Kingfishers were seen hovering over the water and periodically diving to snatch small minnow snacks. The Marbled Godwit gave all photographers amongst us a rare opportunity to capture its portrait in very close range. We walked very carefully under a very large Yellow Jacket bee's nest which hung just above the path.After walking only about a third of the way to the Spit's end, we turned around. The tide was lower now and there the orchestrated flight of the Sandpipers as they moved from one mud flat to another. There is so much beauty watching them fly in uncanny unison in quick, short flights.

Sightings of the Day
Western Gull
California Gull
Marbled Godwit
Ring-billed Gull
Song Sparrow
Bald Eagle
American Robin
Great Blue Heron
White-winged Scoter
Pelagic Cormorant
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Wilson’s Warbler
Red-necked Grebe
Turkey Vulture
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Savannah Sparrow
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Baird Sandpiper
Peregrine Falcon
Greater Yellowlegs
Red-tailed Hawk
Tree Swallow
American Crow
White Crowned Sparrow
Northern Harrier
Wrentit
Double-crested Cormorant
Black-throated Grey Warbler

marbled godwit

bayocean bird walk

July 9, 2011
Clay Meyer Natural Area, Whalen Island, Oregon

This ASLC Bird Walk began on-cue with a well-timed sighting of a mature Bald Eagle. A perfect day for the 1.4 mile loop walk led by field guide, Mark Elliott. Amongst the 16 birders, a young family from Portland joined locals from Lincoln City and Otis to wander the sandy woodland trail for a couple hours in the dappled sunshine. We saw several species including the Orange-crowned Warbler and House Wren, and heard the calls and songs of many others. But the most frequent sound was laughter from the jovial birders. The group was delighted by the feeding antics of Chestnut-backed Chickadee parents as they carried plump, green worms into their hungry babies just a few feet from the trail. The tide was very low, and we did see a few shorebirds, including Caspian Terns and Western Gulls. Even without the birds, this is a prime spot for a day of beach and forest rambling.

aslc birders
caren and child
butterfly
whalen island
chickadee
nature trail

Sightings of the Day
Bald Eagle
Great Blue Heron
American Crow
American Goldfinch
White-crowned Sparrow
Northern Flicker
Double-crested Cormorant
Barn Swallow
Song Sparrow
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Rufus Hummingbird
Gold-crowned Sparrow
Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
House Wren
Swainson's Thrush
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
European Starlings
Caspian Terns
Western Gull
Belted Kingfisher
Turkey Vulture

aslc guide

June 11, 2011
Yaquina Head, Newport, Oregon

mark elliott
song sparrow
turkey vulture
aslc
yaquina head road

Great bird walk at the Yaquina Lighthouse led by Mark Elliot. Thirty-one people came out, from as far as Sacramento, Bend, Seattle and Portland. The weather started to look like it was going to be a typical spring Oregon day but changed its mind and we had bright sunshine. We were told the Eagle had already had a Murre breakfast, and just as we were leaving it had lunch. I had a good lesson in Cormorant identification. Dick Demarest has tried to teach me in the past but the lesson never took. We saw both the Pelagic and the Brandt's Cormorants. I had no idea how colorful these birds are . . . always thought they were just big black birds that feast on Salmon smolts.
-Cheers, Jack

ASLC group
cormorants


Rufus Hummingbird
Barn Swallow
Bald Eagle
Turkey Vulture
White Crowned Sparrow
Violet Green Swallow
American Goldfinch

Sightings of the Day
House Sparrow
American Crow
Pigeon Guillemot
Brown Pelican
Brandt's Cormorant
Black Oystercatcher
Brown-headed Cowbird


Pelagic Cormorant
Common Murre
Song Sparrow
Band-tailed Pigeon
Surf Scoter
Western Gull

pelicans

May 14, 2011
Bird and Photographic Walk at the Salmon River Estuary

About 20 birders gathered at Knight Park in Otis, OR, along the Salmon River estuary. There, ASLC leader Jack Doyle introduced all to the IBA (Important Bird Area) and briefly discussed bird photography. Splitting into 2 groups one remained in and around Knight Park, the other crossed Three Rocks Road and began birding the Crowley Creek meadow. After about 1/2 hour, the groups switched locations. The morning was filled with bird sightings and enjoyed by all.

Sightings of the Day
Rufous Hummingbird
Wilson's Warbler
Brandt's Cormorant
American Crow
American Robin
Bald Eagle (mature and immature)
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Western Gull
Turkey Vulture
Song Sparrow
White Crowned Sparrow
Peregrine Falcon
American Goldfinch
Swallows (Tree or Violet Green)
Great Blue Heron
Western Wood Pewee
Fox Sparrow
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Red-tailed Hawk
Common Raven
Whimbrel
Black-headed Grosbeak
Steller's Jay
Canada Goose
Band-tailed Pigeon
salmon river birdwalk sparrow pewee great blue heron

April 9, 2011
Salishan Nature Trail, Gleneden Beach, Oregon

ASLC birdwalk lincoln city event Photos by Jody Picconi and Ernie Rose

The clouds were thick and threatening, the tide was low. Yet, 21 birders gathered at the Salishan parking lot, in Gleneden Beach, for the April birdwalk along a nature trail bordering the golf course. ASLC leader Caren Willoughby welcomed new birders and handed out binoculars and field guides to those without them. She informed all that ASLC bird walks always happen, come rain or shine. We were lucky. Rain stayed away during the whole trip. Our local bird expert and field guide, Dick Demarist, led us along the trail identifying the birds we saw and those we heard. What a great resource of knowledge!

One of the first birds spotted was a Bald Eagle perched on a beached stump out in the bay. But before Dick could set up his spotting scope to give everyone a chance to see it close up, the eagle flew away from us. Meanwhile, a Great Blue Heron flew right toward us and landed in the marsh grass up ahead. Interestingly, it allowed us to approach quite close to it which gave some good photographic opportunities. As we reached the Pacific shoreline, we focused our lenses out to sea to see what we could see. In the far distance, a flock of Cormorants were flying north in their typical irregular flight formation but were too far away to be able to identify the correct species. Not seeing any nearby water birds, we headed back. That's when we saw the eagle back on the same stump out in the bay. Dick set up his spotting scope and gave many of the birders a chance to see not one but two eagles on that stump!

Back at the parking lot, Dick stated how unfortunate it was that our walk took place during low tide. Any other tide would have seen many, many more birds and waterfowl in the bay waters. He mentioned to all who would be interested that we'll meet in Taft near Mo's restaurant to see what other species of birds may be present. Those who stuck it out were rewarded with views of Horned Grebes, Surf Scoters, White-winged Scoters, Buffleheads, Caspian Terns, and a few other species.

great blue heron


Sightings of the Day
Bald Eagle
Great Blue Heron
Spotted Towhee
American Crow
House Finch
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-winged Blackbird
Pacific Loon
Oregon Junco
Purple Finch
Fox Sparrow
Red-breasted Merganser
Varied Thrush
Red-tailed Hawk
Rufous Hummingbird
American Robin
Raven
Caspian Tern
Western Gull
Mallard
Marsh Wren
Savannah Sparrow
Glaucaus-winged Gull
Bufflehead
White-winged Scoter
Surf Scoter
Horned Grebe
Great Egret

January 8, 2011
Yaquina Bay, Newport OR

The morning began with a heavy rain as eighteen birders made their way to the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center parking lot. Some drove up from Yachats, others traveled from as far north as Tigard and as far east as Salem and Albany. Not surprisingly, all donned rain gear in case those dark, moisture-laden clouds decided to dump on them. Like good scouts, they were all well-prepared. Field Guide, Dick Demarest, gathered the group together and began birding the shoreline of the Hatfield Center. Beginners and the more knowledgeable searched the bay with binoculars in hand, and then ID'd their sightings with the use of loaned ASLC field guides. In all, the group was not disappointed by the weather or the number of birds for all to see. Thanks to the waterfowl and birds in the bush, it proved to be a fun-filled morning.

Sightings of the Day
White-winged Scoter
Surf Scoter
Common Golden-eye
Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Hooded Merganser
Buffle Head
Horned Grebe
Northern Pintail
California Gull
Western Gull
Mew Gull
Brant Geese
Greater Scaup
Great Blue Heron
American Wigeon
American Crow
Red-breasted Merganser
Savannah Sparrow
Northern Flicker
European Starling
Red-winged Blackbird
Oregon Junco
Fox Sparrow
Red-shouldered Hawk
American Robin
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
House Finch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
White-crowned Sparrow
Gold-crowned Sparrow
Black-Capped Chickadee
Red-necked Grebe
Harlequin Duck
Common Loon
Eared Grebe

scaup

Photos by Ernie Rose, Jack Doyle, and Jody Picconi

stormy sky double rainbow kingfisher
Website designed by Ernie Rose, Rose Designs, Lincoln City, Oregon. Copyright: Audubon Society of Lincoln City.
Email: info@lincolncityaudubon.org