This Common Scoter was recently found in Siletz Bay, just south of Lincoln City. This is only the second record of this species in North America, so he was definitely worth chasing.
The Common Scoter seems pretty comfortable in Siletz Bay, feeding and resting near the pull-out just south of the Schooner Creek bridge, so he was an easy tick. I just showed up and there he was. It can seem a little anticlimactic when a staked-out bird is too easy to find. But the advantage of such a situation is that you have the time to explore the surrounding area. On this day I birded from the D River in Lincoln City to Boiler Bay. This whole area is covered on pages 155 – 157 of Birding Oregon. There are a lot of birds packed into just over two pages. Or perhaps my writing is just very concise.
This Bonaparte’s Gull was hanging out at the D River.
male Brewer’s Blackbird, D River
female Brewer’s Blackbird, D River. I find female Brewer’s to be much more photogenic than males. Perhaps my camera just doesn’t do well with extreme blacks and whites.
Surf Scoters in the surf
The sand spit at the mouth of Siletz Bay is a favorite haul out spot for Harbor Seals.
happy Harbor Seal
A little farther up the bay, I found two Brant. I don’t get to see then often enough.
Recent storms have brought a lot of Red Phalaropes to the coast and points inland. These birds were hanging out at the Salishan golf course.
It’s nice that a golf course is actually being good for something.
I saw some nice birds at Boiler Bay, but most were too far out for photos. This Thayer’s Gull was perched on this little knob of rock for several hours.
One can often get close looks at Black Oystercatchers at Boiler Bay. This bird was particularly vocal.
Black Oystercatcher, sleeping with one eye open
The Siletz Bay area is typically not a big birding destination, with the exception of Boiler Bay. But this stretch of the coast can be very birdy, so it was nice that the Common Scoter has inspired so many birders to explore the area. Cheers.
Yaquina Bay, at the town of Newport, is one of the more productive sites on the Oregon coast. On this visit, high winds reduced the number of birds that were out and about, but there was still a lot to see.
Common Loon with the catch of the day
Horned Grebe (above) and Western Grebe
The flats behind the Hatfield Marine Science Center. There were lots of Mew Gulls, some Brant, and Northern Pintails. Note the Peregrine Falcon at the base of the fallen tree.
Large numbers of California Sea Lions loaf on the jetties and docks on the bay.
Marsha was working a table at the Seattle Greenfest last weekend, so I braved the traffic and found my way to Discovery Park. I walked out to the lighthouse and just sat on the shore of Puget Sound for a while. As a birder, I need to spend a lot more time sitting. Most of us are constantly moving, looking for the next good bird. But if you just sit in one place, good birds will often come to you. Out on the water were a big flock of Western Grebes, Horned Grebes, Ruddy Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, and a pair of Rhinoceros Auklets. These birds were out of camera range, but several species came in for closer scrutiny.
A flock of Black Brant were working the shoreline.
This Mountain Bluebird seemed a little out of place on the beach.
This crow found and ate a small crab. A little over a century ago, a crow on the coast of Puget Sound would have been assumed to be a Northwestern Crow. But when the forests were cleared, American Crows were able to colonize this area. So now, the crows around Seattle are presumed to be American or hybrids.
Mew Gull. Note the thin bill and large white mirrors on P1 and P2.