I made it out to the coast a handful of times this year. Not as many as I would’ve liked, as real life always imposes limitations. But you do what you can, when you can, and you’ll likely be rewarded with a few interesting things.
The Common Ground-Dove above was found in the seaside town of Yachats (pronounced: YAH-hots) back in October. This is a rare vagrant in Oregon, and I believe that there were something like five accepted sightings in the state before this individual. Common Ground-Doves are residents on the southern U.S. and Mexico. Common there, not so common up here.
Back in September, I managed to have a good day at the Suislaw (sigh-YOU-slaw) River estuary, just south of Florence. This location is a protected breeding ground for Snow Plover and, despite this, I’ve struck out on them several times in the past. I had one or two at this location last September, but the lighting was bad and my photos sucked. My persistence finally paid off in late August. I had eight Snowys (mostly juvies) on the beach and a good 70 or so Sanderlings.
The Siuslaw Jetty was also good for migrant terns on this day. I had a nice mixed flock of Caspians (relatively common migrants), Commons (ironically not common), and Elegants (unusual). Elegant Terns are more typically observed on the California coast in the late summer and fall, as they (apparently) like the warmer water. However, this is an El Niño year, and there have been many reports of Elegants on the Oregon coast. There were several reports in the relatively warm summer of 2014 as well.
Many more common migrants were also out and about in the late summer and early fall.
My 2015 inland excursions will be posted in another month or so.