2015 Coastal Excursions

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.

A Common Ground-Dove in Yachts

A Common Ground-Dove in Yachats

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.

GroundDove2

In its more common position on the ground

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.

A Snowy Plover!

A Snowy Plover!

One of many Sanderlings on the foggy, rainy beach.

One of many Sanderlings on the foggy, rainy beach.

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.

Elegant (smaller, left) and Common Terns

Elegant (smaller, left) and Caspian Terns

Caspian and Common (right) Terns

Caspian and Common (smaller) Terns

Many more common migrants were also out and about in the late summer and early fall.

Common Snipe

Wilson’s Snipe

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Black Turnstone

Black Turnstone

Hooded Merganser (juvenile, I think)

Hooded Merganser (juvenile, I think)

Teal

Some sort of hatch-year teal. Looks like a Cinnamon to me.

Poor pic of a really cool bird: Red-throated Loon

Poor pic of a really cool bird: Red-throated Loon

Many migrant Brown Pelicans roosting on a large rock formation

Many migrant Brown Pelicans roosting on a large rock formation

You know it's fall when Golden-crowned Sparrows return to Western Oregon.

You know it’s fall when Golden-crowned Sparrows return to Western Oregon.

My 2015 inland excursions will be posted in another month or so.

 

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2 thoughts on “2015 Coastal Excursions

  1. Hi! Thanks so much for this blog and the Eugene Backyard Birder. I’m a very amateur beginner, and it’s helpful to have IDs on so many birds so close to home.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Amanda, and apologies for getting back to you a couple of weeks late. As you’ve likely noticed, I’ve been very busy. I hope to get back to blogging in the next month or two.

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