Sunday, January 10, 2016

Netarts Spit at Cape Lookout State Park

I returned today (1/10/15) for what is turning out to be an annual birding trip to Cape Lookout State Park , the beach area.  Last year's report is here.

Today was warm with lots of sunshine, a strong easterly wind soon died down.

I was a bit concerned about a rising tide.  I did not want to get nailed by a wave coming up a narrow beach with all these logs strewn about.  I made it to the north end with no trouble; by the time I was done checking out the bay the tide had turned and was ebbing for my walk back down south.

Lots of Surf Scoters were doing what Surf Scoters do.

As the tide was rising on my northerly walk all I saw on the beach were Sanderlings and Dunlins.

Their bill lengths do vary a bit.

Sanderling and Dunlins taking a nap.

I wanted to explore the interior in hopes of some passerines and that one rare bird that would make the day. This large bog was full of Mallard, Northern Pintail and Northern Shoveler.

Some Mallard even from this far away saw me and flushed off the bog, so I did not stay around too long.  When I whistled like a Pygmy-Owl even more flushed, what the heck was that about.

I finally walked the 5 miles to the tip.  A small flock of gulls were on the bay side.   I figured this was a first-year Thayer's.  Nicely checkered pattern.

Mew Gull.

Same bird. When it flew in, the underwing was more like a Thayer's than a Herring Gull. It seems too bulky and short-winged for a Thayer's.  I know some Herring can have less black on the underwing.  Apical spots seem in between. I decided on Herring due to structure of body and bill.

On the walk back south  the tide was just turning toward ebb.  A Black-bellied Plover was on the beach.

It was hanging out with a Semipalmated Plover.

With high tide came lots of Least Sandpipers hiding in the beach debris..  I looked at every peep, all looked Least to me.

At a few points along the beach you can go to a dune and look over a narrow spot into the bay.  Northern Pintail were hanging out on the marsh grass.

One of the few passerines spotted..

Song Sparrows were just about the only passerines willing to show themselves.

Netarts Spit (Cape Lookout St Pk), Tillamook, Oregon, US
Jan 10, 2016 8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
10.5 mile(s)
Comments:     sunny, gusty wind form east in morning then light breezes
35 species (+1 other taxa)

American Wigeon  7
Mallard  150
Northern Shoveler  10
Northern Pintail  120
Surf Scoter  45
Bufflehead  6
Western Grebe  1
Northern Harrier  1
Cooper's Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  3
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Black-bellied Plover  1
Semipalmated Plover  1
Sanderling  125
Dunlin  75
Least Sandpiper  200     many on beach, have photos
Mew Gull  4
Western Gull  12
California Gull  2
Herring Gull  1 
Thayer's Gull  1
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)  14
Common Raven  3
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Marsh Wren  3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Wrentit  1
Hermit Thrush  2
American Robin  4
Varied Thrush  2
European Starling  10
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3
Fox Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco  4
White-crowned Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  12
Spotted Towhee  1

Huck enjoyed the company of a gal pal named Tess.  She is a youngster that never tired, Huck and I enjoyed having her along.

No comments:

Post a Comment