Monday, October 17, 2016

After the October Storm at Ft Stevens

I ventured down to the mouth of the Columbia River on Sunday (Oct 16, 2016) to see what birds might have been blown ashore due to the storm that passed off shore on Saturday.

Several hard showers hit me as I birded the area, I searched  from Parking Lot A to the access road over on the river beach in-between lots C and D.  The churned up ocean, dark clouds, golden beach grass and the logs on the beach made for a beautiful raw scene.

A fine looking coyote was picking over a seal at the road access to the river beach.  Trying to avoid rain showers, I broke my hike up into several stops.  I birded from Lots C, then A, then B and finally from the access road.  I was caught out in two rain storms.  But I had sandals and shorts on with my pelagic gear on from waist up, so the water puddles, waves and rain did not bother me.

Shorebirds were well hidden in  the foam on the beach. This Sanderling was using the foam to avoid detection.

Sanderlings are one of the easier peeps to capture on film.

Dunlin often hide in the flocks (see above), funny how quickly they separate once they land on the beach.  Dunlins are unwilling to wander as close to the waves as Sanderlings.

Numerous shorebirds were on the beach, I was surprised to see the number of Semipalmated Sandpipers in the group.

Least Sandpiper.

Two molting Western Sandpipers were there. Note how much bigger the adult scapulars are on these peeps when compared to juvenile plumage.

Black-bellied Plover.

A Peregrine Falcon was hunting the flats at Parking Lot C.

The only storm-birds I saw today were Red Phalaropes.  I tried for Red-necked, none seen or heard.  Red Phalaropes make a "quit" sound or a high-pitched "kit" , Red-neckeds make a lower "kit" sound. Listening to the Sanderlings and Red Phalaropes flying around was good practice.

Most birds were at the base of the jetty on the ocean. It was a very high tide. I was able to walk right down the middle of all the birds on the narrow beach without flushing them despite the fact that I had Huck with me.

The gulls were feasting on mussles that were attached to a log that had landed n the beach.

I called the back gull a Thayer's Gull.

Nothing rare but always fun to hunt.  I looked in the woods for birds, the rain and wind seemed to keep things quiet.

Parking Lot A to River Beach, Clatsop, Oregon, US
Oct 16, 2016 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.75 mile(s)
Comments:     over cast, some periods of rain, some periods of strong breeze
36 species (+3 other taxa)

Cackling Goose (Aleutian)  160     flocks of 40 or so arriving from high over the ocean, dropped in elevation and passed over area.
American Wigeon  15
Mallard  60
Green-winged Teal  350     large flocks arriving from the north
Surf Scoter  75
White-winged Scoter  85
Common Loon  1
Double-crested Cormorant  35
Brown Pelican  225
Northern Harrier  2
Bald Eagle  1
Black-bellied Plover  8
Semipalmated Plover  40     on beach at base of jetty
Sanderling  200
Dunlin  70
Least Sandpiper  35
Western Sandpiper  2
Red Phalarope  175
phalarope sp.  25
Heermann's Gull  15
Western Gull  100
California Gull  40
Thayer's Gull  5     scattered among gull flock
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)  75
gull sp.  100
Belted Kingfisher  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
Peregrine Falcon  1
American Crow  2
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  6
Brown Creeper  1
Pacific Wren  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Dark-eyed Junco  6
Song Sparrow  5
Spotted Towhee  2

Thanks for the visit.

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