October 1, 2018

Today, my nephew turned 1 and one Palm Warbler showed up at the OSU campus in Corvallis. Common in the east, the Palm Warbler, at least the “western” variety, has a small population in southern Oregon near the coast. The western variety is also less yellow and more white than the eastern “yellow” variety. Assuming this little guy was heading south and was pit stopping at OSU for a snack.

Palm Warblers are unique in that they tend to hang near the ground (whereas most other warblers are found higher up in trees). Palm Warblers also bob (wag) their tail a lot.

I met my friend Lindsey to see the Palm Warbler (who graciously stuck around until I was finished work) and to celebrate with beer and pizza.

 

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New Birds for 2018: 1
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 244

 

September 29, 2018

Seeing more than 300 bird species in Oregon in a calendar year is really only feasible if the birder is willing to go on a pelagic birding tour.

Pelagic = related to the open sea.

Because my target was 300 bird species, earlier this year I signed up for an 8-hour pelagic tour that was part of the Oregon Birding Association’s AGM in Garibaldi, Oregon.

I have a strong history of motion sickness, but Dramamine usually does the trick. Yes, it makes me drowsy, affects my breathing and heart rate, and generally gives me a case of the pending malaise, but I can usually power through it if I’m occupied.

Well occupied I was! For the first three hours of the tour, we birded and birded, and as we got further out to sea, the waves got bigger and bigger. I felt like I was on a roller coaster, but it was such fun. So many birds, and countable looks at Black-footed Albatross, Northern Fulmar, Pink-footed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Red Phalarope, Pomarine Jaeger, Rhinoceros Auklet, and Mew Gull. I remember thinking at one point that I would most certainly do many other pelagic tours because, great heavens, wasn’t this fun?!

UNTIL IT WAS NOT FUN ANYMORE. Until the waves shot a strong middle finger to the Dramamine, and the feeling of death came on strong. From that point, I either forced myself to stay outside staring with great intent at the horizon (and holding on for dear life as the boat went up and down several feet) or dashing into the cabin and rapidly putting my head down on the table and holding onto a pole so I wouldn’t get thrown about. This went on for hours.

One hour before the tour ended, as we were heading back to shore, the surf became calm, and my sickness passed. I felt alive again and it felt incredible to surface onto the deck, use words out loud, and look at other things but the horizon.

Looking back, I may sign up for another pelagic tour, but not for 8 hours. Maybe 5. Maybe.

New Birds for 2018: 8
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 243

 

September 23, 2018 (afternoon)

Fern Ridge Wildlife Management Area, Lane County, Oregon

This was a follow-up visit from the day before, an attempt to find the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, with great success.

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Sharp-tailed Sandpiper; Fern Ridge Wildlife Management Area; Lane County, Oregon; September 23, 2018.

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Pectoral Sandpipers; Fern Ridge Wildlife Management Area; Lane County, Oregon; September 23, 2018.

New Birds for 2018: 1
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 234

September 23, 2018

Oregon Shorebird Festival

As part of the Oregon Shorebird Festival, Clint and I signed up for a group fieldtrip to a few locations. New birds noted below per location.

Bandon South Jetty Park and Coquille River, South Jetty, Coos County, Bandon, Oregon

Black Turnstone
Wandering Tattler
Least Sandpiper

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Black Oystercatcher and Black Turnstones; Bandon South Jetty Park and Coquille River; September 23, 2018.

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Wandering Tattler; Bandon South Jetty Park and Coquille River; September 23, 2018.

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Bandon South Jetty Park and Coquille River; September 23, 2018.

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Bandon South Jetty Park and Coquille River; September 23, 2018.

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A Herring Gull (I think) overlooks a sea of Least Sandpipers; Bandon South Jetty Park and Coquille River; September 23, 2018.

 

Bandon March National Wildlife Refuge, Coos County, Oregon

Marbled Godwit

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Marbled Godwit; Bandon March National Wildlife Refuge, Coos County, Oregon; September 23, 2018.

Bandon State Park, China Beach, Coos County, Oregon

Snowy Plover (no photos)

New Birds for 2018: 5
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 233

 

September 22, 2018

Fern Ridge Wildlife Management Area, Lane County, Oregon

A quick stop here on the way to the Oregon Shorebird Festival yielded two new species:

Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper 

New Birds for 2018: 2
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 228

 

September 16, 2018

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, Corvallis, Oregon

Today I had a blind birding date with my new friend Lindsay! We met up at Finley to try to find the Stilt Sandpiper. We found the stilt (species #224) and I also got two more new species: Least Sandpiper, Red-Shouldered Hawk.

Full ebird list here: https://ebird.org/pnw/view/checklist/S48715376

No photographs worth posting 😦 It was so cloudy and dark out.

New Birds for 2018: 3
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 226

 

 

September 15, 2018

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, Salem, Oregon

Under the influence of the real Sudafed (me, not Clint), we headed to bird Ankeny’s Pintail Marsh. I didn’t last too long because of my cold, but it was nice to get out.

After we put away the scope and were ready to head out, a bright lime-green bird flew in. We busted out the scope anew, and found a poor budgie perched on a log in the marsh. I’m not sure how long this little guys will last out there.

We saw lots of Long-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, and Pied-billed Grebes. Full list here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48529561

Photos are not great. My camera performs very poorly in low light.

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Female Pintail; September 15, 2018; Pintail Marsh; Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Budgie (parakeet) and Brewer’s Blackbird; September 15, 2018; Pintail Marsh; Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

No new species.

 

 

September 3, 2018

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters
(where rarities show up but only a day or two after I leave)

Before we headed back to Salem, we stopped at Headquarters to bird the pond, feeders, and general premises.

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Great Horned Owl; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Mountain Cottontail (I think?); Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Turkey Vultures; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Turkey Vultures; killin’ them parasites or just enjoying the sun?; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Great Horned Owl; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Townsend’s Solitaire; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Common Nighthawk; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Rufous Hummingbird; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Lewis’s Woodpecker; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Last Quarter; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge –  Headquarters; Harney County, Oregon; September 3, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

 

No new species.