Fink Family Farm Bird List

Fink Family Farm Bird List

The only list I faithfully keep is a list of all the birds seen on our farm since we moved here in 1977. I thought it would be fun to ad...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Baskett Slough Birds at the end of May

Birding friends and I had been reading about the many good birds at Baskett Slough NWR lately, so a car full (six) of us went today. Unfortunately, the Black Tern, Black-necked Stilts, and Wilson's Phalarope were out of camera range for me from up at the highway lookout. But I did get a few other birds along Coville Road to cooperate.

I thought this fallen tree with its jumbled branches at The Narrows on Coville Road made a scenic picture. A Great Egret was lurking behind it.

An odd-colored Yellow-headed Blackbird was picking at insects (or something) on and near the gravel road at The Narrows. I think this is a female, although it is much more brightly colored than I thought they were. Comments?

Several bitterns were booming and peeking up out of the reeds.

Farther east on Coville Road, a Savannah Sparrow sang for us atop his signpost.

Just before leaving the refuge, eagle-eyed LaVon caught sight of this Horned Lark, singing in a dried-up marshy area not far from the road. It took forever for me to find the bird, but if you look at the back shot, you can see how it might disappear into a mud background.

I'd never noticed the soft brown back of a Horned Lark before: I'm always focusing on the bright yellow and black front. Maybe I don't see the birds unless I glimpse that bright yellow. I think a reddish brown back is characteristic of our Pacific Northwest subspecies, the Streaked Horn Lark.

It was a good day with good birds and good friends.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Birding Pirate Cove and Yaquina Bay

Dawn was contacted by a Bend birder, Courtenay, who was spending a few days on the coast and wanted to see coast birds. Dawn invited me to tag along. It was fun in spite of the misty rain. My photos are not good because of the weather (that's my excuse) but here they are anyway.

Naturally, the first photos I took were of Black Oystercatchers.

Those dots on the rock at Pirate Cove are Common Murres and Cormorants. There were rafts of Murres on the water, too.

Look at those blue throats on displaying Brandt's Cormorants. The Murres don't seem impressed.

Brandt's are not too spectacular when they're not showing off those blue throats. Pelagic Cormorants are pretty in flight with their white flanks but I didn't get any pictures.

Whether the cormorants flying around carrying grass in their bills were actually lining nests or just showing off for the ladies, we could not tell.

At Yaquina Bay we saw and heard lots of Savannah Sparrows. This one posed on a post.

An Osprey was by its nest under the bridge.

At low tide on the mudflats, we saw Whimbrels and Short-billed Dowitchers... and a few lovely Dunlin with their breeding plumaged black bellies. Alas, I did not get photos of them.

By now we were wet and so was this Kingbird on a wire. Western or Tropical? Can anyone tell? It looks Westernish to me with a smallish bill but they are apparently rarely seen on the coast.

We then drove around the bay up the Yaquina River and saw lots of birds I did not photograph, including two Common Loons making their haunting calls. I love the sound of a loon. It transports me to a lonesome lake deep in the wilderness.

A Whimbrel was sitting, uncharacteristically, on a post in the middle of the river. At least, I've never seen one on a post before, surrounded by water instead of mud.

Dawn did better than I at photos. She got one of a Horned Grebe along Yaquina Bay and a lovely one of an Anna's hummingbird near the Oregon Aquarium. Her blog, with photos, is here:

It's been a long time since I've birded the coast for anything other than Black Oystercatcher surveys or Beached (dead) Bird Surveys. It was fun made more fun with friends.