My hubby and I took the Waldport to Newport area for the North American Migration Count (NAMC) yesterday (5-12-2012). We covered the area from Eckman Lake to Big Creek (Newport) in 9 1/2 hours, with 13 stops (14 if you count lunch); 72 species, at least 4 new ones for me. We saw some new places and had a great time.

We had our route all mapped out, although we did make some variations -- the updated map with some brief highlights is here if you're interested.   Bird lists are provided at the bottom of this report. 


We started at Eckman Lake at about 8:15 and spent 1.5 hrs walking/driving around. Wood duck with 5 babies, a pair of Common Yellowthroats, Red-Necked Phalaropes and several noisy Marsh Wrens were the highlights. On the bay side, we were disappointed that there were no shorebirds, but we did find at least 4 pairs of Canada Geese nesting, a solitary Greater White Fronted Goose and an Osprey.


One of the little turnouts on Hwy 34 again yielded very little activity until we noticed some movement in the trees across the street. Six Western Tanager (5 of them males) brightened up the greenery with flashes of yellow and red. (Note, Eckman Lake list below includes Alsea Bay along highway).


Throughout the day we saw small flocks of Canada Geese heading north (the largest consisted of 45 birds, the rest ranged from 7 to 15). This is typical of this time of year, most likely geese who failed to mate.

We made four stops between Waldport and Newport - temperatures were warm, sun was bright and the popular beaches were crowded.  Our stops included Driftwood Beach, a small beach in the Seal Rock area, a small beach mid-way between Seal Rock and Newport, and Lost Creek Wayside.

Near Seal Rock, we enjoyed Black and Ruddy Turnstone (the Ruddy's were a first for me), two Black Oystercatchers and much more. The low tide had the beach hopping and this out-of-the-way spot had few people. A gentleman coming back from the beach said he'd seen Oystercatchers and Wood Ducks - we figured he meant Harlequin Ducks, but we didn't see them. His information did cause us to persist until we found the Oystercatchers though!


Walking back to the car, movement on the rock caught my eye -- my first ever American Pipit -- all by itself on the rock.


The next little beach yielded another first for me - Northern Rough-winged Swallows nesting in the cliffs! I counted at least a dozen. Low tide had also brought several Whimbrel and Sandpipers to forage in the shallows.

After a break for lunch, drove up to Big Creek Park.  Another crowded spot (have I mentioned that it was a gorgeous, warm sunny day!?!)  We walked a little ways down the Ocean to Bay trail and discovered a Crow tree - a huge evergreen that was packed full of very vocal American Crows.  I've never seen (or heard) anything like it.  50+ crows is my guess.  They kept coming and coming for 10-15 minutes as we watched and listened.  What a cacophony of sound!  Then they were completely still - unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture of it through the woods! 


After stopping at the bayfront for some ice cream cones, we drove out Bay road to the LNG tank - lots of birds on the mudflats but the most amazing thing were the Great Blue Herons - we counted 27 easily, very likely more! There were a few Whimbrels and some Spotted Sandpipers as well. Unfortunately also some people enjoying the mud :o)


An adult Bald Eagle kept sentinal above us, keeping the birds below pretty well scattered, except the Herons who seemed oblivious.


We decided we wanted to hit Hatfield when the tide was in a bit more, so we drove down to South Beach park to walk the trail. We were treated to a wonderful display by an Anna's Hummingbird -- he ventured high into the air in a straight line, dove straight down with a swoosh at the bottom (the famous "J"), hovered momentarily before elevating straight up again. What an amazing sight - - and sound! He was so close we could really hear him as he made the swoosh at the bottom - wow! Then he stopped to rest, panting heavily, close enough for a couple of pictures.


We made it back to HMSC almost too soon - probably would have been better in an hour or two, it was quiet except for the many people clamming on the mudflats. Best here were the two pair of Black Headed Grosbeaks and a Merlin strafing the few shorebirds (it seems late for a Merlin, and I didn't get a photo, but the small raptor looked and behaved like a Merlin to me). Away from the water, Brown Headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and White Crowned Sparrows were the majority, along with the many swallows sw0oping through the air.


The Ocean-to-Bay trail from Agate Beach was our last stop before calling it a day and hitting the Chowder Bowl in Depoe Bay. There we picked up a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers and a Brown Creeper carrying food! I had no idea they could fly so fast -- thought it was a hummingbird at first. Still the woods were pretty quiet, only other birds were many Red-winged blackbirds and a beautiful (but quiet) Wilson's Warbler.

That was our day - wonderful and exhausting! 

Bird List

Eckman Lake, OR

May 12, 2012

Common Name Scientfic Name Count Action
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons 1 ---
Canada Goose Branta canadensis 25 ---
Wood Duck Aix sponsa 8 ---
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 13 ---
Greater Scaup Aythya marila 5 ---
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola 8 ---
Common Loon Gavia immer 1 ---
Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus 17 ---
Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus 10 ---
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 6 ---
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura 1 ---
Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1 ---
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis 1 ---
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 4 ---
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus 3 ---
Western Gull Larus occidentalis 210 ---
Pigeon Guillemot Cepphus columba 4 ---
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata 2 ---
Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto 2 ---
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon 2 ---
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 48 ---
Common Raven Corvus corax 5 ---
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor 6 ---
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina 3 ---
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens 5 ---
Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris 8 ---
American Robin Turdus migratorius 7 ---
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 4 ---
Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata 1 ---
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 2 ---
Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla 3 ---
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 6 ---
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys 3 ---
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana 6 ---
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus 10 ---

Bird List

Seal Rock, OR

May 12, 2012

Common Name Scientfic Name Count Action
Canada Goose Branta canadensis 72 ---
Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata 10 ---
Common Merganser Mergus merganser 4 ---
Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus 6 ---
Black Oystercatcher Haematopus bachmani 2 ---
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 16 ---
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 2 ---
Black Turnstone Arenaria melanocephala 8 ---
Surfbird Calidris virgata 2 ---
Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri 50 ---
Dunlin Calidris alpina 15 ---
Western Gull Larus occidentalis 52 ---
Common Murre Uria aalge 5 ---
Pigeon Guillemot Cepphus columba 4 ---
Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri 2 ---
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 9 ---
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor 3 ---
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis 12 ---
American Robin Turdus migratorius 4 ---
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 2 ---
American Pipit Anthus rubescens 1 ---
Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata 3 ---
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus 2 ---
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 3 ---
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys 3 ---
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus 4 ---
Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater 2 ---

Bird List

Yaquina Bay, OR

May 12, 2012

Common Name Scientfic Name Count Action
Greater Scaup Aythya marila 8 ---
Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata 16 ---
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola 2 ---
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator 1 ---
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis 6 ---
Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus 1 ---
Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus 27 ---
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 28 ---
Great Egret Ardea alba 2 ---
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura 3 ---
Osprey Pandion haliaetus 4 ---
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus 1 ---
Merlin Falco columbarius 1 ---
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius 20 ---
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 9 ---
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus 6 ---
Western Gull Larus occidentalis 170 ---
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 4 ---
Rock Pigeon Columba livia 3 ---
Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna 1 ---
Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus 1 ---
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus 1 ---
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 82 ---
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor 6 ---
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina 6 ---
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 6 ---
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris 6 ---
Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata 2 ---
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus 1 ---
Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis 5 ---
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 1 ---
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys 7 ---
Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla 1 ---
Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus 4 ---
Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater 2 ---
Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus 2 ---
House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus 1 ---
American Goldfinch Spinus tristis 3 ---

Bird List

Newport, OR

May 12, 2012

Common Name Scientfic Name Count Action
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 2 ---
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias 1 ---
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura 2 ---
Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus 1 ---
Hairy Woodpecker Dryobates villosus 2 ---
Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri 1 ---
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 50 ---
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor 6 ---
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 25 ---
Brown Creeper Certhia americana 1 ---
Pacific Wren Troglodytes pacificus 1 ---
American Robin Turdus migratorius 12 ---
Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla 2 ---
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 1 ---
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus 3 ---
Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus 2 ---

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