Shorebird Confusion at the Coast

We no longer live 1 hour from the coast. It’s more like 2 hours now, so we have yet to make the trip since we moved north. In late January, we decided to head to Cannon Beach, the birthplace of our PNW love.

We started (birding of course) at Ecola State Park, which was a new stop for both of us. It was mostly be accident. When we entered the town of Cannon Beach, we turned right at some point, then drove down a very long road through an enchanting forest to Ecola State Park.

This park is breathtaking, and I’m happy that it’s the closest part of the coast to our house.

I need to visit the coast more often because my shorebird ID needs some work. Almost every time I see shorebirds, it’s like I’m starting over in bird ID. I guess that keeps things interesting, and I’m glad I have a decent camera that allows me to bring home bird ID homework.

Surfbirds that I originally thought were Black Turnstones.
But there were a few Black Turnstones! They just were not ALL BLTUs. Compare this individual’s bill colour to the Surfbird’s in the previous photograph. Eh? The Surfbird’s bill has orange at the base. This guy? All black.
Medley of both Black Turnstones and Surfbirds.
I believe these are mostly Surfbirds taking off because they lack the white stripe on their backs (that Black Turnstones have).
Some Surf Scoters getting testy with each other.
Black Oystercatchers looking ridiculous as always
I do love the Oregon Coast.
Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach.
Harlequin Ducks, always a pleasure.

April 15, 2018

We took a quick trip to the Oregon Coast on April 15, 2018, when Abby was in town last month. We stopped by Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area¬† to look for a Brown Booby, which had been seen there that week. No booby. I did, however, see “a few” Common Murres and one Black Oystercatcher, Oregon 2018 Birds #141 and #142.


Common Murres through my scope; Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area; Oregon Coast; April 15, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

yaquina head

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area; Oregon Coast; April 15, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt (thru my scope).

Later on during the week of April 15, I got two additional 2018 Oregon birds: The Vaux’s Swifts arrived and are now daily visitors in the skies over our house (I adore listening to them). I also got my FOY Orange-Crowned Warbler in Minto-Brown.

And, on April 22, 2018, I finally got some Pine Siskins in the Bronson’s Creek area in Cedar Mill, Oregon.

New Birds for 2018: 5
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 145