Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Oregon update

We spent just a couple of nights in Oregon, heading south down the Pacific coast. First stop off was at Cannon's Beach - a beautiful area of the world where, just offshore, lies Haystack Rock. Up to seven Harlequins lazed around in the swell at the bottom of the rock while amongst the hundreds of Pigeon Guillemots and Guillemots (Common Murres here) were a couple of Tufted Puffins; apparently it has been a poor year for them here according to the locals I talked to, but they were still pretty easy to see though a bit distant.
Harlequins chilling out at Haystack Rock, Oregon August 2012

Loads of gulls on the Oregon beaches too - a big change from the Seattle area with the dominant large gull now being Western Gull (though the mantle colour in Oregon is paler than down here in California...). Surprisingly few Glaucous-winged Gulls but also Mew, Ring-billed, California and Heermann's Gulls all noted in varying numbers.
adult Western Gull Brookings, Oregon August 2012

juvenile California Gull Brookings, Oregon August 2012. A nice cinnamon breasted morph of this species - probably the largest of the small gulls, or the smallest of the large gulls?
The odd Black Oystercatcher was present on the rocky coasts, but I saw surprisingly few 'peeps' - just a few Western and Least Sands. Passerine wise, limited to White-crowned and Song Sparrows. But, to be honest, having birded Washington relatively extensively and with the draw of California to the south, my efforts didn't do Oregon any justice at all. The scenery was pretty special though so I'll leave you with a few Oregon coastal scapes for now.

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