Date: 3/3/17 8:58 am From: Mike Unger <unger730...> Subject: [obol] SAS NESKOWIN FIELD TRIP
*SAS NESKOWIN FIELD TRIP - TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2017*
*Neskowin Area, Tillamook, Oregon, US Feb 28, 2017 9:49 AM - 12:36 PM Protocol: Traveling 1.2 mile(s)*
* Comments:* A sign-up group of Birders traveled from Salem Park and Ride to meet an additional SAS member at the Parking lot in Neskowin,and join the knowledgeable, Ken Chamberlain. Ken is the Chair of the Oregon Birding Association Field Trip Committee. He offered to lead us in getting to know an area of coastal birding and surrounding area. He lead us through this unique town and habitat, including the Park area which is managed by the State Parks, the town Golf Association, and the Fish and Wildlife wetland area where there is a walk via a Tsunami Evacuation route. We visited the beach twice where Hawk Creek bifurcates and goes to the ocean and proceeds as a creek toward the Golf Course. Currently because of the regular and steady Oregon rain days the golf course is nicely flooded with field ponds that appears as a lake.
* Highlights: * Coming in with our travels included a 15" stop at Baskett Slough Overlook. Species sightings included adult and sub adult Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Mallard, and Red-winged Blackbird vocalizing on designated perches. We had awe over the 5 Eagles, and discussed a few of the notable species anticipated in seasons. Birders had a travelogue to follow for notable sights, creeks and drainage areas to the *Yamhill* and *Slick Rock*, and *Rogue*, the* Drift* and *Salmon River*, and an unusual Census Designated Spot(the Rose Lodge). We stopped for a short break at the *Otis Cafe* and indulged in bakery purchases. They were primed to expect us. We saw draft horses in the field behind. We stopped at the *Salmon Restoration*, now with a new sign of *"WETLAND"*, which is a consortium for restoration of the prior *Pixieland* Theme Park. *Kathy Patterson* described her experiences as a Camp Counselor, mentoring kids to canoe in and enjoy this unusual playland. Plan on visiting to bird here when it is less wet.Green Heron, Black Phoebe and more. Dawn V. from OBA and Lincoln City area focused on this area to bring birding attention to it. We then proceeded to the *Neskowin* area just 7 more miles turning into the designated Park area. Neskowin was originally named *Slab Creek.* Now a Market with nice food including breakfast bar sit down, across, a Restaurant with signature pizza and other cuisine, a short walk away. Parking is easy and restroom is right there as one begins the birding loop parallel to the Golf Course across the bridge to the beach.
* Highlight Discussions Included: Note refer to the species list below for details - *
* Even though the prior scout day we had 500 gulls at the beach, on our first walk today, we had one. See below for discussion of this *Western X Glaucous-winged Gull.*
* We viewed a *Harbor Seal* that was close to creek flow where it meets the ocean tidal washes. Gulls wash salt off feathers here as they congregate and seek invertebrates. The Harbor Seal takes advantage.
** Proposal Rock* was scanned for *Black Turnstone* at the wave water area, but none apparent. Tide is out. Bald Eagles are common on the rock which is not an Island but a continuation of the land.
* Ken pointed out *Refusal Rock *where he counts* Black Oystercatchers* .
* There is a research site around toward Cascade Head which is an ancient Spruce Forest.
* Ken gave a discussion of *Western Bluebird* enhancement and goal of stabilizing a population that has been here by working with resources. *See below, *the discussion.
* We found a *floating egg case *in a parallel ditch as we returned from the Fish and Wildlife route. This will be identified on March 3rd, with help from Jonathan Pope, and I will let you know what he finds from the pic. There are *NO Bullfrogs* here.
* Because of the widely grown* escallonia*, the *wax Mrytle*, and the *crocosmia* that propagates like a roadside weed, Ken reports hummingbirds can be abound here in migration months. Today no hummingbird. Plan a visit and find the birds and report your counts..
* Finally,* and I may have missed something, if you travel here, continue the walk out of the Evacuation area and continue, until you see a sign that says *Beach Access* - not through private property - know the TIDE, and walk the beach *back to* Proposal Rock.
Our time here was an enriching day. With no gulls, we proceeded with Ken's guidance to spend our last 50 " at South Beach Rd 1/4 mile to the Neskowin Treatment plant and gated community to see an area of bridge where *American Dipper* could be found nesting. No sightings. Then the Field Trip was topped off with a lesson in this creek and wetland area of skunk cabbage blooms and understory, perfect for this pebbled creek and out of sight drainage, that is perfect for Salmon built redds or nesting sites. Ken saw about 6 baby Salmon as he moved to the edge to demonstrate flow and pebble size for these redds. We sought a few sparrows and then for us, the trip ended.
*The species list follows. Thanks to the drivers, Rick and Patsy and thanks to all for contributions to gas. *
*For future SAS Field Trips and Short Bird Walks, see the Kestrel or the Facebook page*.
34 species (+2 other taxa) *Canada Goose* (moffitti/maxima) (Branta canadensis moffitti/maxima) 6 *American Wigeon* (Anas americana) 10 They vocalized one of their whistle rubber duck calls. *Mallard* (Anas platyrhynchos) 40 *Northern Shoveler* (Anas clypeata) 40 *Northern Pintail* (Anas acuta) 35 *Green-winged Teal* (Anas crecca) 22 Falsetto mallard-like calls cold be heard regularly on our walk. *Bufflehead* (Bucephala albeola) 3 *Hooded Merganser* (Lophodytes cucullatus) 3 2 females, 1 male. Others could be in diving mode and not seen. *Great Blue Heron* (Ardea herodias) 6 Sandy kept count of the number of herons. *Bald Eagle* (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 1 Adult. *Red-shouldered Hawk* (Buteo lineatus) 1 We are assuming the same bird that was seen twice. Once very well by ken as it approached would look like the stems of Red Alers where we continued to scan. Then seen later again flying in circles viewed by outdoor lunch group. Caution in id of this species from calls due to local vocal imitation by Steller's Jay being Common. *Virginia Rai*l (Rallus limicola) 1 Vocal along Hawk Creek walk. *Western x Glaucous-winged Gull* (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens) 1 This a cooperative gull perched at the deck walk at the restaurant and Hawk Creek. Ken Chamberlain spent some quality time with us about the features of the bird considering the factors of: the bill and it having an off-color for a true Western Gull - more light than "school bus yellow"; the shape and size of the bill being a bit smaller in height, noting also a difference in the goneal angle than a true Western Gull; the color of the primes, in repose, over the tail, being not quite drenched in a true black; and finally the length of the primes in comparison to the tail. *gull sp.* (Larinae sp.) 5 *Eurasian Collared-Dove* (Streptopelia decaocto) 2 *Belted Kingfisher* (Megaceryle alcyon) 1 There are maybe two at the species but hard to say with this vocalization continuing at intermittent times over the golf course field pond. *Northern Flicker* (Colaptes auratus) 4 *Black Phoebe* (Sayornis nigricans) 1 A good bird to see as well as hear. It perched on a lone short tree shrub for all to see at the Golf course.One could hear it call as we moved forward along parallel to the trail as it seemed to move around. *Steller's Jay *(Cyanocitta stelleri) 15 *American Crow* (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 12 *Common Raven* (Corvus corax) 3 birds were seen at the beach. Towards the direction of Refusal rock, but within the sand area and stumps and also flying from the sand area up with the breeze. *Violet-green Swallow* (Tachycineta thalassina) 5 *Chestnut-backed Chickadee* (Poecile rufescens) 9 *Marsh Wren* (Cistothorus palustris) 3 1 of 3 seen well, up and again, in the Fish and Wildlife wetland and Tsunami Evacuation route. *Golden-crowned Kinglet* (Regulus satrapa) 4 *Ruby-crowned Kinglet* (Regulus calendula) 1 Seen nicely at shrub level with nearby Fox Sparrow, Hermit Thrush and female *Western Bluebird* (Sialia mexicana) 6 First seen on way to "bluebird corner". Easily seeing 2 then 4 around a nest box across field pond. Going to nest box then to limbs flycatching. At least two striking males. Ken Chamberlain gave a wonderful description of *1.* The legacy of the birds here as supported by a former promoter of nesting boxes;* 2.* His liaison with the supportive golf association and *3. *the acquisition of nothing but the best - American Bluebird Association boxes, to install in prime areas where the birds are visibly loyal. These mounts have baffling to protect from invaders who might get birds and chicks. *Hermit Thrush* (Catharus guttatus) 1 *American Robin* (Turdus migratorius) 2 *Fox Sparrow (Sooty)* (Passerella iliaca [unalaschcensis Group]) 1 *Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)* (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group]) 2 Probably more around with sparrows. *White-crowned Sparrow* (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 3 *Song Sparrow* (Melospiza melodia) 7 *Red-winged Blackbird* (Agelaius phoeniceus) 11 one female seen well in permissible walk toward edge of course as we also looked at Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet that did its familiar di-jit call. *Brewer's Blackbird* (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 7 *House Finch* (Haemorhous mexicanus) 2