This afternoon at the Eckman Lake outfall into Alsea Bay there was a group of shorebirds foraging on the tideflats. I counted 19 greater yellowlegs and was about to count the dowitchers present. I look down for a second and when I looked up all of the birds had jumped into the water and were swimming in a tight flock with some of the birds attempting to dive underwater. I raised my camera and fired off a few quick frames and was pretty certain I had seen a flash in the view finder like an avian predator but I could not find it when putting the camera down.
I’m attaching three photos. The first one actually captured the peregrine in the upper left as some of the dowitchers and yellowlegs on the left side of the flock attempt to dive. The second shot shows the flock leaping into the air just briefly before settling back in the water, which they did a number of times. Note on the far left side of the flock you can see one yellowleg swimming with only its head above water. The third shot shows many of the dowitchers huddled close to me and some over hanging willows. They were not anxious to get back out on the tideflats to feed. Can’t blame them.