Date: 10/26/17 4:19 pm
From: Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>
Subject: [obol] Lane coast birds
I spent most of today birding around Florence. I only covered three areas, south jetty road, Baker Beach road and the port of Florence and Old Town area.

S Jetty Rd. Most unusual bird was an apparent slaty form FOX Sparrow. I’m not sure I have seen one on the coast before. Photos to eBird. If you’d like to make sure you have it on your Lane County list, it is hanging out in the open scrub pines just west of the big stony mound at the north end of the gravel pans, adjacent to the final potholed parking area. I was actually up on the mound pishing down into the pines, which is probably the easiest way to see it. Also along s jetty road was a crisp adult N SHRIKE (the one I had a couple of weeks back was a brown imm), an imm RED-shouldered Hawk and quite a heavy movement of yellow-rumps. They were in the sky constantly as well as in the shrubbery. The only shorbs at the cove were two Dunlin.

Baker Beach. The swamp had the usual BLACK Phoebe but not many small birds, perhaps because a MERLIN was patrolling the snags. The patch of deciduous trees at the horse parking at the end of the road was stuffed with MYRTLE warbs and one Audubon’s. I did not go out to the Gorsewest Passage. May do that this weekend. One slightly odd sight was a mixed flock of Canada and Cackling geese coming in very high from the northwest, conceivably passage migrants. The cacklers and Canadas were randomly mixed; I don’t see that a lot. I saw what looked like the same flock later feeding behind the sewage plant west of Old Town.

The Port. There was a single WESTERN Sandpiper with about forty Least and a Spotted on the log booms with the tide half in. The walking trail around the east end of the “point” gave good views of the bay including the first flock of Bufflehead I have seen this fall. Only about 20. In a week there will be hundreds in there. Also in that area on the north side were a Lincoln’s Sparrow, Savannah, nine meadowlarks and an apparent migrant group of five flickers in one tree, one of which had yellow wings. I guess they could have just found something really yummy in that tree, but five seems excessive. A peregrine was loosening the duck flocks a bit. According to Port staff it is ok to bird that trail. It is only usable at lower tides. Access is from the east end of the RV parking on the south side or from the fenced area with the odd wooden boxy things in it on the north side.

Those of you who bird that are, do you know what those wooden boxes are? I speculate that they are backdrops for archery, a place to park horses or perhaps a place where feral cats can be discreetly slaughtered.

I had the impression that California Gull numbers were about half of what they have been most of October.

I’m morally certain that I heard a Palm Warbler chip a couple of times in the bushes around the 7-11 at the junction but I could never find it.

Alan Contreras

“Nostalgic for Nixon"

Eugene, Oregon

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