Date: 6/25/19 1:42 am
From: David Bailey <davidcbaileyoregon...>
Subject: [obol] Semipalmated Sandpiper, but no Hudsonian Godwit at high tide SJCR &TrestleBay- Fort Stevens SP
24 June 2018
Fort Stephens State Park, Clatsop County

My younger daughter Rayna and I ventured off to the South Jetty of the
Columbia River this evening before and during high tide, after learning
earlier in the day of Owen's observation of Hudsonian Godwit (via Mike P.;
thanks to you both!) on the flats of Trestle Bay during the earlier low

We started out at the Salacornia flats and tidal channels off of Parking
Lot C. at the South Jetty of the Columbia River. There were zero
shorebirds, but when we left area, the water was just beginning to flow
from under the jetty into the channel that fills the west pond and back
channels. Otherwise, in abundance were lots of pretty estuary flowers and
plants and Savanna Sparrow songs to brighten our day. Of particular
interest to Rayna were the many small crabs concentrated in the remaining
few pools dotted throughout the network of the tidal channels that fracture
the lowland pocket.

At Parking lot D we headed out the boardwalk to the Trestle Bay beach past
the optimistically named wildlife viewing bunker. The mudflats were
submerged, but knowing that shorebirds often stage at high tide east
towards the end of the spit, we headed that direction. We weren't
disappointed, as peeps and five Whimbrel were roosting at the peninsula
terminus. Among the 60 WESTERN SANDPIPER adults was a single adult
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER that afforded great looks in the low light. The
entire flock was quite approachable, even come back once flushed after a
dog and walker passed between us and the flock.

As we watched the shorebirds, a flock of 10 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS flapped
and soared in from the east, circled around the bay, and then set down on
the water near the island south of the bunker. This is the first I have
ever seen them this far down the Columbia. They proceeded to form a
scrimmage line and feed in shallows of the west Trestle Bay.

When we left we paused to listen to the evening chorus in the pine and
spruce woodlands where the boardwalk passes through. A YELLOW-RUMPED
WARBLER was singing unseen, but loudly there that reminded me of the Myrtle
Warbler song, but without a visual, I will not be certain. Phil P. I
believe was asking recently about Yellow-rumped Warbler breeding status
along the pine forests of the coastal lowlands of Oregon, and so here is
another data point.

We ended the day with a brief stop at the Hammond Boat Basin so that I
could check on the rock walls surrounding it for high-tide roosting
shorebirds. I found no shorebirds roosting there, perhaps because of the
immature Bald Eagle perched atop the rocks of the upriver jaw of the rock

Birding with an 8 and half year-old requires a flexibility of expectations
regarding my personal birding interests and her Rayna interests. Today was
no exception, but we both came away quite satisfied. She spotted the
sandpiper tracks I later photographed for her and while doing so noticed
that I could actually see in the substrate the imprint of the
semipalmations (webbing between the toe-bases) of the Western Sandpipers
that had passed across the sandy mud there.


David C. Bailey
Seaside, Oregon


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