Date: 11/28/19 1:37 pm
From: Philip Kline <pgeorgekline...>
Subject: [obol] Clatsop County Birding
I spent a very enjoyable day birding with Andy Frank and Peyton Cook in
Clatsop County yesterday. Andy and I were working on our Clatsop County
lists so had lots of targets to keep us busy. I'm increasingly enjoying
county listing because it inevitably leads to chasing particular species in
locations that you would not ordinarily stop to bird, instead of dutifully
visiting the same popular spots every time. It really increases the fun of
exploring new places and often leads to finding other interesting birds to
boot. That was certainly our experience yesterday.

We started out at Gnat Creek Hatchery where we quickly found a Dipper at
the base of the falls just upstream from the hatchery. Multiple Varied
Thrushes were out at dawn too, along with a Hutton's Vireo. A picturesque
little spot.

We then headed to Svensen Island where we eventually caught up with the
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Mike Patterson found a few days ago. It was in the
brambles just to the west of the first large evergreen you come to when
driving down the one-way road. Peyton managed some pretty good shots of
its tail, which revealed it to be of the western subspecies. See here: Good waterfowl here too with a
small group of distant Tundra Swans, lots of Snow Geese, at least a dozen
Cinnamon Teal, plus a few Western Meadowlarks (County bird for me).

After that it was on to Youngs Bay (viewed from behind the Napa Store on
Marine Drive). Waterfowl numbers on the Bay here are quite impressive and
it didn't take us long to spy a few of the American White Pelicans that
have been hanging out there lately. We couldn't eke out a Redhead from
among the duck hordes, although at least three red-headed Wigeon of the
Eurasian variety got our hearts racing momentarily.

Then on to Wireless Road where we had a Mike Patterson sighting (not a
difficult tick in Clatsop County). It didn't take us too long to catch up
with both continuing rare sparrows either. A Red-shouldered Hawk was a
nice bonus. Next stop was the Warrenton Waterfront Trail at the end of
13th Avenue where we found the Northern Mockingbird reported by Mike
yesterday. A glowing Orange-crowned Warbler was also here. Oddly a bat
was flying out in broad daylight. Perhaps its roost had been disturbed by
someone cleaning out their attic? It appeared to be a big brown bat and I
have photos (if any bat enthusiasts want to confirm the ID, I can send a
couple of pics).

After that success, we started out for Seaside Cove to try for the
wintering Rock Sandpiper. We stopped on the way at the Reserve at Gearhart
to check off Western Bluebird. We stopped at a nestbox with a Western
Bluebird atop it and noticed a passerine flock in the pines nearby. Mixed
in with the chickadees, bluebirds, and juncos were two Palm Warblers, one
of which appeared to be of the eastern "yellow'" subspecies, which I think
is only rarely seen (or at least rarely reported) on the West coast. Pics
in checklist: Feedback welcome and
a great example of a serendipitous find while looking for a County bird.
We ended up striking out on the Rock Sandpiper at Seaside Cove, but a walk
out along the shore towards the Cape rewarded us with close views of a
large group of 30-40 Harlequins. Great day out and I ended up with 8 new
County birds too (closing in on 200).

Good birding,

Philip Kline

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