Great photos of the Yellow Palm. Better keep track of that sighting. I don't recall hearing of any previous ones of that (type) in Oregon before, and frankly, I don't know why it hasn't been split. Perhaps the DNA; doesn't support such a thing, but visually it is far more separable from the other form of Palm Watbler than either of the Western Flycathers or any of the Solitary Vireos are from one another.
From: "Philip Kline" <pgeorgekline...>
To: "OBOL" <obol...>
Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2019 1:36:45 PM
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: [ https://ebird.org/checklist/S61796747 | https://ebird.org/checklist/S61796747 ] . 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: [ https://ebird.org/checklist/S61803141 | https://ebird.org/checklist/S61803141 ] . 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).