Date: 1/14/20 9:42 am
From: Bill Tice <ticebill7...>
Subject: [obol] Thoughts on Kittiwakes

I think it has been lots of fun for birders to see the Black-legged
Kittiwakes on Hagg Lake for the past 3 days. (Are they still there today?) Up
to 7 were counted there, plus 2 at nearby Wapato Lake and 3 more in
Vernonia. Another was found east of Portland at the mouth of the Sandy
River, making 13 (so far). Stefan Schlick mentioned to me they were
probably weaker birds blown in from the coast, to which I gave my nod of
approval as well.

On Sunday Phil Pickering went over to Boiler Bay, encountering WSW winds,
pushing thousands of Kittiwakes close to shore, so finding some inland may
not be too surprising, but over a dozen may be unprecedented. I can’t
remember seeing or hearing of more than the lone stray, or rarely two at a
time. And usually these are during migration or possibly after a winter
storm. Two of the five past Polk County records are in the month of
February, and one of those was found dead at MSP, and my notes say, “after
a storm.”

So it would seem Black-legged Kittiwakes are common off the Oregon coast
during winter.

Were the one Surf Scoter and Pelagic Comorant along the Columbia River a
result of the same storm system?

I was interested to see that Phil reported no Red Phalaropes, and none were
reported from Hagg Lake. It seems to me that these are more of a November
phenomenon and later storms don’t result in birds blown inland, so it may
be that these spend their winter farther south than the Oregon coast?

It would be nice if a Red-legged Kittiwake would be placed somewhere,
staying put for Oregon birders to see.

Bill Tice

Birding - The best excuse for getting outdoors, and, for avoiding chores

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