Oregon-Washington Birding 1/31-2/1 (long)

Birdking88 at aol.com Birdking88 at aol.com
Fri Feb 1 23:36:26 PST 2002

Hey Tweeters,
I birded yesterday and today in SW Washington and NW Oregon with Carol
Schulz. We came up with 108 species during this 2-day period, not half bad
for the time of year. We were amazingly lucky weather-wise. It seemed every
time we got in the car to drive off, the bad weather would hit. Then when we
were about to park at a potential birding location, it magically cleared!
We started birding on the morning on the 31st NE of Chehalis in the rain,
and on Meadows Road we located a juv. WHITE-TAILED KITE that was in a
cottonwood, and quite drenched too. That was the only notable bird in that
We continued south and birded the area west of Woodland looking for the
Clay-colored Sparrow. No luck on the Clay-colored. There were 8 Nutrias in a
field near where the Clay-colored had been seen previously. In a small park
accessed from Dike Access Rd (called Lyons Community Day Park) we found a
very large flock of sparrows and blackbirds. In this area we had:
4 Mourning Doves
5 Cedar Waxwings
100+ Golden-crowned Sparrows
75+ White-crowned Sparrows (2 leucistic birds)
1 Lincoln's Sparrow
1000+ Red-winged Blackbirds

Then we continued on to Julia Butler Hansen NWR, where we waited at the
headquarters (taking a left after going over the bridge; there are no signs
here yet) for nearly an hour, having the BLACK PHOEBE tempting us every 20
minutes with a call or two. Eventually, at around 1400hrs we did locate the
bird along the slough near the headquarters, where the slough curves to the
left. It began calling much more frequently, and flycatching on the surface
of the water in typical Black Phoebe fashion. Later it flew down the slough
nearer to the headquarters building, and it flew to within 12 feet of me.
Also in the NWR were:
70 Killdeer (high count?)
4 Black-bellied Plovers
7 Western Sandpipers
3 White-tailed Kites
30 "Dusky" Canada-Geese
600 "Cackling" Canada-Geese
6 Nutria

We spent the night in Astoria and arrived at Coffenbury Lake in Fort
Stevens State Park at 0730hrs this morning. Dozens of Varied Thrushes and a
few Hermit Thrushes were foraging in the road as we drove in. At Coffenbury
Lake we scoured the salal-dominated underbrush and located 2 calling
WRENTITS. There was a HORNED GREBE, some Buffleheads, and Common Mergansers
in the lake.

At the South Jetty of the Columbia River, we found:

10 Red-throated Loon
15 Pacific Loon
5 Black-legged Kittiwakes
2 Black Turnstones

I'm not sure what age class I would put the GLAUCOUS GULL into. The bird
was flying over the water quite a ways out, and would sometimes land on the
water. It was intermediate between 2nd basic and 3rd basic, as it did have
some obvious very light gray on the mantle. But in general it was more
similar to a younger bird with light tannish and white tones. The bill was
nicely bicolored, similar to 1st and 2nd year birds.

We then headed to the Astoria Airport Mitigation Bank, where we found,
among more common things, a juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. This bird could
only be seen from up on the dike trail, but was actually perched in an alder
on the opposite side of the freeway.

We then decided it was about time to get back into Washington, so we headed
north. We could not locate the Emperor Goose along Highway 105. But pretty
soon we found ourselves scoping shorebirds at the Tokeland Marina. Most of
the birds were on the dock (at one time all of them were), and lesser numbers
were also seen on the beach. I came up with:
750 Marbled Godwits
1 adult female BAR-TAILED GODWIT
2 Whimbrel
10 Willets
15 Long-billed Dowitchers
2 Dunlin

Continuing on our way home, we stopped at Midway Beach Road. Here I had:
175 Western Sandpipers
20 Sanderlings

A quick stop at Brady Loop Road at night gave us at least 1 BARN OWL.

That's all for now. Good luck and good birding.

Charlie Wright, 13
Birdking88 at aol.com
Sumner, WA

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