Monday, June 21, 2010

Here we go!

I landed in Portland, Oregon on time and was quickly on the road heading W out of town. Even before I left Portland I could tick off the first lifer of the trip; a flyover Lewis's Woodpecker! Along the way west I picked up a few western birds, like Western Shrub-jay and Brewer's Blackbird but also American Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures. About an hour along the way I got twitchy and stopped along the highway to check for some forest birds. In a matter of minutes I heard the first HERMIT WARBLER singing! Life bird # 2!! After half an hour I could note down 2 Hermit Warblers, 5+ Wilson's Warblers, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Western Warbling Vireo, 4 Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Brown Creeper, 3 Swainson's Thrushes, 5 Band-tailed Pigeons, Oregon Junco and White-crowned Sparrow.
After a three hour scenic drive I finally arrived at Cannon Beach by the Pacific Ocean and the famous Haystack Rock, known for its large nesting colonies of Horned Puffins, Common Murres, and gulls. A quick scan with the scope picked up two Horned Puffins flying in from the sea; lifer # three of the day! While scanning the ocean from the public beach I spotted some flyby Caspian Terns and a Black Oystercatcher.

A evening visit to nearby Ecola State Park provided spectacular views of thousands of Common Murres along with Brandt's and Pelagic Cormorants and Brown Pelicans swarming the coastline. On the water I also spotted a Common Loon and two Rhinocerous Auklets. Sitting next to some Pelicans was my very first (adult) Glaucous-winged Gull; lifer # 4!

This is gonna be fun!!!

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