Friday, May 08, 2015

Some Day Off!

Despite deciding on taking a rest from birding, today was a really productive day and we even produced a lifer along the way. We began at low tide at Bandon Marsh for a quick look before heading off and managed of note: Great Blue Heron, Greater Yellowlegs, Turkey Vulture and Bald Eagle.

Osprey - Two birds on passage at China Creek.
The plan was to drive south along the coast around 25 miles or so to Cape Blanco and Port Orford and do a little sight seeing. However, along the route we had planned to stop off at China Creek beach access to check out the beach area for shore birds. This area is part of a protected site for nesting Snowy Plover but the area is roped off. However, you can walk around two miles or so along the beach making sure to keep to the wet sand and beyond the protected site. Before heading down to the beach a scan of the sea produced a couple of Passage Osprey, one coming almost overhead and offering the above photographic opportunity.

Black-bellied Plover among the Western Sandpiper.
Along the sea shore a constant passage of shore birds with flocks of Whimbrel, Dunlin, Western Sandpiper, Black Oystercatcher, plus a half dozen Caspian Terns. A large flock of waders feeding in the distance allowed us to get quite close and within were a couple of summer plumage Black-bellied Plover. Walking parallel to the restricted area two small birds took the eye on this side of the ropes and somewhat resembling a Kentish Plover we were delighted to see our first ever Snowy Plovers.

One of three Semipalmated Plover
Further along the beach Dee pointed out three waders not too far in from the shoreline and it was good to see a trio of Semipalmated Plover. Not bad for a non birding day!