Thursday, May 07, 2015

Bandon Area

Thursday seemed a less productive day and was spent exploring the Pacific coastline at Bandon, a quaint little city in Coos County, Oregon. We're here for two days and are situated on the south side of the mouth of the Coquille River. The city was named by George Bennet, an Irish peer, who settled nearby in 1873 and named the town after Bandon in Ireland, his hometown.

Turkey Vultures are abundant in the Bandon area!
During the day we paid several visits to Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. According to most literature the site is consistently one of the best shore bird spots on the Pacific coast. However, I'd have to say that despite visits at low, high and mid tides we've been somewhat disappointed. In fact while touring the area we had better results at Bullards Beach State Park on the opposite side of the Coquille River and South Jetty further along towards the bay.

♀Bufflehead - many during our stay!
Stops at the day parking areas in the park in search of songbirds and warblers produced Black-capped Chickadee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Spotted Towhee, Yellow Warbler and Anna's Hummingbird. Along the river itself several Greater Yellowlegs, small flocks of Whimbrel and mixed Dunlin/Western Sandpiper, along with Bufflehead, Pacific and Common Loon, (4) Harlequin Ducks, Surf ScoterPigeon Guillemot, Pelagic Cormorant, Scaup and Hooded Merganser. A small flock of Brant Geese were feeding near the mudflats and pilings at the south jetty.

Harbour Seals
After lunch we headed further along the coast to check out the many rocky outcrops and came across a small population of Harbour Seals. On the same rock a number of nesting Pelagic Cormorant and Common Murre, plus Black Oystercatcher. After dinner Dee and I had a stroll along the shore and among a large flock of Western Gulls picked out a few Californian Gulls within.