Saturday, May 16, 2015

Coastal Return

Dee and I arrived back on the Pacific coast mid afternoon for our final few days birding before heading off sightseeing and then back to good old blighty!

#1 Wood Duck - Several of these colourful birds on the perimeter of the ponds. - Photo: By Dee
The drive took us across country, passing through the Cascade Mountain Range and Portland but unfortunately the weather on route was mostly low cloud and rain. We did manage a couple of stops, picking up a few more species and these included Common Yellowthroat and Bewick Wren.

#2 Red-necked Phalarope - These birds can be quite inquisitive and come pretty close to investigate! 
Before booking into our hotel for the next few days we decided to check out Cannon Beach Settling Ponds. As most birders know sewage treatment plants can be quite productive, but here in the U.S. a real effort is made to encourage birding at these establishments and this particular site had an observation deck and trail , along with interpretive boards.

#3 Surf Scoter - This single bird was taking advantage of the ponds! - Photo: By Dee
Apart from the White-throated Swifts at Smiths Rock we've seen very few Swifts on our travels but on arrival here at the ponds a half dozen small, short-tailed birds were in flight. Judging by size I'd say these were most likely Vaux's Swift. Also on the wing a group of Violet-green Swallow and Barn Swallow. As we took the trail an Anna's Hummingbird entertained us, first hummer we've had in a while and the ever present Red-winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows provided the background noise.

Shore birds were only represented by (2) Spotted Sandpiper and on the perimeter of the ponds at rest were (4) Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron and Wood Duck (photo#1). On the open water (11) Red-necked Phalarope (photo#2), a single Surf Scoter (photo#3), along with (4) Lesser Scaup. Passing by during our stay, Bald Eagle, Western Gull and Raven.