Posted by: atowhee | November 30, 2015


I ran into a flock of Red Crossbills along with a gleaning flock at the far south end of Sand Lake Recreation Area.  One nice thing about being a rookie birding s new area–you don’t know what places to skip.  I found ZERO previous eBird checklist for this location.  The nearest hotspot is Whalen Island about a mile away as the crossbill flies.  Zero records there of this bird.  So in the coastal pines at 10 feet above sea level: Crossbills (a common bird year round in Tillamook County, says eBird).  Love to know if they are usual in pines within thirty feet of open saltwater bay.

Kathleen Krall just emailed me that she has seen crossbills at Whalen Island and is new to eBirding so the date is not submitted yet.  Mitch Ratzlaff adds: “my brother has a small cabin in Tierra del Mar right on the beach. We’ve been seeing and hearing crossbills in the pines there for years, and in all seasons. I think they are locally common at the coast, depending on the age and cone production of the local pines.”



I began the day with zero birds on my Tillamook life list.  So ending with four goose species made it for a good start. The mixed flock was in the Nestucca Bay NWR, on the north side of the Little Nestucca River and west of US 101.  Here you see the white-front behind the Cacklers as some of the bigger ones begin to run for take-off CACKS-GWFRNT (1280x960) CACK TAKE OFF (1280x960)The white-front and smaller Cacklers hold their ground, staring at me taking their picture from the roadside.GWF AND CAKS IN AIR (1280x960)GWF REMAINZ (1280x960)Below you see the right Snow Geese un the same flock.snog eating snog upriteIn the next two the Snow and one of the pair of white-fronts are near one another.  Also one cackler with a spiffy white necklace. Among the Snowthere were five gray juvenile and three white adults. snog-gwf2 SNOW, GWF, NECK (1280x960)

ALSO SEENEAGLE NETSUCCA CU (1280x960)This  adult Bald Eagle was along US 101 near the Little Nestucca River bridge.  These Varied Thrush were just two of the dozens that are at Van Duzer State Park along Hwy 18.  there they dominate the parking in a bold manner that would shame even a gull or Brewer’s Blackbird. VATH PAIR CLR (1280x960)

If this were a rare bird, we’d very impressed by his stately manner and elegant exterior.  But knowing his relationship to French Fries and baby oystercatchers can color some birders’ emotion regarding this guy and his ilk: WEGU PRFCT (1280x960)

Other birds I need to note: small float of Red-necked Grebes off Pt. Kiwanda.  Small flock of Pintails loafing on the beach next to south end of Brooten Road.

Sand Lake Recreation Area, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2015 1:30 PM – 1:55 PM,  6 species
Comments:     Birds were centered in the Fisherman’s Day Use Area; there is no Birder’s Day Use Area

Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  X
Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)  30

Nestucca Bay NWR, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2015 11:15 AM – 11:35 AM.  11 species

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)  2
Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)  8
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X

Whalen Island County Park, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2015 12:30 PM – 12:40 PM.  6 species

American Wigeon (Anas americana)  100
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  20
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  2
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  2
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  15

Winema Overlook, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2015 11:15 AM – 11:30 AM.  4 species

Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  8
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  15
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  2

Cape Kiwanda SP, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2015 12:05 PM – 12:15 PM.  5 species

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  1
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena)  8, near “Haystack” or Chief Kiwanda Rock
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)  1
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)  1
California Gull (Larus californicus)  X

Bob Straub SP, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Nov 30, 2015 11:30 AM – 11:50 AM.  7 species (+1 other taxa)

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  4
Sanderling (Calidris alba)  2
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)  15
Mew Gull (Larus canus)  X
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens)  X


  1. All I can say is…WOW!

  2. my word exactly, when I saw what was up (there) in the trees

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