Posted by: atowhee | October 27, 2017


Autumn air can be intoxicating.  Here in McMinnville there is the heady scent of fermenting grapes in winery districts, promise of an intoxication of another order.  And today wife, dog and I headed to the coast for some salt air and breeze from the Pacific that can only life spirits and pulse.  We saw no unusual birds but just hearing the gulls scream, watching scaup and scoter dive is to realize how much our own lives are earthbound.  Their lives?  Hardly.

Today the Pacific was as blue as the sky above.

We stopped at Van Duzer State Park along Hwy 18 and walked to the aptly named Salmon River.  There we saw chinook salmon spawning in the quieter water along the far bank.  For some info on Oregon salmon spawning seasons, click here.

Here are two, not very good photos, of spawning salmon.  One image has two fish, their dorsal fins were starting to show white mold or worn scales:SAM4SAM5This particular Salmon River reaches the Pacific between Lincoln City and Neskowin.  This spot is about five hundred feet above sea level, a heavy climb over less than twenty miles but far from unusual for spawning salmon.

Neskowin Area, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Oct 27, 2017.  11 species

Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  6
Green-winged Teal (American) (Anas crecca carolinensis)  40
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  10
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  12
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  5
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  10
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1

Nestucca Bay, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Oct 27, 2017.  7 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  500
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)  8
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  4
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  5
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  1
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  25
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  1
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens)  X

Cape Lookout SP, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Oct 27, 2017.  4 species

Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  X
Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)  1–my first of the season
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X

Winema Overlook, Tillamook, Oregon, US
Oct 27, 2017.  5 species

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  X
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)  X
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4



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