Posted by: atowhee | August 21, 2021

A ROAD TRIP–AND A FEW BIRDS

OREGON COAST
US 101 FROM LINCOLN CITY TO CALIFORNIA
AUGUST 20, 2021

Many first year gulls  along the Lincoln County Coast.
Boiler Bay: three Brown Pelicans; no shorebirds visible. Numerous Pelagic Cormorants.
South of Depoe Bay one small inlet had modest flock of Pigeon Guillemots.
Along Coos Bay saw one adult Herring Gull.
Hundreds of gulls around the fishing pier at  Port Orford.
Somewhere south of there the habitat changed enough that Ravens replaced Americans Crows as the dominant beachside corvid.  Ravens remained dominant all the was south to Eureka, about 100 miles south of the OR/CA border.

I watched for Sooty Shearwaters to no avail–also zero shorebirds as none of our stops were very long.

In California:
Crescent City: there were Band-tailed Pigeons perched on wires at the south edge of town.
We visited relatives who live next to a saltwater marsh—their garden is forested and marshy.  There I saw Band-tailed Pigeons, was scolded by ravens.  Bushtits, at least three Anna’s Hummers, a Black Phoebe and a Bushtit flock were in the garden.
Another relative has land in Indianola with thickets and mature trees—there we saw an Allen’s Hummer along with other local birds.

One sight repeated in many locations: Barn Swallows feeding voraciously, porking up for the long flights southward.




Note the elongated head of the Glaucous-winged Gulls. These large gulls eat large prey and food bits, so they need strong jaws which requires large muscles that wrap around a long skull. Smaller gulls eating smaller prey can have much more rounded heads and smaller rounder beaks (think Bonaparte’s or Mew). Franklink’s Gulls don’t even bite down on prey, they hawk flying insects as do swallows, Purple Martins and swifts!
At Freshwater Creek (east of Eureka) a pair of cuddled banana slugs and in the stream a small red-legged frog and a minnow near a chunk of white quartz.


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