Posted by: atowhee | January 30, 2023


My wife convinced me to forget projects and errands for a day. Yes, it was one of our coldest days of the winter so far. But, mostly, it was a day of clarity. That must mean, for two lovers of open ocean, it is a day to be on the Pacific Coast. I can’t envision a better place to see, to enjoy, to experience the vital, vibrant, visual reality when the sun is sending its immense array of light frequencies through space to strike animals, plants, landscape, manmade stuff on Earth. The sunlight seemed as pure as possible beneath our think atmosphere. The air itself was clarity. The sky an unmottled blue. The things visible were not ordinary. Two white-headed eagles crossing Boiler Bay, the white boldly bright against the dark sea. Frozen pools in fields and roadside gutters–glistening, shining, glowing. The small white puffs on the heads of Surf Scoter like tiny flashlight beams. The red on Red-breasted Mergansers glowing like waterborne embers. Nothing looked ordinary.

AT Baskett Slough Refuge, fields were full of hundreds of robins, dozens of Killdeer, a few blackbirds. I noticed two little white dots moving around. A close look showed they were a pair of Least Sandpipers. Perhaps the frozen shorelines of marshes had driven these two from their usual shoreline habitat–it was now frozen.

Gulls ubiquitous, even on store front signs:


From Brazil (and has nothing to do with the alleged George Santos, alleged U.S. citizen)–click here for rainforest hope.

Speaking of Brazil–want a little intense tropical birding? Klamath Bird Observatory in Ashland is organizing a trip in April.
Join KBO’s dynamic duo Director of Conservation Jaime Stephens and Board President Shannon Rio for a memorable 9-day trip to Brazil, April 12th – 20th, 2023. This trip will be guided by past KBO intern and co-founder of Mantiqueira Bird Observatory (OAMa) Luiza Figueira. The cost of this trip includes hotels, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and transportation (to and from the airport and during the trip). The total cost of the trip is $5,000, $2500 to reserve your seat, and the total amount is due by February 10th. With 12 people attending, these funds will cover a FULL YEAR of OAMa’s banding program. It will also be used to help support a student intern that is participating in KBO OAMa’s intern exchange program.  To inquire or sign-up email: Elva Manquera

A bit on chicken genetics–click here.

Baskett Slough NWR, Polk, Oregon, US
Jan 30, 2023
18 species

Cackling Goose  2000
Canada Goose  4
Northern Shoveler  X
Gadwall  X
American Wigeon  X
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  X
Bufflehead  X
American Coot  X
Killdeer  X
Least Sandpiper  2
Great Blue Heron  1
Bald Eagle  2
American Kestrel  1
European Starling  X
American Robin  1000
Golden-crowned Sparrow  50
Brewer’s Blackbird  X

Siletz Bay NWR, Lincoln, Oregon, US
Jan 30, 2023 1
10 species

Mallard  8
Bufflehead  30
Eared Grebe  2
Clark’s Grebe  1
Great Blue Heron  1
California Scrub-Jay  1
American Robin  1
Fox Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  8
Spotted Towhee  1

Boiler Bay State Wayside, Lincoln, Oregon, US
Jan 30, 2023
13 species (+1 other taxa)–also harbor seal herd

Surf Scoter  X
Eared Grebe  X
Western Grebe  X
Black Oystercatcher  1
Common Murre  1
Western Gull  X
Herring Gull  1
Glaucous-winged Gull  X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)  X
Pacific Loon  1
Pelagic Cormorant  X
Bald Eagle  2
American Crow  X
Song Sparrow  2

Yaquina River–SE Jetty Way, Lincoln, Oregon, US
Jan 30, 2023
12 species

Greater Scaup  8
Surf Scoter  20
Bufflehead  30
Red-breasted Merganser  4
Eared Grebe  2
Western Grebe  X
Common Loon  2
Pelagic Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  1
American Crow  X
European Starling  X
House Sparrow  X


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: