Partly because it was a good bird and partly to get away from the winter, I decided to make a 12 day, 9 airport run for all the rarities across the US. I left on January 14th, arriving in Portland, Oregon that night.
Enterprise had my car ready and I drove to Lincoln City, checked into my hotel and I was out like a light.
I was up early, my GPS got me to the Nestucca NWR in 20 minutes. As soon as I turned in NWR road, I saw the Tundra Bean Goose almost instantly. It was with a group of Dusky Canada Geese, only about 30 feet from my car.
Talk about a plan working out, 25 minutes from the hotel and a life bird in hand. I usually allow myself 2 days on any life bird, then if I can’t find it time to move on. Now what was I going to do, only 30 hours to kill until I was to board my next flight.
I was lucky enough to photograph a lovely Steller’s Jay at the information sign. This si a very small NWR but lots of birds.
As I was driving out, I passed a large flock of Geese, made up of 3 of the 4, Cackling subspecies; Taverner, Richardson’s and Cackling. I spent quite a bit of time looking through the flock looking for the Aleutian subspecies (which I finally caught up to later on my trip).
Moving on up to the Barview Jetty, looking for Surfbirds but one look at the jetty told me their was no way I was going to go out there.
Not much happened on the was out to the jetty but on my walk back to the car in this gale, I was targeted by a group of gulls flying by the jetty. It was raining guano, one gull was particularly accurate, hitting me directly in the chest, all of my binoculars and a bit on my camera. Let me tell you gull crap is not easy to remove from your binoculars and camera, I’ll be more careful in the future and make sure I stand upwind.
I passed a small pond with a really nice Bufflehead drake and Ring-necked Duck hen
I found a small inlet that had a few Surf Scoter’s, greatly improving my images of this species.
The rest of the day and most of the next day was a total washout. There was very heavy rain the rest of that day and most of the morning. I was glad to get on that airplane, I’ll take snow over rain any day.
Bring on San Francisco…….
Ciao for now