Yaquina Bay, OR (03/16/08)

I started early this morning at the Marine Science Center in Newport. The CLAY-COLORED SPARROW continues near the shelter. The shelter is about 200 yds south of the east end of the parking lot for the visitor center.
 
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Also out on Yaquina Bay as scoped from the MSC parking lot was a male LONG-TAILED DUCK. A scope was necessary so see this bird. About 30 BRANT and a single BONAPARTE’S GULL were close to the shelter.

Brant

At the Yaquina Bay south jetty were a surprising 3 ROCK SANDPIPERS. They were in a flock of rockpipers very near the beach (on the north-facing side of the south jetty). A Whimbrel was also on the first on the jetty, then later on the beach. In a large gull flock roosting at one of the jetty pullouts was an apparent first-cycle Glaucous x Glaucous-winged Gull.
 
All three scoters were easy at Yaquina Head, White-winged being the most common with a few hundred. Common Murres have returned for the season. Well worth the $5.
 
The Moolack Motel first-cycle GLAUCOUS GULL (originally reported by Shawneen Finnegan) continues. Several BLACK SCOTERS were easy to see there as well.
 
With the exception of my FOS Rufous Hummingbird, all 5 Siletz Bay stops were uneventful.
 
From the mini-jetty at the Pacific Oyster Company in Bay City I was able to pick out one Eurasian Wigeon in a large mixed duck raft. I’m sure there were more. Two Peregrine Falcons were briefly going at each other after one of them had just successfully seized a Black Turnstone.
 
I finished the day at the Barview jetty. No rockpipers whatsoever.

A weird immature male Goldeneye

I found this bird early February at Valley Memorial Park in Hillsboro, OR, where is has been ever since.

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I misid’ed this bird for several weeks as a female Common Goldeneye (as I never had a scope view of the bird) until Lars Norgren suggested Barrow’s. This had me run back to the park with a scope. In an hour of watching the bird near sunset I never had the impression that this bird could be a Common. The field mark’s I noted:

– Head shape was a dead ringer for Barrow’s. Bill was on the large end of the spectrum for Barrow’s

– A limited amount of white (not visible on the horrible pictures) seemed to come up above the eye suggesting Barrow’s

– The white wing patches looked like an emerging male breeding plumage pattern of Barrow’s. Both the solid wing patch in the rear and the dotted white wing patch seemed to be present.

Since then it was suggested by Paul Sullivan that bill and head shape would make this a Common.  Without seeing the bird, David Irons suggested a possible hybrid. A subsequent visit back to the park had me even more confused. At one end of the pond it looked like a Barrow’s, at the other end like a Common.

Infinitely better pictures (taken by Scott Carpenter) can be obtained http://picasaweb.google.com/slcarpenter/Goldeneye.