Merlin! (Baker City, OR, 03/25/12)

This columbarius Merlin wasn’t going anywhere. He quickly lost interest when I started scoping ducks a mere 50ft from him.

Other highlights from Baker Co include oodles of Cassin’s Finches, Red Crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks near Sumpter, lots of waterfowl in the 3 Best Frontage Rd ponds just NE of Baker City (including Barrow’s Goldeneye, Canvasback and Redhead), lingering Northern Shrike, Rough-legged Hawk and American Tree Sparrow (1 at Virtue Flat 0.8mi into Ruckles Creek Rd) and newly arrived Sage Thrashers, Violet-green Swallow and Sandhill Cranes. Still winter over there overall …

Nice to see were several Bighorn Sheep at both Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee and near MP117 of I84 on the way back home.

The long-staying WA state winter birds continue

Many of the wintering rarities continue as of yesterday/today:

-Yellow-billed Loon at the Ilwaco Harbor (as of 3/17)

-4-5 Snowy Owls at Damon Point in Ocean Shores (as of 3/17)

-Female King Eider as scoped from where the Damon Point access road drops into the sand, Ocean Shores (as of 3/18)

-Emperor Goose maybe 200yds south of Canal St & Lewis St, Ocean Shores (as of 3/17)

-Tufted Duck at the slough just west of Round Lake (Lacamas Lake complex) near Camas (as of 3/18)

We had brief glimpes of a few rock pipers (including Black Turnstones) at the Pt. Brown Jetty in Ocean Shores, but missed Rock Sandpiper. The were ZERO godwits in Tokeland, but a few Willets, several Black-bellied Plovers and 40 some Brant. Both Tundra and Trumpeter swans were at Brady Loop Rd. Single Red Phalaropes were in the Tokeland, Ilwaco and Westport harbors. A Clark’s Grebe was at Ilwaco Harbor, a hen Ring-necked Pheasant in Ocean Shores and first-year Thayer’s Gull did a balancing act to stay afloat near float 20 at Westport Harbor.

One 2 mediocre pictures this time during a weekend that brought snow, ice, sleet, hail, pelting rain, but also brief interludes of sun.