Sunday, September 25, 2011
At the Coast Before a Storm
After a potluck with old friends at the coast Saturday, (we showed goats together years ago), Johnny and I checked out the Salishan Nature Trail that we had heard about from email birding friend Dawn. The only way you could know about this trail is if someone told you as it is down a well hidden "No Through Traffic" road in the Salishan marketplace.
The short trail is super civilized and borders the Salishan golf course on one side and Siletz Bay on the other. We saw more dogs on leashes than birds along the path but there were lots of very distant water birds on the bay... mostly Wigeon and Mallards, as far as we could tell. Two Great Blue Herons were the only close-up birds posing for us that afternoon. One seemed to have an injured spot on its shoulder.
At one point the trail splits in two. The left trail continues on, more or less, to the ocean beach at Salishan Spit. Johnny is checking out how far he can see northward. The right trail continues along the bay a short distance to a bench.
Since Salishan is fairly close to Fishing Rock, one of the Black Oystercatcher survey sites, we drove there and found, with Johnny's sharp eyes, two adults and one juvenile. We don't know where this pair nested but at least we know one nest in that area succeeded. The juvenile's bill (left photo) was still largely black with red only at the base. It will gradually turn red until by this time next year, it should look like its parent's bill (right photo).
Since Boiler Bay is just beyond Fishing Rock, we went onward to look for Oystercatchers there and found two. We also found a flock of surfers catching the waves that the oncoming storm was bringing. Or they were trying to. Only one, while we watched, succeeded.
All along the coast, Brown Pelicans flew just above the waves and wild surf, fishing their way south to their winter home. We, too, headed home then... before that night's rain and wind storm began.