[birding] Shorebirds etc. in Coffin Butte area
jgeier at attglobal.net
Tue May 2 12:40:58 PDT 2006
The extra 'o' above is to make up for the one I left off in my last
message, sorry about that!
I checked the ponds/scrapes at the wetland along Robison Rd. (north side
of Coffin Butte) today as sort of a little detour on the way home from
some busienss at the post office. Besides Killdeer there were about 80
peep sp. feeding and flying around, a half-dozen dowitcher sp., and a
couple of Tringa sp. sandpipers (probably Greater Yellowlegs) on the
near side of the farthest pond I could see from the road.
That was about as well as I could do with my cheapo scope, since they
were a long way out from the road. However, I did pick up one small,
ringed-type plover flying toward me which dropped down out of view into
one of the bare-mud swales closer to the road. I assume it was a
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER since it was smaller than the Killdeers, darkish on
the back, and where it went was just the sort of place that SEPLs like.
That is, unless someone goes out there with a better scope and tells me
it's a Lesser Ringed Plover. There might have been a couple but I only
tracked on one.
Toketie Marsh had a very spotted SPOTTED SANDPIPER preening on the
shore, then foraging a bit around the Canada Geese (one fluffy brood of
goslings now) and Cinnamon Teal. The Great Blue Heron nest looked vacant
from several angles -- I wonder if the nest failed in recent days.
From the Coffin Butte overlook I saw one GREATER YELLOWLEGS, only
because it happened to get flushed by an assertive Mallard family just
as I was scoping that bit of vegetated pond edge.
Up on the butte it seemed a lot like summer. There were plenty of
Orange-crowned Warblers and one Black-throated Gray Warbler, but the
Yellow-rumped Warbler flocks seem to be gone. The Chipping Sparrow and a
Lesser Goldfinch male were still singing along the trail. On the way
down I got buzzed by a Dryocopus sp. woodpecker -- I will go out on a
limb and say it was a Pileated and not the other one.
The wildflower show atop the butte continues to be spectacular. Besides
Oregon iris and western buttercup, red columbine is blooming along the
wooded part of the trail and Menzie's larkspur is just coming into bloom
all over the butte. Some Tolmie's mariposa lilies (a.k.a. Tolmie's pussy
ears) are scattered around in the meadow, very interesting to look at.
Rose campion (non-native but attractive), is also blooming in one spot.
jgeier at attglobal.net
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