2013 has been the best year for shorebirding that either of us can remember. I'm not sure if it's because more of these migrants have been passing through Oregon than in previous years or if we've just been looking harder for them. Perhaps it is a combination of two factors.
Our latest stop on the shorebird trail was Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, west of Salem. We spent about two hours at a hotspot there known as The Narrows.
Black-necked Stilts kept busy by walking around a shallow pond, taking occasional breaks for preening. Usually, we need to drive several hours to the east to see these long-legged beauties. On Sunday, however, they were only an hour to the south.
In addition to the stilts, we found, Greater (left) and Lesser (right) Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, Baird's Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers, and a Wilson's Phalarope.
Among the non-shore birds was a stretched-outed Great Blue Heron,
a Great Egret strutting for the photographers,
and a magnificent Yellow-headed Blackbird. Can't wait to see what shows up next!