Birdathon #1

Note: This blog post was co-written by Sarah and Max. It was a fun flashback to all the writing we did together for our book.

We did two day-long birdathons for Portland Audubon last week. We must be gluttons for exhaustion. Our first was a trip through Tillamook, Clatsop, and Washington Counties for Jen's Bloggerhead Shrike virtual team.

We started in Pacific City and drove north to Seaside, stopping at some of our favorite spots along the way.

In the hills near Sand Lake,we got off to a great start with a singing Hermit Warbler that actually stayed in one place for long enough that we got a (distant) photo.

 The next spot was Goodspeed Road and the surrounding wetlands outside of Tillamook.

 Here we found out best bird of the day: a Black-crowned Night-Heron hiding in the shadows of a slough. Sadly, an approaching tractor kept us from sticking around for better views. Also in the area was a White-tailed Kite, always a good bird this time of year.

A stop along Tillamook Bay yielded a bunch of Purple Martins checking out the nest boxes and bring mouthfuls of leaves.

 Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach never disappoints.

We found nesting cormorants, puffins, guillemots and gulls,

loafing Harlequin Ducks,

and a pair of Wandering Tattlers looking snazzy in breeding plumage.

At the Seaside Cove, Glaucous-winged Gulls seemed to have been spending too much time in the sun with their washed out plumage. A few grebes and loons lurked behind the breakers.

 A weasel at the Necanicum River Estuary competed fiercely with a Long-billed Curlew for our attention. At first it seemed cute, but then we saw how creepy its predatory eyes looked. "Excuse me, do you have a baby bunny I could kill?"

After birding Seaside we turned to the east and drove through the Coast Range to Killin Wetlands and Dawson Creek Park. As is often the case, we took many photos at the beginning of the trip and stopped taking pictures as we grew tired and desperate to find certain birds.

Not pictured as we scrambled to get more birds: Lazuli Bunting, Cinnamon Teal, calling Wilson's Snipe, Acorn Woodpecker. As dinnertime neared, we needed one more species to reach 100. On an anticlimactic note, we found Bushtits that we could hear, but not see. Good enough. We ended the day with celebratory Chinese take-out and cold beer.

Glad we could raise some money for all the great work that Portland Audubon does and be in the virtual company of some other awesome bloggers.


  1. Awesome!!! A good reminder that I need to get out to the coast soon! 100 species is amazing, as is the weasel of course. Thanks for being a part of the team! I hope all Bloggerhead Shrikes know that post-Birdathoning beer is a team requirement.

  2. Wow! 100 species?! That's great. That weasel was a good find and you got a nice photo too. What a long day...impressive :) Like Jen said... I need to get to the coast.

  3. 100! Oh my the competition is stiff...amazing list for your Birdathon!! I enjoyed all your photos!

  4. I guess we actually had 101. My note-taking was sloppy and I forgot Red Crossbills. Our record last year with our other Birdathon team was 120!


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