Thursday, December 18, 2014

3 for 3 in Astoria!



Sarah and I visited the fine town of Astoria last Friday to seek treatment for symptoms of birding withdrawal. There were three bird species we'd hoped to find, but we kept our expectations low after a recent trip in which we failed to find two rarities we pursued in the Willamette Valley. 

Our first stop in Astoria was a pizzeria on the southern edge of town. After a few minutes of looking, we found a Tropical Kingbird perched in the cedars behind the building. The slippery fellow flew off before we could attempt a photo, but it was captured by Jen a few days later.

We then visited the Riverwalk, a gorgeous paved path along the Columbia River Estuary. We hoped to find a Snow Bunting, but instead the Snow Bunting found us, hopping out from the train tracks and spooking our dog, who alerted us to its presence.

While the adorable bird harvested tiny seeds at the edge of the path, it seemed unconcerned about the nearby humans and dogs.

The Riverwalk also featured a Great Blue Heron preening itself atop a spectacular steampunk installation.

 
Before leaving town, we celebrated our finds at the Buoy Beer Company, which I'd say has the best view from a brewpub in Oregon.

We had just enough daylight to look for one more species, so we drove to the south jetty of the Columbia at Fort Stevens State Park. We figured that Red Phalaropes, normally out to sea this time of year, would have been pushed inland by the recent storm. Sure enough, we found a small flock of them in the ponds north of the jetty rocks. We managed to find all three of our target species. That never happens!

 
It was the perfect start to a great beach weekend. With our recommended weekly allowance of birding exceeded, we managed to return to work on Monday. Is it time for another beach trip yet?



3 comments:

  1. That steampunk heron shot is awesome! Congrats on the successful trip!

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  2. Very nice! That riverwalk path is awesome- I hadn't been there in years (like 10??) and had no idea it was so nice now. How was the Buoy beer? You guys really need a tab on your page for breweries to stop at while birding! I feel like I have learned as much about brewpubs from your blog as I have birds, which is awesome of course.

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    1. The Buoy Beer was great! They have an amazing selection of lagers and ales, so I highly recommend a visit. You're right, we need to add a brewery page. We've visited at least 35 during this year's outings.

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