This year I attended the 32nd annual Oregon Shorebird Festival in Charleston, OR. It’s a small two-day festival organized by by Harv Schubothe of the Cape Arago Audubon Society with presentations, dinner, and guided field trips around the Bandon, Charleston, and Coos Bay area.
But before I got there, I took a detour to Newport to look for a reported Ruff near the Hatfield Marine Science Center. After a couple of tries, eventually I had success!
The last time I saw a Ruff it was just a blob on my photo so it was nice to finally appreciate one. Even if this young Western Gull didn’t.
The Ruff made friends with a Marbled Godwit.
And Black-bellied Plovers.
If this isn’t a shorebird festival I don’t know what is.
Someone gave me a tip to look for Pacific-golden Plovers and Snowy Plovers at South Beach State Park nearby. The snowies were exactly where they were supposed to be hiding in little sand pockets (with Sanderlings).
The Pacific-golden Plovers on the other hand weren’t as cooperative. I gave it a solid effort, but after a few tries with no luck, I moved on. I still had two hours to drive before getting to Charleston.
Of course I also made a couple of stops to check for a Red Knot at the south jetty in Florence, but that was knot to be. Instead I found a pair of Marbled Godwits, and a close-up White-winged Scoter at the crab docks.
After too long on the road I finally made it to registration and “checked in” at the dorms. This was when I’d realized I made a terrible mistake. I thought I could sleep in the dorms at OIMB, but I’m just too light a sleeper. I could hear all the sounds, mostly because the dorm walls don’t even go to the ceiling.
One night with no sleep before field trips was fine, but two nights with no sleep before a pelagic trip was not going to happen. The next morning I groggily met up with the group to explore the Bandon area. We visited the South Jetty, China Creek, and Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
It was fun times with good people. I don’t have a ton of photos from the field trip since most of the day was foggy and overcast and a lot of the bird views were distant.
The best birds were probably Snowy Plovers at Bandon Beach, Virginia Rails at Bandon Marsh marsh, and the Wandering Tattlers at South Jetty that popped up on the rocks when a mink ran by and spooked them.
I watched one of the presentations on photography by Tim Boyer, who had some great tips I’ll likely implement and who also has a helpful YouTube channel. The second night I slept great at Captain John’s Motel which is a good thing since the following morning I was meeting the group at 6:30am for what would be my fourth pelagic boat trip.
Tweets and chirps,