Tag Archives: surf scoter

Birding on the South Jetty – Newport

We had an excuse to go to Newport a few days ago.  So we did a South Jetty lunch and watched the sea birds near the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Yaquina Bridge from South Jetty
Yaquina Bridge from South Jetty

We couldn’t tell for sure what these were from a distance so we drove out a little closer.

Sea birds off the South Jetty
Sea birds off the south jetty

  We were pretty sure the large ones were loons.  But the way the smaller ones had their faces tucked into their chest made them hard for me to identify.

Resting Western Grebe
Resting Western Grebe

Once they lifted their heads we could tell they were grebes.  Turns out, they are Western Grebes.  (Is the plural of grebe, grebes or grebe?)

Western Grebes
Western Grebes

This one got a little mouthy.

Western Grebe
Mouthy Western Grebe

Then we zoomed in on the loons and turned to an expert to identify them as adult Common Loons.

Common Loon
Common Loon

They are coming into their breeding plumage.

Common Loon
Common Loon

Another of my favorites is the Surf Scoter.

Surf Scoter
Surf Scoter

I love the contrasting colors on the Surf Scoter’s big bill.

Bird Watching on the Oregon Coast

I saw a pileated woodpecker the other day.  He left before I could get the camera but this little Hairy Woodpecker wasn’t as camera-shy.

Hairy Woodpecker

This hawk knows a good fishing spot when he sees it.

Hawk - Fishing
Hawk – Fishing

I’m not real sure what kind of hawk it is if it’s not a red-tailed.

He had enough patience that he finally went after something.  I think he was actually “fishing” for birds.

Hawk Attack
Hawk Attack

There were a couple Belted Kingfishers working the river too.  These are interesting looking birds.  Their head looks out of proportion to their body.

The Belted Kingfisher is the most common kingfisher in North America and it’s the only one north of Texas and Arizona; according to my bird book.

King Fisher
Belted Kingfisher

Then the mallards flew up river, landed in the river and drifted down.  I counted 14 at one time.

Mallards in Alsea Tidewater
Mallards in Alsea Tidewater

I’ve always admired the iridescent green head of the male mallard.

The Surf Scoter is one of my favorite sea birds.  They have the odd-shaped bill with a little orange on it.

Surf Scoter Gaggle
Surf Scoter Gaggle

They were in the Alsea Bay fishing with everyone else; harbor seals and humans.