The Fall 2019
Aug 1–Nov 30, 2019
Adrian W. Hinkle
2616 SE 58th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97206
Hinkle, A. W. 2019. The fall 2019: Oregon. North American Birds 74(1).
Several rain events during August and September gave way to a notably dry October and November. August and September brought typical shorebird numbers, including the state’s 5th White-rumped Sandpiper. September delivered several interesting vagrants to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, including two Hutton’s Vireos, a Broad-billed Hummingbird, and a Phainopepla. A second Broad-billed Hummingbird in John Day increased the state’s total to four. Given the two Hutton’s Vireos at at Malheur, it was interesting to have one in Sherman near the end of the period followed by one in Deschutes just after the period ended. A mid-October storm pushed thousands of storm-petrels into nearshore waters, but October was poor for vagrants. Good numbers of Blue Jays and Snow Buntings showed up in October and November for what was otherwise an unexceptional late fall. Several Clark’s Nutcrackers in the Willamette Valley and on the coast starting in September were noteworthy.
Boiler Bay State Wayside, Lincoln (Boiler Bay), east of the Cascade Mountains (eastside), Malheur NWR Headquarters, Harney (Malheur HQ), Royal Avenue access of Fern Ridge Reservoir, Lane (Fern Ridge Res.), west of the Cascade Mountains (westside).
GEESE THROUGH WOODPECKERS
An Emperor Goose was on Sauvie Island, Columbia 5 Nov+, and in nearby Multnomah 29 Nov+ (T. Watts, ph. m.ob.). Oregon is the best state in the Lower 48 for this species, thanks to the overwintering population of minima Cackling Geese with which they often associate. Two inland westside Brant during Nov were typical. Rare before Oct for the westside was a Trumpeter Swan at Forcia and Larsen Reservoir, Lane 1 Aug–29 Sep (m.ob.); perhaps it was one of 3 that summered there in 2018. A male Tufted Duck was at Philomath Sewage Ponds, Benton 25 Nov+ (D. Evered). A female Harlequin Duck photographed in Multnomah Channel near Grassy Lake, Columbia 17 Aug (J. Powell) provided the first inland Aug record for the state away from suitable breeding habitat. Usual numbers of inland Long-tailed Ducks were seen during Oct and Nov with three on the eastside and two on the westside. Along with normal numbers of inland Surf Scoters and White-winged Scoters was a pair of Black Scoters at Hayden Island, Multnomah 21 Oct (K. Vanderkamp). There have been six records involving at least 10 Black Scoters in Multnomah since the first record in 2011; the surge of records coincides with large numbers of scaup and perhaps the arrival of a new food source, invasive mussels.
A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was photographed at Boardman Marina, Morrow 17 Sep (ph. N. Hinds), providing the latest state record; 14 of the 23 previous records occurred during Jun, and the lone Sep record pertained to a continuing individual. Of four reported Costa’s Hummingbirds, two appeared to be hybrids and a third lacked documentation. A young male Black-chinned Hummingbird in Corvallis, Benton 19-20 Aug (DR) and an adult male in Medford, Jackson 6-7 Sep (J. Tufts) provided the only westside records. Oregon’s third Broad-billed Hummingbird was at Malheur HQ 14–26 Sep (TR, ph. m.ob.), and another showed up in John Day, Grant 22 Sep (T. Winters).
Less than annual in the state and now back on the review list, an Upland Sandpiper was audio recorded as it flew westbound over Bybee Lake, Multnomah 26 Aug (NM, CN, K. Vanderkamp). Whimbrel were reported from three inland locations. One Whimbrel at Tumalo Reservoir, Deschutes 28 Aug (P. Low) was notable for the eastside, while flyover flocks of 32 on 7 Sep (J. Sullivan) and 30 on 13 Sep (T. Jeske) at Fern Ridge Res. were high tallies, especially for fall. Two Hudsonian Godwits were found: one at Sturgeon Lake, Multnomah 17 Sep (ph. CN), and a juv. at Fern Ridge Res. 17–30 Sep (G. Meenaghan, m.ob.). The lone inland Red Knot was at Fern Ridge Res. 27 Aug–4 Sep (RN). Three Ruffs in the Willamette Valley balanced out the lack of coastal sightings, with individuals at Fern Ridge Res. 28 Aug–4 Sep (RN), Morgan Lake, Polk 19–20 Sep (R. Gerig), and Vanport Wetlands, Multnomah 26–28 Sep (CN). Perhaps slightly rarer this decade than in the past few, only a single Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was reported, a juv. at Ankeny NWR, Marion 6–7 Oct (D. Turner). Rarer on the westside than eastside but reported nearly as often due to better coverage, Stilt Sandpipers were found in five westside locations (none coastal) 12 Aug–19 Sep. After a spectacular 2018 with 21+ individuals, a slightly subpar three Buff-breasted Sandpipers were seen this fall, with one at Sandpiper Village, Lincoln 23 Aug (CP), a different individual at Ona Beach, Lincoln 25–28 Aug (CP), and one at Hatfield Marine Science Center, Lincoln 5 Sep (N. Stotz). An adult White-rumped Sandpiper, Oregon’s 5th, was on the beach at the south end of North Spit Coos Bay, Coos, 28 Aug (D. Lauten, K. Castelein). Red Phalaropes were scarce for the third consecutive fall, though 400 passed Boiler Bay, Lincoln 8 Oct and 60 were seen there 19 Oct (PP). Slightly above average for the eastside, though, were single Red Phalaropes at Joseph Sewage Ponds, Wallowa 21 Aug (ph. M. Hansen), Wallowa Sewage Ponds, Wallowa, 31 Aug–2 Sep (ph. A. Beerman), and Summer Lake, Lake 7 Sep (C. Miller).
A Scripps’s Murrelet was 35 mi. w. of Bandon, Coos 27 Sep (T. Shelmerdine). Not quite annual inland, 8 ad. Arctic Terns circled Philomath Sewage Ponds, Benton 16 Sep (ph. D. Robinson). Present in the hundreds more years than not, a mere 2 Elegant Terns were at Necanicum Estuary, Clatsop 16 Sep (C. Crofton, B. Dolan). Moderate west winds on 19 Oct pushed storm-petrels close to shore, with high counts of 800 Leach’s Storm-Petrels at Boiler Bay 19 Oct (PP) and 1,200 Leach’s Storm-Petrels at the N. Jetty Coos Bay, Coos 19 Oct (TR). Hundreds of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels were also reported. Now annual, a Hawaiian Petrel was 56 mi. w. off Yaquina Head, Lincoln 24 Aug (Oregon Pelagic Tours, m.ob.). A Manx Shearwater passed D River Beach Wayside, Lincoln 11 Sep (PP). Oregon’s second Nazca Booby circled a cruise 56 mi. w. of Depoe Bay, Lincoln 22 Sep (ph. L. Keene). Only one Brown Booby was reported, a subadult southbound at Cape Arago, Coos 26 Oct (RN). An ill Red-footed Booby, Oregon’s second, was photographed on a beach in Bandon, Coos 16 Nov (ph. W. Binnewies, H. Schuothe) and found dead two days later. Annual but rare on the westside away from the southern coast, 2 Snowy Egrets were at Smith and Bybee Lakes, Multnomah 9 Aug–8 Sep (A. Frank, m.ob.). A single White-faced Ibis was at Fern Ridge Res. 4–29 Sep (P. Beerman), while 7 were at Rooster Rock, Multnomah 23 Oct (L. Norgren).
An ad. Broad-winged Hawk flew over Sunrise Park, Washington 25 Sep (S. Finnegan) for an exceptional westside record; a few were reported from the usual hawkwatches. Usually at least one Yellow-bellied Sapsucker overwinters on the westside, so a single juv. at Philomath Boy Scout Lodge, Benton 29 Nov+ (ph. R. Jilek) was about typical. A White-headed Woodpecker, extremely rare on the coast, was seen in Newport, Lincoln 6 Oct (CP).
FALCONS AND PASSERINES
A gray-phase Gyrfalcon at Bandon, Coos 29 Sep (D. & D. Bilderback) was later found hunting Aleutian Cackling Geese near Floras Lake, Curry for three weeks in Oct, last seen 31 Oct (R. McKenzie, TR). An extremely late Pacific-slope Flycatcher lingered near Cape Blanco, Curry 29 Oct–24 Nov (ph. TW). No fewer than 18 Tropical Kingbirds were reported 1 Oct+, all from coastal locations with a high of 4 near Cape Blanco, Curry 18 Nov (TW). A Hutton’s Vireo was at Malheur HQ 2–22 Sep (P. Cook, NM, ph. m.ob.) and one was at Page Springs Campground, Harney 12 Sep (ph. C. Gregory). One Hutton’s Vireo was audio recorded at Deschutes River Mouth, Sherman 23 Nov (M. Cahill). A Jan 2019 record from Gilliam was the only other photo-documented eastside Hutton’s Vireo that the editor could uncover, though one showed up in Deschutes just after the period ended, and there have been a couple inadequately documented Harney reports over the years. Two ad. and one juv. Plumbeous Vireos were at Page Springs Campground, Harney 1–8 Sep, with at least one continuing through 16 Sep (P. Cook, NM, ph. m.ob.). Plumbeous Vireos were in the same location Aug 2017 and Aug–Sep 2018; there are now 10 accepted state records. Blue Jays made a good showing, with 14 eastside individuals 12 Oct+, and westside reports from Roseburg, Douglas and Glide, Douglas. Clark’s Nutcrackers also made their best westside showing in years, with six coastal individuals 29 Sep–24 Nov, several at Mary’s Peak, Benton 6 Sep–2 Nov with a high count of 9 on 20 Sep, and singles at Creswell, Lane 11 Oct (S. Nelson) and Mt. Tabor, Multnomah 13 Oct (ph. G. Schechter). Two Mountain Chickadees were in the Portland, Multnomah area and one was in Warren, Columbia for the only lowland westside reports. Annual on the westside during late fall in recent years, single Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were at N. Spit Coos Bay, Coos 4–5 Nov (ph. D. Henise, R. Henise) and at Svensen Island, Clatsop 24 Nov+ (ph. M. Patterson). At the far western extent of its range, a Canyon Wren was seen and audio recorded at Multnomah Falls, Multnomah 29 Nov (J. Bishop).
A Bohemian Waxwing at Crater Lake, Klamath 28 Nov (ph. A. Henry) was the only report away from Wallowa. Oregon’s 9th Phainopepla, a female, was at Page Springs Campground, Harney 7–13 Sep (M. Nikas, m.ob.). Possibly a first for the state, a japonicus American Pipit was at Rooster Rock, Multnomah 22 Oct (ph. CN). Ten juv. White-winged Crossbills were at Woodward Campground, Umatilla 2 Aug (A. Knue). The only Chestnut-collared Longspur was near Cape Blanco, Curry 16 Oct (TW). Snow Buntings made a good showing on the westside, with high counts of 20 at Sunset Beach, Clatsop 27 Oct, 9 at Mary’s Peak, Benton 31 Oct, 27 at Nehalem Spit, Tillamook 17 Nov, and 24 at N. Jetty Yaquina Bay, Lincoln 24 Nov. Very early was one in Coos Bay, Coos 14 Oct (TR), while one near Langlois, Curry 10–16 Nov was particularly far south (R. McKenzie). At least nine Clay-colored Sparrows were reported 30 Sep+. The only westside American Tree Sparrow was at Fern Ridge Res., Lane 8 Nov (P. Snyder). Seven Harris’s Sparrows were at scattered locations 25 Oct+. Two coastal Vesper Sparrows were found 2 Sep & 18 Oct. A total of four westside Bobolinks were found 26 Aug–8 Sep. The state’s 12th Orchard Oriole was in Newport, Lincoln 5–8 Oct (J. Anderson). A Rusty Blackbird was at Cape Arago, Coos 24 Oct (ph. D. Henise, R. Henise), and one was at Pistol River Lowlands, Curry 30 Nov (SF, DI).
Rare warblers made a good showing, especially on the eastside between late Aug and late Sep. Three eastside migrant Northern Waterthrushes were found 17 Aug–4 Sep. A Black-and-white Warbler, likely attempting to overwinter, was at Sauvie Island Beach, Columbia 29 Nov+ (A. Beerman). Black-and-white Warblers are just shy of annual during winter. Single Tennessee Warblers were at Philomath Sewage Ponds, Benton 3 Sep (ph. D. Robinson), Malheur HQ 15 Sep (N. Clements), and Tillamook, Tillamook 28 Sep (ph. SF, DI). Six eastside American Redstarts were found 28 Aug–21 Sep. Previously barely annual in fall but more regular in recent years, single Chestnut-sided Warblers were at Hwy 140 near Plush Cutoff Rd., Lake 28 Aug (ph. S. Clark), at Tumalo Reservoir, Deschutes 30 Aug (T. Love, ph. E. Thomas), and at Malheur HQ 10–11 Sep (ph. R. Morgan, E. Thomas) and 21–25 Sep (ph. K. Lopez). A Blackpoll Warbler was at Thief Valley Res., Union 6–7 Sep (ph. NC), and one was at Plat I Res., Douglas 13 Sep (RN). Three inland Palm Warblers were found, most notably one at Little Willow Creek Res., Jefferson 1 Nov (E. Haney et al.). Oregon’s 17th Prairie Warbler was at Malheur HQ 10 Sep (ph. D. Sutherland), falling snuggly with that location’s three previous records 10–27 Sep. With all but one of the remaining 13 records coastal, a Prairie Warbler in Newport, Lincoln 6–12 Oct (J. Danzenbaker et al.) was more typical. An ad. male Summer Tanager was at Kilchis Point, Tillamook 23 Sep (ph. T. Lawes). A young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was at Malheur HQ 13–15 Sep (NC et al.).
Nolan Clements, Shawneen Finnegan, Dave Irons, Nick Mrvelj, Russ Namitz, Colby Neuman, Chuck Philo, Doug Robinson, Tim Rodenkirk, Terry Wahl.
Pictorial Highlights–Oregon, The Fall 2019
Hover or click on each image to read the caption.