The last thing we expected last November when we planned a four-day trip to Manzanita in early March was that we would experience clear skies, day-time temperatures of 60+ degrees with no wind, seas so calm you could canoe on them, and close views of a Steller's Eider, a seabird rarely found south of the Bering Sea.
This was the 3rd record of the species in Oregon. Amazingly, the female Eider has been observed foraging near shore within Seaside Cove since December 31, 2017. The first time this species was discovered in the state was February 1992, and that bird stuck around for only 5 days. The second record was a single-day sighting near Bray Pt. in Lane County February 3, 2007.
I believe the latest record of the species in the lower 48 states is March 30, 1977, in Massachusetts. So I am sure there is more than one local birder hoping this vagrant sticks around until April.
Below is a selection of images of birds and landscapes from our visit to the area since our blog is not only about birds but also the places we find them.
FEMALE STELLER'S EIDER (Pronounced Ider):
Coming to shore -
Persistence pays off!
Time to take a break and clean up a bit.
BLACK TURNSTONES, a canoeist of sorts, and crabbers probably wishing everyday was like today:
SANDERLING (ever-present and always appreciated):
REMY, SMUGGLER COVE, HARBOR SEALS CURIOUS ABOUT REMY, AND A SUNSET YOU ONLY GET AT THE BEACH:
A GORGEOUS WALK THROUGH OLD GROWTH FOREST LEADS TO THIS BEACH:
(Great Habitat for Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet) THREE HARBOR SEALS - SHY UNTIL REMY APPROACHED THE WATER'S EDGE:
A FIERY SUNSET: JILL WAVING GOOD DAY: