A Week at the Beach

Manzanita, a small town on the northwest coast of Oregon, was a wonderful place to spend a week.

Katherine and I had come up to Manzanita for her (vaccinated) family reunion. We had a wonderful time: Katherine catching up with her relatives and me meeting people I’ve heard about over the years.

The birding was not bad either. 😀

The house we stayed at was right on the beach where the Brown Pelicans flew and dove around much of the day.

(Note: All “gallery” type images in this post allow you to click on a photo to view a larger version.)

One morning, I happened across a pair of American Crows. One was digging in the sand while another watched. Soon, the first had unearthed a Sand Crab, which the second wanted.

Meanwhile, the gulls were busy with their own hunting and scavenging.

Gull with Starfish. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 A022, handheld, 1/400 sec., f/22, ISO 12800. Manzanita, OR
Gull with breakfast. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 A022, handheld, 1/400 sec., f/6.3, ISO 100. Manzanita, OR.

The raptors were well represented. I saw (but missed the shot of) a Bald Eagle with a large unidentified mammal in its claws as it flew down the beach low over the sand.

Nehalem Bay State Park was just a few miles away; we could walk to it from the house. At the park, Katherine spotted a bird (later ID’d as a Bewick’s Wren) in the path. “It’s taking a dirt bath!”

“Is that a thing?” I wondered.

It is.

The Spruce website explains that many birds take dust baths as part of their preening regimen. “[W]rens take regular dust baths…”

In addition to seeing a Bewick’s Wren’s morning ablution, we saw Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Cedar Waxwings, a scary looking moth, Western Sandpipers and more Brown Pelicans diving into the ocean. My favorite was the Semipalmated Plover; I’d never ID’d one before.

We had a great time at the reunion and I enjoyed the opportunity to practice my bird photography skills!

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