It’s a quiet time of year at the Welcome Center of Beaver Creek State Natural Area where we are volunteering. Not only are the visitor numbers down with school starting and all, but the bird scene is definitely quieter too. The swallows, warblers, and osprey are gone, all headed south for the winter. But a mile to the west of us at Ona Beach State Park, it’s a different scene with new migrating birds passing through daily. This is the case with the bird in the first photo, a Semipalmated Sandpiper. They are not to be seen here year around, but only as they come through on their migration¸ in this case migrating south for the winter. Few in numbers they are to be found normally mixed in with the very similar and more common Western Sandpipers.
The photo below is of two migrating Brown Pelicans. Brown Pelicans travel in the reverse direction. They are done with their nesting along the California shoreline and are now spreading north along the Oregon beaches. A few weeks ago, we would not have seen a single pelican at Ona Beach, now you can easily count forty or more collected at the mouth of Beaver Creek. This time of year when the nesting areas of the marsh along Beaver Creek are quiet, the ocean beaches have become the migration highway.