Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer is for the Birds

Finding ourselves with out a motor-home since the 28th of June, and for probably the rest of July, is for the birds.  As Dr. Seuss would say; "We do not like it, not one little bit". We didn't fully appreciate how much we were dependent on using the motor-home to escape from the boredom of home and summer's high temperatures. Continuing oppressive heat, and lack of an RV to escape to the coast for days at a time, is forcing us to change our schedule around. We get out and get our birding done in the cool of the morning before retreating to the air-conditioning of the house. In this sense, we are trying to save our summer by focusing on the birds. This worked out pretty good yesterday, we were down to Wallace Marine Park a few minutes after 7:00am and were rewarded to a good couple of hours of birding.  As we walked across the railroad foot bridge I spotted a Peregrine Falcon atop the bridge, the first of two for the day. The second Peregrine was spotted under the Center Street Bridge.
Peregrine Falcon under Center Street Bridge

We continued to see and photograph a good number of birds as we walked through the Salem Riverfront Park.  Our turn around point was the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge.  As we neared the top of the bridge, Jeanette though she recognized a Killdeer calling.  It did not sound exactly right, and then she spotted three Spotted Sandpipers, and adult and two juveniles. 

adult male Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper are members of the plover family, and like the Snowy Plover that we have a good amount of experience with from our volunteer work on the Oregon Coast, it is the male that gets stuck with caring for the juveniles.  In this case we got to watch him as he try to control and direct two juveniles.

juvenile Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpipers. like the rest of the Plover family, which for example includes Killdeer, make their nest right on the ground.  The day the chicks are hatched they are very functional and almost immediately walk out of the nest. Dad then begins the important task of oversight, protection, food, and keeping them hidden. This could be this chick's first day.


  1. Great description, Jim. As always, you paint a great verbal/eyes-closed picture. Thanks!

  2. Ditto Larry! Outdoor early summer mornings are the best.