Port Orford Christmas Bird Count Sunday, December 29, 2002
By Jim Rogers
Christmas Bird Count: The December 29 Port Orford CBC was our most successful ever with 145 species, beating our old record of 140. By contrast, the Coos Bay record of 150 held for 19 years before finally being shattered in 1998 with 155 species. In 2000, they set their current record of 160. It looks like it’s just a matter of time before we reach our goal of 150. We’re fortunate that the Port Orford area and, for that matter, much of Curry County, has excellent bird habitat, not to mention skilled birders to find them. We are also fortunate in having the help of some excellent birders from Brookings and Coos Bay. This year, in addition to having beautiful weather for the count sandwiched into a long spell of wind and rain, we had the help of three excellent birders from the Willamette Valley.
A couple of the more unusual finds were a Sandhill Crane and a Say’s Phoebe located by Terry Wahl on his Elk River ranch. Terry also found an Eurasian Widgeon and between 18 and 25 Palm Warblers on the ranch land west of Langlois. Sharyn Becker found her Acorn Woodpecker near the upper end of the Grassy Knob road eating acorns from a snag in which she had seen it stashing acorns during the fall North American Migration Count. Possibly the most spectacular find was the hordes of robins on the pastures. We counted a total of 4641, compared to last year’s 1500. A possible reason for the extraordinary number might be that the pastures along the Coquille were all under water. Another unusual observation was a total of 40 Brown Pelicans heading south, a couple of months after the last ones are normally seen. A rather sad observation was of a long Harlequin Duck. We used to find a couple of dozen of these beautiful ducks that nest in mountain streams and spent the rest of their time on the ocean. There were still a few of the Red Phalaropes remaining that blew into town in the storm on December 14.
Kalmiopsis Audubon Society
P.O. Box 1265
Port Orford, OR 97465