I spent about 4 very soggy hours down at Totem Park taking pictures. My intention was to take pictures of hummingbirds in the fireweed and shorebirds at high tide along the beach between the river and the battle site bench, but I ended up spending a fair amount of time trying to find what shelter I could from the falling rain.
Weather: Very wet. The rain never fell exceptionally hard, but it was pretty steady, with only a couple of times where it let up briefly. Winds were calm.
Birds: There were probably only a dozen or so gulls. Some of the juveniles were acting a little strange, flying erratically, diving at and chasing each other, and squawking. I never could figure out what they were up to.
As I was hanging out under an alder for a little protection from the rain, I saw a small flock of mallards swim by off shore headed toward the river mouth.
There was a lone Surf Scoter a ways off the beach.
I did notice some birds in the trees and fireweed. It was a little tough to identify them with the brief looks I got, but I am sure I saw Wilson’s and Orange-crowned Warblers. As I was leaving the beach, one bedraggled Orange-crowned Warbler came out into the open. It looked like it was feeling about as tired of being soaked wet as I was (see below).
There were a couple of Spotted Sandpipers that showed up at the park beach, but I also saw two of them along Lincoln Street Beach on the larger shore rocks between Merrill Rock and Sage Rock.
Two Greater Yellowlegs flew in and spent some time resting. I tried to sneak up on them, but had limited success.
There were probably at least a dozen or two Least Sandpipers still feeding at high tide. This was fewer than I had seen the last couple of days, however.
In among the Least Sandpipers was a lone Western Sandpiper.
I saw at least four Rufous Hummingbirds feeding in the fireweed. It was difficult to tell for sure, and for a time I thought there were only three.
As I was getting up to leave, at least five Semipalmated Plovers landed. I did not recognize them at first, as their breeding plumage (which I have seen before) is a little different their non-breeding, which they were showing today.
Flora: There was an oddly misshapen fireweed. It was normal up to a certain point on its stem where the main stem became quite flat. Leaves and flowers still grew out of the stem, but it was not typical.
There seem to be quite a few huckleberries in a couple locations along Lincoln. They’re not abundant, but it looks like the huckleberry crop might not be a total bust for the dedicated picker.
Other Notes: For much of the time after the tide had moved in over the flats, I saw a lone harbor seal in the water above the flats. It may have been chasing salmon, but I did not ever see it moving very actively.
Today was the first time I really noticed that it’s getting dark earlier. It was dark a little after 9pm.