Sunday, November 8, 2009

Red Phalarope at the North Jetty in Florence

After the recent storm, Red Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius) have popped up all over the Oregon Coast (as well as at some inland sites). This afternoon I decided to check out the backwater of the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River in Florence, usually a good place to find a variety of shorebirds in migration, including Red-necked Phalaropes - so why not a stray Red Phalarope?
Therefore, on our way back from grocery shopping Oscar and I made a brief detour to the jetty and - voila! - my hunch paid off: After a little bit of scoping, I detected one lone Red Phalarope swimming gaily in the rather choppy waters near the shoreline of the bay. It was quite unconcerned with my approach and allowed me to get pretty close for some pictures.
The bird is still mostly in juvenile plumage, indicated by the blackish coverts and tertials. Adults in non-breeding plumage are uniformly gray above. Also note the pinkish wash on the throat and upper neck.

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