Fernhill Wetlands

While certainly not one of the more scenic sites in Oregon, Fernhill Wetlands (Birding Oregon p. 61) always attracts some noteworthy birds.

least and western sandpipers
Least Sandpiper (left) and Western Sandpiper (right) are two of the more common shorebirds that use the mudflats at Fernhill. Both birds are juveniles (brightly colored fresh plumage, scapulars are small and rounded). The Least has a small, finely-pointed bill, yellowish legs, breast streaks, and feeds while squatting low to the mud. The Western has a longer drooping bill, dark legs (hidden in the mud),  is grayer overall, and looks “front heavy,” like he might tip forward.

pelican swimming
Two American White Pelicans have been at Fernhill lately. This species doesn’t nest in the Willamette Valley, but small flocks are often present in late summer/early autumn.
american white pelican

gb heron with catfish
A Great Blue Heron with a species of bullhead. Catfish have sharp spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins, so the heron has to position the fish carefully before swallowing.

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