The best views ever of a Mountain Plover in Oregon!

One of the best moments of my life was having this juvenile Mountain Plover run around my feet along with his 9 Snowy Plover friends. A Snowy Plover actually walked across my legs as I lay in the sand. Mountain Plovers are usually seen by scope in a distant field and usually not on a sandy beach! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, So Ilya and I drove 8 hrs down to the beautiful Oregon Coast. Oregon is in my top 3 fave states because of its beauty. I don't think I will ever get this close to a Mountain Plover ever again (he was within 5 feet) so it's a memory I will always treasure. These birds are listed as critically endangered in Canada and are threatened in the US. We really need to preserve their habitat and stop turning grasslands into agricultural land if we want this species to persist. They are vital to our ecosystem and indicate its health. The original post I made 2 years ago follows below:

Hi guys this long weekend Ilya and I went down to Newport Oregon to see the overwintering Mountain Plover at South Beach State Park. We quickly found him with 9 Snowy Plovers. All were very tame and the drive was beautiful as we went down the stunning Oregon coast and stopped at Cannon Beach and walked to Haystack Rock. They have such gorgeous beaches down there. We found a Bullock's Oriole which was reported at Hatfield Museum in Newport and at the Yaquina South Jetty we saw a Clark's Grebe.

The Mountain Plover was a lifer for both of us so the 7.5 hr drive was worth it because it is very rare to get views like this of a beautiful Juvenile Mountain Plover standing 5 feet from us!

Mountain Plover in Newport, Oregon. You rarely get this close to one! - Photos: Melissa Hafting

He ran right in front of us and Ilya said "We could catch him!"

The Snowy Plovers and Sanderlings were also running right in front of our face. The 9 Snowy Plovers were mostly banded and in non breeding plumage but we did find one who was not and he even did a wing stretch for us.

Snowy Plovers being too cute for their own good in Newport, Oregon - Photos: Melissa Hafting
On the way down we saw this Shortie in WA state posing on the side of the road as well.

Short-eared Owl in WA - Photo: Melissa Hafting

I highly recommend a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory if anyone goes this way as they have delicious ice cream and cheese! It was 19 degrees down there and a refreshing stop for us!


  1. Wow! Awesome pictures that matches with the experience. Special moments like this indeed last a life time. Congrats!

    1. thanks it was really magical. sometimes it is great to remember the good times and have gratitude.


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