OBA field trips are back! OBA is again offering trips led by experienced birders and expert local guides. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have guidelines in place to help ensure a safe experience for everyone. All participants must show proof of vaccination; see our Field Trip Policies page for full details and our waiver. There is no charge to attend, but participants must be current members of OBA; you can join or renew here. Pre-registration is required and group size is limited to 10 participants plus leader(s). Weather, wildfire or other conditions may cause a trip to be canceled; if that happens, the trip leader will alert you. To suggest a trip we should run, or to volunteer as a leader, please contact us.

OBA Boiler Bay Seawatch Open House–April 29, 2023

Hosts: Dave Irons and Shawneen Finnegan

Location: Boiler Bay State Wayside, Depoe Bay, Oregon

Date: Saturday 29 April 2023 — Note that if the weather is really hideous on Saturday we will use the following day Sunday 30 April as the “rainout” date.

Time: 7AM to 2PM — If the weather is overcast or partly cloudy we may go longer. By early afternoon on clear days the sun in your eyes makes seawatching a challenge.

Details: We invite you to join us for a unique “open house” seawatching experience at Boiler Bay State Wayside in Lincoln County. Boiler Bay is widely regarded as the best site for coastal headland birding in all of Oregon and perhaps the entire west coast. If you’ve always been mystified by how some birders readily identify flyby seabirds from shore and tally some of the incredible counts that get reported, this is your chance to come see how it’s done. We’ll share tips for using shape, structure, flight styles and altitudinal clues to ID various species. We’ll also discuss how weather conditions and wind directions play into producing the best flights. We will demonstrate how to use short 5-10 minute counts to calculate how many birds per hour are passing  and then extrapolate those into fairly accurate counts of how many birds are going past over many hours. We will also do hourly checklists throughout the day and share them with participants upon request.

Photo credit: Chris Hinkle, Boiler Bay, April 30, 2016

We have chosen an “open house” format, where unlike most field trips you are free to arrive and depart whenever you wish. There will also be no limit on the number of participants. This late April date was selected to take advantage of the peak of northbound migration for many species. Expect to see upwards of 40 species, which will include a variety of shorebirds, ducks, alcids, scoters, geese, gulls, terns and perhaps some tubenoses. This is the peak flight week for Western Sandpipers, Dunlin, Sanderlings, Black-bellied Plovers, and Whimbrel. On this date we are likely to see flocks of Brant, Aleutian Cackling Goose, and Greater White-fronted Goose winging their way to Arctic breeding grounds.

You will want to dress in layers with an outer layer to break the wind and possible rain. An umbrella may come in handy either to create some shade, or to stay dry. Sun screen is also recommended. Please bring a folding seat if standing still for long periods presents a challenge. If you have a spotting scope, or can borrow one from a friend, please bring it as that will enhance your experience. We will have two scopes and will happily share them when necessary. Rather than being right out on the point where tourists gather, we will meet and bird from the grassy area near the picnic tables just south of the main parking area. Bring snacks and drinks and a lunch if you plan on spending the day. There are restrooms on site and nearby restaurants and convenience stores if you need to take a break.

If we have to postpone to Sunday the 30th, an announcement will be posted on OBOL (Oregon Birders Online) no later than 8PM on Friday the 28th. If you are not an OBOL subscriber, you can still see messages in digest form by going to the ABA Birding News portal: Intermittent squalls and stronger winds, particularly out of the west or northwest can actually be to our advantage, so we will only postpone if it looks an all-day monsoon is in the offing.

Please note that you must be an OBA member to participate. To join or renew, please go to

Unlike other OBA trips, there is no requirement to provide proof of COVID vaccination for this event. Please stay home if you have symptoms or were recently exposed.

If you have any questions about what to expect or where to meet, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email or text.

Dave Irons —  or 541-359-7064

Shawneen Finnegan — or 503-729-1729

We follow the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics, developed and promoted by the ABA.

OBA Field Trip Policies