Conboy Lake NWR.

I was itching to get out somewhere drier than Portland on Friday and decided to revisit Conboy Lake NWR up in Washington. 

Most of my time was spent on the Willard Springs trail where birds were busy with babies and eating and all the usual spring time stuff.

It did not take me long to find this sapsucker's nest as its babies were super loud.  I watched both parents bring food and one do a little tidying up.


Not far from the sapsucker nest a crew of young House Wrens hopped around on some down branches.  Meep meep.

The forested part of the trail was filled with more birds and a pleasant sprinkling of columbine and honeysuckle.

RBNU kid

Nashville Warbler

I decided to turn around at the overlook, where not much of interest was happening.  I almost left but then remembered to do a final scan and found a small herd of elk with young.   Horrible photos here is one anyway:

There were a few little orchids along the trail that I *think* are phantom orchids, though not anywhere near pos…

Local birds.

The Five-mile Radius (5MR) list continues!  On Friday I made it out to Blue Lake Park for the first time in a month to see if I could nab any new 5MR birds for the year.  I had been trying to get the park list over 100 species and last I checked it was in the high 90's.  Of course, I got home and found some couple from Georgia had birded there and added THREE new birds to the park list pushing it up to 100.  Bastards stealing my thunder.

Anyway.  Good day for youngsters...

Ok, those were not the most exciting youngsters.  Let me try one more:


The best bird of the morning was a surprising Red-eyed Vireo in the trees along the lake.

There are two main spots for this bird in the county and this is not one of them.  Very cool. 

That evening Jacob and I went back up to Larch Mountain to try for Common Nighthawks.  We heard our first one around 8:30, and had three more in that location.  There were even more at clearcuts on the way back down the mountain. 

The biggest celebrity …

Larch Mountains.

In these parts there are two main mountains that go by the name Larch, neither of which actually host any larch trees.  The more popular mountain is in Multnomah County, where I live, and the other is in Clark County, where Jacob lives.  We visited the top of both mountains recently and let me see if I can make a decent blog post out of those trips.  I'll start with yesterday, when I convinced Jacob to wake up even earlier than he already does so we could get to the Mult-Larch summit by sunrise.

Looks pretty and peaceful, right?  Well check out that dark spot in the top right.  That's an effing drone buzzing around, directed by a pack of eleven loud and annoying douchebags.  Ugh.  Beautiful sunrise though, and I was able to make out the sound of the previously reported Rock Wren downslope.

We walked around some areas at the top, looking for birds and flowers, before driving to a clearcut five or so miles down the road.  Despite stopping many times on the way we never heard a …