Friday, August 22, 2014

Broughton Beach, etc.

Yesterday morning I decided to take a long walk out to Broughton Beach on the slimmest of chances that a certain Arctic Tern would still be hanging around.  It was not, but I had a good walk and added at least one bird to my motorless year list.

Osprey were out fishing which, as I'm sure I've mentioned, is one of my favorite things to watch.  They are just SO good at it.  Except when they're not.

This seemed like a regular plunge at first, but the Osprey did not fly back up, fish in talons.  Instead it sort of flopped about, swimming kind of,  awkwardly wrestling what turned out to be a pretty big fish. 

It was fairly close to shore so after some more "paddling" and fluttering, it hopped up onto some rocks with the fish.

Once on the rocks, there were was still much debate about what to do next.  A flyby Bald Eagle caused a brief disturbance during which I thought the fish was lost.  It was not.  The eagle flew back across the river and the Osprey returned.

After a minute the Osprey took off again and just sort of circled, so I left in case I was disturbing his meal. 

At the beach I was hoping for some peeps to add to my motorless list.  Right away something spooked five birds from the west and they passed right by me and over the bike path.  Trying to ID sandpipers in flight is not easy for me, but judging by the bill length I am guessing they were Leasts.  Thoughts?

These were the only shorebirds I saw on this walk.  Kind of a bummer.  I did finally nab a couple Horned Larks for my list...

A couple of Caspian Terns were around, showing me their weird side.

Despite the lack of shorebirds (and the lack of Arctic Terns), the beach was fairly entertaining.  Dead stuff and flowers filled in the gaps nicely.

And when all else fails, there are grasshoppers and other critters to look at.

My 2014 motorless list is now up to 121!  Only 14 species to go to tie my list from last year, which is amazing since this year I am trying out a walking-only list.  Last year I rode my bike a bunch.  Good times!

Friday, August 15, 2014


Timberline Lodge.  You've seen The Shining, right?  Well I didn't head out to this historic Mount Hood lodge yesterday to hunt for ghost twins or rub noses with Jack Nicholson.  I just wanted to check out the trails that lead up the mountain from the lodge and maybe see a few birds along the way...

Wildflowers were a big highlight with hot pink paintbrush, lupine, aster, and many more I have yet to identify brightening up the landscape.





While hiking up a thick fog rolled in and the mountain completely disappeared for awhile. 

What mountain? 

Oh right.  Birds.  There were some of those too.  A young Horned Lark surprised us in the fog...

Later on after the fog passed and the sun came out I found a couple of adults as well.

The most abundant bird of the day was the juvenile Chipping Sparrow.  They were everywhere.  Never saw a single full-blown adult.

With the sunshine came much better views of... well... everything.

Early morning skiers

Ok back to birds.  The hike down passed through a major Mountain Bluebird party.

Also along the trail were lots of finches.  I saw no obvious males which made me very indecisive about the ID- Cassin's or Purple?

Never a lack of golden-mantled ground squirrels in these parts

As we made our way back down the trail I tried to keep an eye out for raptors.  No Golden Eagles or fancy hawks to be seen, but a Prairie Falcon tore through the small group of trees near the bottom of the trail.  eBird questioned it, so it must be a good sighting.  Har har.

The trees also attracted Clark's Nutcrackers.

See ya

 Lil chippy

 It was a good morning!  I would really like to explore this area more sometime, and maybe even figure out what trail I was on..

Good times!!