Pacific County and Cannon Beach

Over the weekend Jacob and I left our 5MR to do some birding and exploring along the coast.

Sunrise over Mount St. Helens

A herd of Roosevelt elk was grazing close to Highway 30 so we stopped for a peek.

We were heading to Cape Disappointment State Park but took the long way around Chinook Valley where we were hoping for some birds.  No disappointment here!

Western Bluebirds

 Violet-green Swallow

This area is great for birding!  We had our first Rufous Hummingbird for the year, a calling Hutton's Vireo, singing Marsh Wrens, and our first Pacific County Purple Finches.

Last winter Jacob and I had a Northern Shrike here, and Jacob had a Tropical Kingbird and Black Phoebe another time.  Definitely worth taking the detour!

At Cape Disappointment we learned that the jetty is completely closed off for construction.  This was, obviously, disappointing, but we decided to explore the North Head area instead.

Salmonberry blooming!

The birds were very vocal here including some Red Crossbills, a ni…

More 5MR Birding

It's been a few weeks since my last 5MR post so there is a lot to catch up on!  I've picked up eight 5MR year birds including two that were completely new for my 5MR.  Some of the birds have been better than expected, and some have been like this one:

Just a coot, but #98 for the year

One of the hotspots I created in my 5MR has been extra good.  I recently split it into two hotspots creating more manageable sections to bird.  The first area, "Burnt Bridge Creek at NE 147th Ave" is my main interest as it has big open cow fields as well as a huge area of marsh, plus a small stand of oak trees.  This is where Jacob and I have seen a Barn Owl hunting every time we visit before sunrise, so imagine how horrified I was to see a dead one on the side of the road!

Oh, but after walking a quarter mile on a busy narrow stretch of farm road to retrieve the dead owl I found this instead:

Oh.  Oops.  That's just trash.  No dead owls here.

On another visit I walked the area think…

Life outside the 5MR

Though 5MR birding is definitely my obsession for this year I have still managed to bird outside of it a number of times.  Most of those times have not been shared here yet so I'm going to fix that.  Let's start with back in January (!) when Jacob and I wanted to go for a hike on a Saturday where there wouldn't be a ton of people.  We decided on the trail at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area.

I had not remembered that much of this landscape caught fire during the Substation Fire last year so things were a bit more charred than anticipated.

The lack of vegetation in large portions meant fewer birds, but the rock walls still presented us with Canyon Wrens.  Even one that let us take pictures!

Even with the char we managed 39 species, including exceeding the filter for expected Killdeer numbers.  We saw six. Yay.

A couple weeks ago Jacob wanted to check out Dougan Falls on the Washougal River.  It was beautiful with some snow and even a couple of birds.


One sunn…