Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vancouver Lake, etc.

I spent the morning around Vancouver Lake and the nearby country roads.  I had only been to the lake once before by accident, so it was fun to explore the area.   I stopped at the lake parking area first where there were four Bald Eagles within view.



 

That was pretty cool.  I drove on down the road past the lake towards where all the hunters park..  I found this little tree with four different kinds of birds:

I think this is a Western Scrub-Jay.

An American Kestrel.

A Western Meadowlark and a Northern Flicker.

On the other side of the road were a ton of blackberry bushes full of House Finches:

I returned to Vancouver Lake to let Jake run around a bit... He was not too pleased with this sign:

I spotted a Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret further down the lake shore...

Jake then rolled in goose-like poop and ran off with a buoy.


Next we stopped at Frenchman's Bar Park to see what was going on there... There were a gazillion Canada Geese in the field:

I drove further up Lower River Road and found some hawks..
Probably a Red-tailed Hawk.

Probably another younger Red-tailed Hawk.

Towards the end of the road is a barn with some cows... 

They were really cute.

On the way back down Lower River Road I saw this guy:
I'm not sure about this guy... He looks smaller to me than other hawks I saw today.

Oaks Bottom, Thousand Acres

This week was pretty rainy so I didn't get out as much as I would have liked.  I made it down to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge for some hiking with Jake.

Found this pretty pair of Wood Ducks.

There were quite a few Northern Pintails and Green-Winged Teals, as well as Mallards and Coots.

Yesterday I took Jake out to Thousand Acres for a couple hours..  Saw the work of some busy beavers:


I saw this Dark-Eyed Junco:

This Northern Harrier and a Bald Eagle stirred things up along the Columbia River. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kelley Point Park, again.

I took Jake for a walk at Kelley Point Park today, after a week of freezing weather and not wanting to adventure outside my toasty living room.

I followed this guy up and down the Columbia:

I'm guessing a second or third year bald eagle?


Each time I caught up with him he would sit for awhile then swoop down where a bunch of gulls and cormorants were perched in the river and cause quite a ruckus.

The gulls would get frantic for a bit, then settle back down on their perches.

The third time the eagle took off he never came back.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kelley Point Park.

Sometimes I curse having a dog... Jake just sat staring at me this morning waiting for me to take him somewhere to burn some energy.  It may have been slightly warmer today than yesterday, but the wind more than makes up for it.  I gave in and took him to Kelley Point Park where he proceeded to roll in some kind of feces or death.  I was super pleased as I felt like my face was going to blow right off and my fingers were going to freeze.

But then a pair of Bald Eagles came out and made it all worthwhile.  So I kinda have to thank Jake for that.



 
Eventually they flew off to the other side of the Columbia for some fishing... and all that was left were the gulls and the cormorants..


Alright, I guess my dog is not too bad. He's been bathed and is now passed out in bed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tualatin River NWR & Ridgefield NWR

i decided to go for an early morning stroll through the tualatin river national wildlife refuge today.  one of those bank thermometers along 99-w said it was 27 degrees.   because of the cold i only did a quick hike around, but got some good pictures in the short time.


the moon was still pretty clear for 8:15 a.m.  much of the water down there was frozen so the birds were mostly confined to the non-frozen parts.  



mostly northern pintails from what i can tell...


across the water i saw these guys:
a nice pair of bald eagles!

did i mention it was freezing?  it looked like a winter wonderland even though it was just frost...


i assume this is a blue heron...


a couple of canada geese... of course.

a very patient golden-crowned sparrow...

when i returned to the overlook the ducks had begun walking on the ice...

a northern harrier.

that was about it for tualatin river.  in the afternoon i headed to ridgefield nwr...  on the road between I-5 and the refuge i saw this fellow:

a red-tailed hawk.

at the refuge i had some luck with mammals...
a pair of nutria....snuggling?

and a pair of river otters!!  i was very excited, but not as excited as jake..

so freakin cute.

yeah, i'm just going to call everything a red-tailed hawk today...

i think this is a song sparrow.

an immature red-tailed hawk?
(side note: why is there an ant on my laptop keyboard???)

now if this guy isn't a red-tailed hawk then i don't know what is...

a rough-legged hawk?  perhaps the same one i saw before that i mistook for a bald eagle (at a much further distance)... here it is in flight:

posing in front of the sunset...

sandhill cranes flying by...

an elusive american bittern..

tundra swans?

immature tundra swans..

snow geese, tundra swans, canada geese, ducks...

ok i think that's everything from today!