I visit Ridgefield way too much! It's an easy drive because I live two blocks from I-5, plus I can bring my dog, and if I'm feeling lazy I don't even have to get out of the car.. haha.
Same old same old...
I finally found some Cinnamon Teals..
A perfect Double-crested Cormorant.
This pair of Bald Eagles scared the crap out of me screaming from over the bank of the pond. Seriously it sounded like a baby being killed. They settled in a tree across the field where one of them proceeded to eat something I couldn't identify (a frog maybe?).
I love the look on the face of the eagle to the left..
An article about the 10-year challenge popped up while I was trying to think of ideas for a 10-year blog anniversary post. The premise is simple: post a photo of yourself from 10 years ago next to a current photo of yourself. Perfect. Here is the bird blog version.
Birding in 2009... The main difference between then and now is that then I didn't know I was birding. Yes, I was going out and taking lots of photos of birds and yes, I started this blog specifically to keep track of what I was seeing (and share it all with my mom who loves birds). But I didn't know birding was a thing. I had no idea what a life list was, or a county list, or eBird or OBOL or any of that.
Also, I ignored small birds for the most part.
Fall 2009, Jackson Bottom Wetlands
When I did venture a guess at a small bird I was wrong. I called this a Savannah Sparrow.
Bird ID in 2009... I would open up my Peterson's Guide and make my best guess, throw it on my blog, and wait to see if one of my …
A year ago I was encouraging my fellow birders to join a challenge with no even playing field and no prizes. I was expecting maybe 20 people to take on the 2019 5MR Challenge, but ended up with over 200. As the year progressed many dropped out though a few new ones joined up, even into fall. The final-ish list stands at 164 participants, mostly from the United States but also Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and Bangladesh.
I must admit, my goal was never to be competitive about it but it seemed like the best way to get birders to try a 5MR list. The amazing thing is that it worked. A lot of people chose to bird close to home this year, to drive less and explore more, to choose to bird nearby locations rather than the most visited hotspots in the county.
It turns out 5MR birding is also an excellent way to get to know a new area as Jacob and I have discovered with our new house in Lincoln City. There are a few hotspots around that I was familiar with but so many more areas …
You know we are experiencing strange times when this adult store window display makes complete sense to anyone walking by:
Two months ago this would have left me scratching my head.
By the end of March my work was closed and Jacob had set up a home office in Lincoln City where we have been able to spend most of our time lately. I've been relying heavily on the ultimate distraction, birding, by obsessing over a new motorless/green list. My first real outing was finally walking to the beach, only 1.3 miles away.
This route takes me past the Abe Lincoln statue, that adult store, a store with "lark" in the name but featuring a drawing of a swallow, and a community garden.
As I approached the garden I heard a completely unexpected sound: California Scrub-Jay!
This was a freakin county bird for me! This is a very unreliable bird in the northern part of the county and not one I was expecting to see in my 5MR anytime soon. While I was standing there a city employee came and…