Sauvie Island

I decided to try for the Harris's Sparrow at Sauvie Island today even though it had not been seen for a week or so... I even thought to bring some seed to throw on the ground in hopes of increasing my chances.  I got to work right away tossing seed around the trail to the blind, where the bird had been seen before.

This towhee seemed unimpressed with my seed:

Unfortunately the only birds that seemed impressed with the seed were juncos and Song Sparrows.  I could have stayed home and watched those birds from my window, darn it!   Further up the road were a bunch of Golden-crowned Sparrows feeding in this tree...

I watched them for a while but didn't see anything special.  I went back down towards the blind trail and parked for a bit... I managed to glimpse a White-throated Sparrow in the trees across the road but no photo.  He was too fast.

I had the dogs with me and they were bored so I drove over to Collins Beach to walk them.  Thankfully there were no naked people (or any people) at this clothing-optional beach.  I was ready to devote some time to the dogs and ignore the birds when a Pileated Woodpecker caught my eye...  There were two of them, working the moss on the trees next to the beach...

Awesome!  Finally I let Jake run around a bit though Ralph was on lockdown- we passed way too many herd-able animals on the way to the beach and god only knows where he would have run off to...

Aren't they handsome?!  Anyway, after the beach I drove back to Rentenaar Road for another try... There was already a fellow standing by the blind trail keeping an eye on things so I opted to return to the area with all the Golden-crowneds... They were still stuffing their faces.

It seemed they were knocking a lot of the edible stuff off the tree onto the ground where more sparrows were waiting to gobble it up.  Oh yes, the Harris's Sparrow included!!!!!!

I could not believe my luck!  What an awesome day...  I made sure to stop and tell the guy at the blind trail about him on my way out... I hope he saw him too!  [Side note: upon flipping through my Birds of the Willamette Valley Region this morning I realized that the guy I mentioned was Mr. Harry Nehls himself!]


  1. Great looking dogs and birds :)

  2. You are finding some interesting birds. I have only seen one Harris's and only one Pileated.

    Great pictures and post.

  3. Great shots what luck to see the bird you went for!!YOUR BOYS are looking terrific---I have the same issues Annie likes to take off and hunt whilst Flossie will hang right around me, and this week I have a Thrid DOG--my sister is out of town until NEXT WED. so a full house here!

  4. Your doggies are so sweet. What a nice photo!

  5. Whoa! I've only seen a pileated for one flashing second. Which is tragic. Now I know: Collins beach. And it's only a hop skip and a jump away. Thanks.

  6. Wonderful post, Jen! I love the shot of the Golden-crowned Sparrow eating the catkin seeds! We don't have any of those sparrows here and it would be lifetime experience for me to see one. In fact I like ALL your shots. You also got a couple of magnificent dogs! (I am a great dog lover)

  7. You found the Harris Sparrow. Nice job!


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