Cooper Mountain Nature Park.

I visited Cooper Mountain today for the first time and boy is my spring fever back!  It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I made sure the dogs got tired out at work in the morning (one of the many benefits of working at a doggie daycare) so I had my whole afternoon free to look for birds...

From the parking area at the top of the trails is a stunning view of the Tualatin River Valley...


I think I managed to check out all of the trails during my three and a half hours (!) at the park.  The first fifteen minutes or so of walking was nearly bird-free but luckily that changed. White-crowned Sparrows were the first birds I noticed in numbers...


Ruby-crowned Kinglets were by far the most common bird of the day.


I found a pair of beautiful Western Bluebirds flying around a field near the main trail. 



So pretty!  Also pretty were all the little butterfly type things flitting about... Most would not stay still for a photo but this little fella did:


Learning more about butterflies is on my long list of things to do... On the Larkspur Loop trail I was startled to find a Cooper's Hawk perched right next to me. 


I had seen both a juvenile Cooper's and an adult fly overhead earlier on my walk so it was nice to have one actually pose for the camera.


I saw a couple Hermit Thrushes throughout the park...


At the Prairie Overlook I finally found an interesting warbler... My first of the year Black-throated Gray!


Woohoo!  Good birds!  Oh and there were some flowers too... yet another thing I'd like to learn more about... For now I'll just call them pretty:

Comments

  1. Why shouldn't you find a Cooper's Hawk on Cooper Mountain :-)

    What a nice, red tail on your Hermit Thrush. And excellent Black-throated Gray shot!

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  2. What a wonderful day. The scenery looks gorgeous. You got awesome shots of the Coppers Hawk and the cute warbler. Pretty butterfly. All are great sightings.

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  3. Amazing pictures! And while I visited your blog for the birds... I was happy to see the glacier lily at the end... My favorite flower and sadly mine are still covered in snow.

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  4. As always gorgeous photos. I think the butterfly might be a Sara's Orangetip. I recommend a book called "Butterflies of the Pacific Northwest" by William Neill. It's a pretty good guidebook, and the photo in there looks a lot like yours.

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  5. Wonderful birds! I haven't been there in a while and it inspired me to visit again soon. Love the bluebird shots :)

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  6. What a shot of the coopers!!! and that black throated grey is one I'd love to see--I know one flower is the shooting star but the others not so familiar with...

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  7. Hey Jen, I've got to head back up to Cooper Mtn to try to find that black-throated grey! Thanks.

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  8. Hi Jen, Mike is right, the butterfly is a Sara's Orangetip (Anthocaris sara). It's a female.

    Word has gotten out on the owlets at RNWR, and people are bothering them constantly. I'm about to get real vocal with some of those people.

    There was a River Otter at the refuge yesterday and a lot of other interesting things, including a Mourning Cloak, a Spring Azure (aka Echo Blue), and another butterfly that was going too fast to positively identify (probably a Red Admiral or California Tortoiseshell).

    I enjoy your reports and pictures. I don't remember what user name I used before so I posted this under anonymous.

    Kris

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  9. Wow, nice Cooper's Hawk and Black-throated Gray Warbler pics! I've only been to Cooper Mountain once. I may have to make another visit.

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