Powell Butte/ Lewis River Fish Hatchery

My plan this morning was to visit Oaks Bottom but when I arrived there were big signs saying "Trail Closed."  Bummer- I assume it was due to erosion and muddy trails.  Damn rain.  I remembered the postings I had seen about Mountain Bluebirds on Powell Butte so I decided to head there and try my luck.  No dice, but I saw a few other good birds...

A juvenile Cooper's Hawk was sitting at eye level not far from the trail...


Savannah Sparrows are back and they are all over Powell Butte...


Lastly, on my way back down the trail I watched a Northern Harrier getting harassed by several crows...


This afternoon I wanted to take the dogs somewhere so we headed to Lake Merwin in Washington.  On the way there we stopped at the Lewis River Fish Hatchery.  I was creeping around the edge of the river when I heard what sounded like something large in the brush nearby.  I stopped short to listen closely.  Then I nearly crapped my pants when a sea lion burst up out of the river below me.  I think I even jumped backwards.  He passed quickly so I only got bad photos...


I suppose it makes sense for sea lions to hang out at fish hatcheries, but I really was not expecting to see one.  After that I realized what had been rustling around in the brush:  robins and a Varied Thrush...


Didn't see much else but the dogs had fun at Lake Merwin... It's a strange park in the non-summer months... It's usually empty but there's a big grassy field and a nice trail to a waterfall.

Good times!