Johnson Road, Washington County.

This morning I was planning on going up to Ridgefield but when I got up, I just didn't feel like it.  I was catching up on OBOL and there were a few recent posts on cougars.  This made me think about about hiking in the woods, which made me think about some info I had saved on a promising Mountain Quail/Sooty Grouse location in Washington County, and so off I went...  I had zero expectations but I ended up having a great time.

I found Greg Gillson's site guide about Johnson Road and used it to decide where to park and where to wander around.  I started off parking at the end of the road, and hiked down the road past the gate.  The first bird to show himself was an Orange-crowned Warbler...

Throughout the morning I saw several Rufous Hummingbirds...

I found lots of tracks that I were hoping were cougar tracks to bring the day full-circle, but I don't think they were...

Oh well, tracks are still fun to look at... There were some bird tracks too:

Possibly from quail... I googled quail tracks and got this image, not sure how reliable it is...

Whatever.  I know diddly squat about tracks.  It's on the long list of things I'd like to know more about...  While on this road I did hear what I am 99% sure was a Mountain Quail.  I had listened to its call several times before I headed out so I'm fairly confident about it...

There was a pretty little butterfly thing on the ground...

The last bird I saw on this road took me awhile to find.  I could hear it but it was pretty well disguised.  Looks like a MacGillivray's Warbler!

I drove back down Johnson Road a little ways and stopped at a dirt road.  I wandered around this area for quite awhile.  There were many flycatchers calling to each other..  In my head I heard "AND you, AND you" and was hoping this would help ID them...

I'm pretty sure it's a Willow Flycatcher.  Sibley described the voice as "RITZbew" which seems to fit well with my "AND you" memory.

Along the dirt road were more Rufous Hummingbirds...

Also present were an American Golfinch, many towhees, White-crowned Sparrows, ravens, and some swallows I did not see closely. 

 I almost forgot the amazing view!

Down the dirt road is apparently a popular target-practice spot.

I picked up a whole bunch of the metal bullet casings to hopefully make something with.  Not sure what.  Anyway, it was a really good morning!


  1. Looks like you had a good hike!

  2. Awesome birds!!! I was getting a little jealous of the open tree top shots...BUT Then I see you do have leaves to deal with sometimes Im all in balance OH those Rufous Shots are wonderful!!!
    DANG looks like the KKK been up there with all those bullet holes--You might make a windchime with all that metal! Love the fact that read Cougar in the area so you get in your car and drive right LOVE IT!! No Fear~ amazing landscape--just amazing!!

  3. Fun! I one time walked some logging roads between St. Helens and Vernonia. Looks like a similar habitat. Clear cuts can be very "birdy" (sadly).

  4. I definitely want to go there this weekend!

  5. I'm glad you got some use out of my site guide, Jen.

    I haven't been up to Johnson road this spring. I am planning on visiting Reeher Camp and do some photography there. I am "waiting" for a sunny day, though--at dawn.

  6. Another great birdie day, jen! I love the Rufous hummers and the warblers. Great bird and photos.

  7. Nice birding, Jen, and great work on the Willow I.D. It always helps me to come up with some phrase or another that represents the vocalization. Your "And you" is right on the money for Willow. To me, they look like light-colored Wood-Pewees with short primary extensions.

    I've birding that road only once with a friend, and while I was told I caught a glimpse of Mountain Quail, I need to go back to be really be satisfied and list it.

  8. Great photos. I haven't seen a Rufus hummingbird yet this year. (I had Anna's here all winter). Thanks for sharing the great images.


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