Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I just returned from a weekend at my friend's house outside of Philly where I did not do any birding whatsoever.  BUT, I did see this one bird hanging outside the ATM we stopped at:

I figure it's a young something or other... That's about all I got.

Also, there was this badass spider living in my friend's yard:

That's all!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wapato Access Greenway.

I went over to Sauvie Island this morning in search of Red-eyed Vireos on the Wapato Access Greenway trail.  Failed to find any, but there was enough other good stuff so I was not disappointed.  Lots of good bugs and things...

Most of the birds were hanging low in the shade, so be warned, there are a lot of fuzzy dark photos ahead... The first bird I found was a raggedy little Bewick's Wren...

I'm not sure about this next young one... some kind of thrush... Swainson's?

A young robin:

A blurry young Cedar Waxwing:

This Red-breasted Sapsucker was really dull in color, probably the least bright one I've ever seen.

There were tons of Common Yellowthroats in one area...

And lastly, what I think is a raggedy young Song Sparrow...

Good times...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ridgefield NWR 08-21-11

Yesterday was my birthday and I decided to start it off the same way as last year, with a trip to Ridgefield.  Nothing too exciting going on, but certainly lots of shorebirds that I could barely see due to my lack of scope.  Oh well. 

I watched a couple of coyotes hunting for a bit... Kind of far away for decent photos but I don't care.  I love watching them.

There was one area of blackberry bushes that was quite birdy. 

Willow Flycatcher

 Common Yellowthroat
White-breasted Nuthatch

For shorebirds, there were tons of yellowlegs, dowitchers, and other things that were far away.

A birthday bittern:

Good times... It was a beautiful morning even if it wasn't super birdalicious.  Yeah, I just wrote that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sherman County again.

Yesterday I went back to Sherman County to try to get some better looks at the birds I found there last month.  I had some success but was pretty surprised to find that a big wildfire had spread through...  According to the Oregon Department of Forestry it burned about 5600 acres.  Unfortunately some of the best spots I had found for sparrows were completely burned and seemingly bird-free.

Oh well, I found some other good spots.  On my way down Highway 97 I was surprised to look over and see seven pronghorn standing on a hill looking at me.  I didn't realize they could be found this far west.  I love them. 

I found the meadowlark in charge of hunting on someone's property.  He took his job very seriously... Not sure how he held the pen.

It was definitely a good day for Horned Larks.  On my last trip I only saw one or two and they were not the pretty adults I saw yesterday.  Check out the horns!

And the horns from behind...

It was a pretty nice day out- I could see both Mount Hood and Mount Adams.  Here's Adams:

I came across one bird that kinda stumped me.  The only bird I can even guess is Say's Phoebe, but it doesn't really sit right with me...

Eh?  Then there was this guy:

There were lots of Western Kingbirds around, including this pair that I followed for a bit:

I passed a deer carcass at one point, and on my way back a Turkey Vulture was poised on a telephone pole keeping watch on it.  He spread his wings for several minutes at a time in a couple different positions though I'm not sure why.  It was pretty damn warm and there was certainly no way he was wet and I can't imagine he was cold.   I thought maybe it would help attract other vultures to the deer, but that's kind of a long shot.

That was about it for birds... There were tons of grasshoppers though.

When I got back to Portland I discovered one had hitched a ride in the car with me.  Hope they're not invasive.  Good times!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ridgefield NWR 08-09-11

Went up to Ridgefield on Tuesday morning... Shorebirds are definitely moving through now, though not a whole lot going on in general...

Western Scrub-Jay

Western Sandpiper

 Least Sandpipers

The Kiwa Trail wasn't much more exciting... Bunnies and muskrats... More exciting than nutria, I guess.

 Moth mullein

The best birds of the day by far were three Virginia Rail babies!  I wish I could have seen them close up, but since I may have seen their conception closer up than necessary, I will live...   Here's the only shot where you can see all three:

On the recent sightings board many people noted a lone pelican, but there are definitely two still around...

That same lake has quite a few Greater Yellowlegs and what I think are Long-billed Dowitchers...

Crappy photo:

Oh well, here are some cuties:

Cinnamon Teals? 

Good stuff... Definitely need some more shorebird practice.  Help is always appreciated!

Monday, August 8, 2011

North Coast.

I had an awesome day at the coast yesterday... I mainly wanted to play with my new GoPro camera, but also wanted to look for some gulls and stuff, as well as tire the dogs out.  Success!  I started my morning at the cove in Seaside...

Black Turnstones were scurrying over rocks by the dozen.  I was stoked.

I was watching them move across the rocks for awhile when I noticed this guy:

My first Ruddy Turnstone!!  So awesome.  The other turnstones were mad jealous of the Ruddy's fancy colors.

And one last Black Turnstone...

I took a lot of gull pictures throughout the day... Here's an easy one:

Heermann's Gull

 Western Gull

Glaucous-winged Gull

Next we headed to Fort Stevens State Park in Warrenton.  There were some small mixed flocks of shorebirds from which I could pick out only a couple species, Semipalmated Plover being the most obvious.

The rest of the birds looked like they might be Western Sandpipers and Dunlin, but I didn't get very good looks...

Later on I headed down to the Necanicum Estuary near Seaside, hoping for more shorebirds.  I didn't see very many, but down by the ocean were a couple of Black-bellied Plovers.

Also hanging out were tons of Caspian Terns and California Gulls.  And some ghost people.

That was about it for birds...  Back at Fort Stevens Park earlier I played with the GoPro for awhile.  If you're not familiar with it, you should google it.  Basically it's a very small HD video camera with a waterproof shell.  I decided to attach it to the dogs and set it to take photos every 2 seconds.

Here are a couple that Jake took:

And one that Ralph took:

Here's what Jake looked like wearing the camera (taken with my cell phone):

And lastly, one of the videos I took with it of Jake fetching a stick in the water.  It's kind of noisy, but I like how it looks.

Good times!

Oops, I posted this but forgot to mention the dead gull I found... I noticed some bones poking out of the sand along with some fishing line.  Tugging on the line brought up this:

Photo by Jake

There was a fish hook going through part of the gull hip:

Did the gull eat a fish with a fish hook and it got caught?  When I pulled the gull out of the sand, the pelvis and other bones detached from the rest of the skeleton but was still attached with the fish line.  I cut the line so I could take the part with the fish hook with me.

Photo by Jake

Interesting stuff!