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Showing posts from May, 2011

Yard birds.

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Don't get too excited, my yard birds are pretty lame lately... But sometimes they do funny stuff.  My neighbors are slobs and never tie up their trash bags so the birds often go to town making a mess.  This morning this crow was stoked to find a half-eaten bag of Cheetos...  I have named him Cheeto Bandito.



And then there are the young starlings that are so bratty and annoying it's awesome...



That's what you get for having kids!

Ridgefield NWR 05-28-11

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I ignored the cool, grey, blahhhh weather and went up to Ridgefield this afternoon.  I saw some neat things but it was rather dark and my photos aren't the best.  Oh geez, Mr. X. might have to put his two cents in about them! 

First off, I finally got to see the Killdeer chicks!!


They are so freakin cute and look just like mini Killdeer.  How rad!  Here's mama (or papa?) with I think a chick underneath her...



After this cuteness overload I found some coot babies too.  I love coot babies.  Almost as much as grebe babies.  They were a bit far away but still awesome.


I happened upon a raccoon trying to decide whether or not to climb a tree... 


He didn't climb it.  I saw a couple hawks doing something I don't see often...


Just hanging out together.  That was about it for the afternoon.  Good times!

Not a Summer Tanager.

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I headed over to the next county this morning in search of the Summer Tanager that was reported yesterday..  It had been around for a couple days according to local residents and I was hoping he, yes HE, a bright red male, would stick around for a third day.  I spent a couple hours wandering the strange little suburban neighborhood with some of Portland's top birders.  Every time someone introduced themselves I would recognize the name and feel even more intimidated...

But alas, no one saw the tanager today.  At least not yet.  On the other hand, I did pick up a new bird... The neighborhood was brimming with Evening Grosbeaks!



They're not great photos, but whatever.  They were cool.  They are my 199th species for the year... I'm hoping 200 is something rad. 

This afternoon I took the dogs to Sauvie Island... Didn't take tons of photos but here's a couple I like...

Cedar Waxwing

Black-headed Grosbeak

Cooper's Hawk

more Cooper's Hawk

and yep, one more, Cooper'…

Kelley Point Park.

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I took the dogs for a walk at Kelley Point Park this afternoon in between rain and hail storms.  At first things didn't seem too birdy, but I ended up seeing lots of cool stuff.  It was feeding time for some young House Finches...



Right next to the restroom were these pretty bleeding hearts:



A Western Wood-Pewee landed on a branch close to us and we checked each other out.


I had heard an Osprey calling and thought I saw it land in a tree nearby... I took a few steps and suddenly there he was right in front of us. 


He was having a nice afternoon fish snack. 


Yummy... One more shot of this fella:


A Red-breasted Sapsucker was flying from tree to tree along the Columbia, sometimes whizzing right over my head...


This last bird was also having a delicious afternoon snack...


Mmmmmmmmmmm worm ball!  Good times and good dogs!

Yard birds.

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To the dismay of the entire neighborhood, the starlings have finally fledged.  They are loud and annoying and hungry and I'm sorry but I think they're adorable. 






Honestly, without the starlings right now my feeders would be pretty damn boring.  There's been barely any color in the yard lately, though I did have a Western Tanager pass through earlier!


The Brewer's Blackbirds looked extra angry this morning...


That's about it for the yard these days... If nothing else, the starlings are keeping the squirrels at bay...

Ridgefield NWR 05-23-11

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It was another beautiful day at the refuge yesterday... Not quite as many birds as last week but definitely a lot of good ones!


On the Kiwa Trail I finally got some close looks at a Wilson's Warbler...


He was a peppy little fella.  As was this House Wren...


And then he caught a bug!


The trail was brimming with Soras and Virginia Rails.. They were a bit camera shy...


I've seen snipe perched in a lot of places on the refuge, but on this bridge was a first...


This grosbeak appeared to be gathering nest materials...



On the trail I came across a very nice older couple, and the lady mentioned she saw some "wild canaries" at the beginning of the trail.  Was she crazy?  Was she referring to goldfinches?  Tanagers?  Warblers?  I just said "oh wow" and left it at that....

Back on the auto route I saw what I thought were crows at first, but then one started calling and I realized they were ravens!  My first ever at Ridgefield.


I saw one was eating something but didn&#…

Force Lake, etc.

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I wanted to do some local birding this morning and Force Lake is about as local as it gets for me...  Yesterday's excursion to Cooper Mountain had me a bit disappointed in variety of birds but today more than made up for it.  I was seriously ducking from swallows and hummingbirds, nearly tripping over tanagers and cowbirds, and of course scaring the crap out of mamas and their new ducklings...


There are way more swallows flying around now than there were on my last visit.  I saw mostly Cliff, Tree, and Barn Swallows but there may have been others...


And now for the colorful birds... Western Tanagers seemed to be everywhere, but it may have just been the same two pairs moving around...


Warblers were everywhere as well.. Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, Wilson's, and Yellow...


A Bald Eagle and a pair of Osprey all stopped by for visits...



A pair of Spotted Sandpipers was out on the lake...



Warbling Vireos were also quite common along the lake and the gated road to Vanport.  They …