Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birds + Food

I haven't gotten out much lately, but here's a few birds of late... Birds with food.

At Smith & Bybee Lakes:

Osprey with a fish

 Song Sparrow with mouth full of bugs


At Force Lake:

Black-capped Chickadee with an inchworm


And lastly, some spicy vegan corn chowder I made last night:


 Yummy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cannon Beach.

I took the dogs to Cannon Beach yesterday to look for the Tufted Puffins on Haystack Rock.  I saw quite a few flying around, but not a single one sitting on the rock.



Brown Pelicans and Pigeon Guillemots were also around Haystack Rock...



Also, lots of Common Murres...


And lastly, a rock covered with Pelagic Cormorants (oops, they're Brandt's Cormorants!):


Good times!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Force Lake.

I had a bit of free time before work yesterday so I headed over to Force Lake and was surprised by all the great stuff I saw...  First off, a Bullock's Oriole!



A Black-headed Grosbeak was singing its heart out (well, until I stumbled out some blackberry bushes and he stopped).



A Yellow Warbler was flitting around the bushes along the lake.


My shoelace caught on a blackberry thorn so I bent down to tie it and came face to tail with a baby bunny.  So cute...


When I stood up again the oriole had landed in the willows near me to preen or something like that...


There are baby swallows everywhere now. I think these guys are Cliff Swallows:



And a Tree Swallow:



A pair of Osprey flew in at one point...


I never get sick of watching these guys...


People have asked me how this whole birding thing started, and although there are probably tons of birds, dogs, and circumstances to blame, I think I can mostly blame (thank?) an Osprey at Kelley Point Park.  So yeah, they're kind of special to me, which makes this next bit of news even sweeter... I found out a photo I took of an Osprey during Birdathon won "Best Birdathon Photo"!!!  I was seriously shocked and totally stoked!  I posted the photo in my Birdathon post last month, but here it is again...


Woohoo!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ridgefield NWR 06-22-11

I went up to Ridgefield yesterday morning for a few hours...  Nothing out of the ordinary but lots of cute babies and whatnot.  The first find was this Savannah Sparrow fledgeling...


Great Egrets were feeding in one of the sloughs..


A Pied-billed Grebe baby:


There were tons of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, though I'm not sure if they were females or juveniles...



This heron took a giant crap in the road right in front of me:


Seriously. Giant crap. Farther down the road I watched a flicker shoot out of a nest cavity only to get shooed away by another male. 


And lastly, one of my favorite things ever... Coot babies!!



Ok and just one more...


Good times...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sisters, Oregon (Part II)

Ok, let's see... After Calliope Crossing I returned to town to find the Pinyon Jays.  I finally located some in a lot across the street from the Best Western.


Most of them seemed rather gray, so probably still juveniles...


In the same lot with the jays was a Hairy Woodpecker... I saw tons of them on my trip, including one that insisted on drumming on a tree next to my tent from dawn till dusk. 



Sunday morning I decided to drive the same forest road I had explored the previous morning.  I hadn't gotten very far when I saw a flash of black and white fly across the road.  I slammed the car into park and dashed (that's right, I dashed) into the woods after it.  I am so glad I did...


Hell yeah!  A White-headed Woodpecker!  This was the number one bird I had hoped to find on this trip!  I was sooooo excited, but sad when he flew off deep into the woods.  I kept driving up the road, stopping to check out some Warbling Vireos, Fox Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, and such.


This Fox Sparrow had his mouth full of something.  Around this time I took the dogs for a little walk down a dirt road.  I looked down the hill at one point and saw something moving quickly through the manzanita.  Couldn't see its legs, only its back.  The sun was behind it.  I cursed and ran the dogs all the way back to the car.  Still don't know what it was, but it was bigger than a bobcat, not a deer, and too far south for sasquatch.  Got my adrenaline going, whatever it was.

Further up the road an Olive-sided Flycatcher was singing...


I should stop and mention how freakin beautiful it was there...



Yeah.  It was awesome.  After stopping for some coffee I headed west on Hwy 20 to look for the Metolius Preserve.  I finally found the unmarked forest road that leads there.  The preserve itself was not too birdy for me- just Mountain Chickadees and some deer.  But the drive back to the highway was great...

A Cooper's Hawk was sitting in the bright sunshine near the preserve:


At the top of one of the pine trees were some Red Crossbills, a first for me...


Too bad they were so high up and in front of the sun...  I stopped to walk around a small burned area and found a Cassin's Finch:


He seemed to have no problem hanging out with some Chipping Sparrows...


The area adjacent to the burned area was soooo beautiful... There were some mighty tall trees there...


After leaving this area I headed to the Round Lake Loop just a bit further west.  It's a ten mile loop through mostly burned forest.  Never saw the lake.  Didn't see many birds either.  But it was gorgeous...


I stopped at the highest point to eat some crackers and force the dogs to take a family picture.


I had such an amazing time there!  Six new birds, plus several I had only seen once before!  Woohoo!  A very special thank you to Rhett Wilkins for all of the helpful advice, and John Rakestraw's Birding Oregon too!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sisters, Oregon (Part I)

I spent the weekend camping with the dogs near Sisters in central Oregon.  Had a blast, saw tons of birds, can't wait to sleep in my bed... We headed out on Friday when I got off work and made it to Cold Springs Campground by 5:00.


I tied the dogs to the picnic table and went about cooking up some veggie dogs.  Unfortunately Ralph ate all the hot dog buns while I was at work that morning, so it was just veg dogs and spicy mustard.  Not bad, really.  After eating, I took them for a walk around the campground.  Saw Western Tanagers, robins, juncos, flycatchers, and a lone Townsend's Solitaire:


The next morning we got up early and headed over to a forest road a couple miles west of the campground.  FS 1018, I believe.  A Green-tailed Towhee was the first to greet us:


Also along this road were Black-headed Grosbeaks, Mountain Chickadees, mystery empids I am still trying to figure out, and lots of deer.  Back in Sisters I wandered around the Trinity Way area.  Couldn't find the Pinyon Jays there, but did find some Western Bluebirds...


There were tons of Brewer's Blackbirds around... Watched one feed its baby:


Next I drove over to Cold Springs Cutoff, which leads from Highway 20 back down to the campground on Hwy 242.  There was tons of good habitat to explore and I dragged the dogs all over the place for hours.  Saw my first Williamson's Sapsucker!


White-breasted Nuthatches were abundant...


Saw my first Pygmy Nuthatch too... He was far away though, and disappeared before I could get too close.  Here's a photo for evidence...


There were more Western Bluebirds in this area... Here's a lady for ya:


A raven perched on a tree and yelled at us for a bit...


Oh, and there were little ground squirrels or chipmunks or whatever everywhere...


 I walked the dogs in another area along the cutoff with some extremely curious Mountain Chickadees...


So cute!  Everywhere we went there were caterpillar nest things...


Fun stuff.  My next stop was Calliope Crossing.  I didn't have a ton of success here, but saw a few cool things.  First off, House Wrens were flying in and out of a nest cavity.  And singing on branches.


A Red-breasted Sapsucker was flying around, pausing to work on this one bush:


He finally came out and posed in a tree for me...


So many good birds!  More to come soon from this trip!