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Showing posts from September, 2011

Ridgefield NWR 09-29-11

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The auto route of Ridgefield NWR had been closed the last couple of weeks so I was anxious to get back up there yesterday morning...  The refuge was engulfed in fog early on, but cleared up nicely after an hour or so.


All over the refuge spiders have been very busy getting ready for Halloween...


A young deer and its mom were snacking in the thistle...


Oh yeah, and there were some birds around too.  In one of the muddy areas with a bunch of Killdeer and snipe were a handful of American Pipits:


A Peregrine Falcon perched in a tree watching ducks and geese scatter when a Fish & Wildlife vehicle cruised by...


Rest Lake held the biggest mess of birds I have ever tried to sort...


It was kind of overwhelming... There were my first Greater White-fronted Geese of the season, Canada Geese, a billion ducks in vague plumages (mostly Mallards and Green-winged Teals?), a huge flock of starlings, swallows zipping around, and yes, some shorebirds.  It was hard to focus on just one area, let alone…

Force Lake, etc.

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I went over to Force Lake this morning to see if I could find any birds in the fog...


Not much at the lake to start so I walked down the road to the slough... There things were hopping.  I ended up just sitting on the stone wall that was once part of Vanport, the city that drowned, and watching and listening to all the activity...

A harrier flew overhead which I have definitely never seen near there before, a couple of Wood Ducks flew off, and at least three kinds of warblers worked the bushes across the slough...

Black-throated Gray Warbler

While sitting there I watched a couple of kingfishers chase each other up and down the slough, a heron pluck little fishies out of the water, and either a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned Hawk cruise overhead....  All the while a Red-breasted Sapsucker worked a tree behind me:


I felt like I had the best seat in the house and could have only been made better with a hot cup of coffee in my hands.  Across the slough at the top of a tree, a thrush perch…

Weekend birds and stuff.

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One of the best things about having friends come to visit is doing all the stuff you never normally do, or have never even done before.  This weekend I took my friends from California to the Japanese Gardens (my first time) and the rose gardens in Washington Park.  Everything was pretty...


At the Japanese Gardens a Chestnut-backed Chickadee was splashing around in a stream:


Right by the entrance to the gardens is a little fountain type thingy that birds just loved.  Unfortunately I scared most of them away by flinging my lens cap at them.  But before I did that, I saw a Brown Creeper sit still for a second!!


Also at the fountain were CB and BC Chickadees, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, and a little squirrel.  That evening after a vegan vacation at Apizza Scholls (worth it!), I took my friends to see the Chapman School Vaux's Swifts.  We got there just in time for the end of the show, but it was probably the most exciting show I've seen... Also the most crowded.

Here's a bad pho…

Kelley Point Park, etc.

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I took the dogs over to Kelley Point Park this afternoon for a long walk.  I wasn't expecting much but the park seemed to be brimming with birds.  One of the first birds I chased around was a Pileated Woodpecker who had no desire to be near me.


Young robins were causing a ruckus.  This photo does not illustrate said ruckus:


Black-capped Chickadees were the loudest birds around (except during a brief crow party),  not illustrated in this photo where the bird clearly has its mouth full:


It must have been a banner year for Red-breasted Sapsuckers... They were EVERYWHERE.


Bushtits made a grand contribution to the general bird noise level.


A couple of Western Wood-Pewees were flying around the tops of the trees...


Out of curiosity, what would make this giant freakin hole:


On the way home I stopped by Force Lake to see if anything interesting was around and found a Green Heron there for the first time.  He was not stoked on me.


Good times and tired dogs!

Central Oregon.

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Last week was kind of lame for me so I decided a weekend in the woods was in order.  I headed back to Sisters for a couple nights of camping and birding.  From what I hear, the weather was far better there than in Portland anyway, with stunning sunrises both mornings.


The first area I wanted to check out was near where I found a White-headed Woodpecker on my last visit, near the intersection of Forest Service Road 1018 and Highway 242.  I ended up visiting this area three times with great results.  First off, my first Black-backed Woodpecker!


Also in the area were lots of Hairy Woodpeckers:


...and a very cooperative White-headed Woodpecker!


And his other side...


I spent a lot of time letting the dogs drag me around the forest along Cold Springs Cutoff (FSR 1012).  I think they were just following chipmunk smells but we found some good birds too. 

My camera generally hates focusing on Western Bluebirds.  I don't get it really.  Here's one of the few shots I managed despite see…