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Showing posts from October, 2011

Recent birds & Ridgefield today...

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I didn't get out too much this week for birding but today's trip to Ridgefield more than made up for it... Before we get to that, here's a few birds from the week:

Common Raven, Timberline Lodge


A few Cacklers, Sauvie Island


A few more Cacklers...


Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco

And now for Ridgefield...  I went up there because I knew it was supposed to rain and I usually have good luck there when it rains.   First off I walked the little trail to the bird blind and was surprised to find a Great Horned Owl land in a tree not far from me.  He took off quickly but I got a couple blurry shots...


The trees were looking cool today...


Herons were out and about eating all sorts of creatures...




A rather unconcerned Peregrine:


All of this stuff was fine and dandy, but my favorite sighting of the day had to be this guy:


A porcupine!  This was only the second time I had seen one, and the first time I had seen one alive!  I wasn't sure if he was injured or if porcupines just walk funny…

Ridgefield NWR 10-23-11

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I had an awesome morning up at Ridgefield.  One might even call it fantastic.  I think it helped that I had extremely low expectations.  First off, I thought it was going to rain and it turned out to be a beautiful!


Soon after arriving I came across a trio of coyotes.  One seemed more wary of me and took off quickly, while the other two seemed less concerned.  I think they were curious about Jake and Ralph, and seemed to catch a whiff of them at one point.




Good stuff.  It was a good day for hawks at the refuge, starting with this guy:


I think it's a Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk but not positive.. Any thoughts?  Next up I stopped to check out a couple funny little Marsh Wrens:


While I was stopped there I saw a hawk fly overhead and land in a tree...


It appears to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk, which I've never seen at the refuge.  Pretty cool.  He took off soon after landing...


I was scanning Rest Lake when I realized a harrier was perched right in front of me...


Meanwhile a Peregrin…

This week's birds...

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I tried to get out every morning this week to tire the dogs out and hopefully squeeze in some good birds.  At Broughton Beach were a couple American Pipits walking along the river with some Killdeer and crows.


I could rant and rant about the out of control off-leash dog that proceeded to chase off all of the nearby birds, but I'll spare you.   At Force Lake I was psyched to see the return of both Common and Hooded Mergansers...



Along the Frenchman's Bar Trail were some new additions also- Snow Geese!  The first ones I have seen this fall.  I was trying to sort of sneak up on the geese, or at least make it look like I wasn't planning on going near them, but they saw us coming...


Oops.  I walked away for a bit until the birds settled back down.


You can see a Greater White-fronted Goose in the mix also, along with oodles and oodles of Canada and Cackling Geese.


Yesterday my plan was to hit up Smith & Bybee Lakes, Force Lake, and maybe wander down to Mud Slough.  I did …

North Coast.

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I headed to the coast yesterday morning for the northwest's third day in a row of beautiful fall weather.  On this trip I only visited places where I could drag the dogs around and thankfully they are still tired.  My first stop was the cove in Seaside to finally see some Surfbirds.  There were dozens of them hopping around with some Black Turnstones.


Sometimes big waves would hit and the birds would go flying...


Later in the day I got some lunch and returned to the cove where the birds were a bit closer due to the tide coming in a bit.


Also at the cove was this pretty starfish:


While eating my lunch I watched a gull fly off with a starfish, a couple other gulls in pursuit.  He landed down on the beach and proceeded to eat it.


Wouldn't want to have to choke that thing down personally, but the gull seemed psyched.  My second stop was the south jetty of the Columbia River in Fort Stevens State Park.  I was hoping for Lapland Longspurs but no luck..  There were a gazillion Brown…