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Showing posts from 2012

Massachusetts part two.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I dragged my parents to several beaches around Cape Cod to look for birds.  The first one was Sandy Neck in Barnstable.

Cell phone-manipulated shot

  Just as we reached the beach a Northern Gannet flew by, the first of three on my trip.


Along the shoreline were small groups of Sanderlings and Dunlin sunning rather than frolicking in the waves.


Out on the water was a bird I assume is a Common Murre, though I am not 100% sure.... Thoughts?


We saw several loons on the water, including a few Red-throated...


To get out of the wind for a bit we walked along a trail through the sand dunes.  Lots of Song Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers were flying around, along with one Northern Mockingbird...


Our second beach visit was to Kalmus Park Beach in Hyannis.  It wasn't very exciting but this Common Eider showed us a little shake...


The third beach we visited, Forest Beach in Chatham, was the best.  It was the afternoon after a big wind and rain storm had hit a…

Massachusetts.

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I just returned from a week visiting my family in Massachusetts.  We had a great time and I managed to get in a lot of birding as well.  On Monday morning my brother and I went out to Plum Island where Parker River NWR is located.


Here I found my first lifers of the trip: a pair of Razorbills swimming relatively close in on the ocean.


Very cool!  In a stand of trees near a bird blind were my second lifers- a flock of about twenty White-winged Crossbills!  They had very little interest in being photographed...


In addition to Plum Island, my brother also took me for a hike in his local park in the Boston suburbs.  We ended up near a zoo where my brother has a membership so we stopped in to peek at a few animals.  Disclaimer:  I am pretty anti-zoo and find them kind of depressing, but I do like looking at Arctic fox pups.  A lot.


When I go back east to visit I get shuffled between my brother's house outside Boston and my parents' house on Cape Cod.  At my parents' I got to do…

Greetings.

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I am sure you are all just frantic with worry after a week of no blog posts from me, trying to calm your nerves with cup after cup of rummy nogs and whatnot. Don't fret, I am busy collecting lifers and torturing family members in freezing weather in New England. I will be back quite soon and have lots to share with you. Till then be soothed with these Mute Swans...







Ridgefield NWR.

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Yesterday was my last day of work for the year!  And the afternoon was dry!  Kind of.  I went up to Ridgefield to enjoy it and celebrate the end of the world.  Nothing too exciting going on, what with it being winter and getting dark out at 3:30...


Herons, egrets, and nutria were all out and about looking for snacks.


Plenty of Red-tailed Hawks around- I average about 8 per visit, along with one or two Red-shouldereds.  Still no Rough-leggeds.


There was another hawk yesterday...


I am leaning towards Cooper's because the streaks seem kind of think and the legs aren't all long and skinny lookin.  Eh?  Crap photo I know.

The "best" bird of the afternoon was a lone out of season Tree Swallow cruising one of the ponds...


Pretty random.  It was an alright afternoon... Hopefully with a week off from work I can scrounge up some more good birds to share with y'all. 

Happy holidays!

Three for three.

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It's been a brutal week here in the northwest.  The rain has been relentless, except of course when it's been snowing.  But that's not quite enough to keep me indoors.  Especially when I got tapped Tuesday morning for a top secret owl hunt with Rhett the owl whisperer!

It was completely dry at my house so I was surprised on my drive to Reed Canyon to find snow and more snow.  I had never been to the canyon (which is in SE Portland on the Reed College campus) but now I will be disappointed to go back and not find it like this... a winter wonderland:


The owl we were hunting was unfortunately not where it was supposed to be.  But who cares?  It was a beautiful snowy morning and there were other birds to be had!  Like this most random lone female Barrow's Goldeneye in one of the ponds...


Some more snowy birds...


The best bird for me that morning was a Hutton's Vireo mixing with a flock of Bushtits and chickadees...


So this owl was the second owl I failed to find this w…