Showing posts from January, 2012

Ocean Shores & Ilwaco, Washington.

I drove up to Ocean Shores on Friday afternoon because I wasn't sure if I'd have another chance to see the Snowy Owls before they leave.  Plus I wanted another shot at the King Eider.  I caught a gorgeous sunset over Grays Harbor on my way in...

I got a room at the Sands Resort which is just a big motel.  I wasn't expecting much, but everyone working there was super nice, the room was clean (and moose-themed), the cable worked, and in the morning someone above my room was throwing food out their window to some deer and gulls.

If only that elderly couple in the next room hadn't gone out drinking and come back to argue from about 2 a.m. till I got up at 6, the place would have been perfect.  Anyway.  So I got up early and arrived at Damon Point around 7:30 a.m.  As I had hoped, the owls were still relatively active and getting settled for their day.  Same with the photographers.

Hmm, it was also pretty dark.  I walked towards those two dudes slowly because it seemed lik…

PDX & Ridgefield NWR

I visited the Snow Bunting on Monday afternoon to see if the rumours were true that it had made some Horned Lark friends.  Indeed, I counted ten larks milling about...

The bunting seemed to like the new buddies.  Maybe they reminded him (her?)  of the homeland.

Yesterday morning I went up to Ridgefield.  It rained a little but was mostly dry and even saw a few patches blue sky. 

Red-winged Blackbird

At the beginning of the trail to the bird blind I flushed a Red-tailed Hawk who flew off farther down the trail and landed.  This caused a Red-shouldered Hawk to start screaming its head off.  The Red-tailed eventually flew off and the Red-shouldered stopped hollering.  But I still couldn't see it until I reached the blind and it flew off also. 

Red-shouldered Hawk

Birds can sure make some bone-chilling sounds sometimes.  Back by my car there was a Spotted Towhee sitting on a branch.  Out in the open.  Preening.  I was surprised when it didn't fly off into hiding immediately, but r…


It was a good morning.  I finally drove the half hour down to Woodburn to see a rare bird.  I arrived at the house where it was being seen at 9:49 a.m.  The yard was extremely birdy so I (and everyone else gathered under the awning) were quite entertained.  I even added a few year birds to my list including:

Pine Siskins, House Finch

 Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Lesser Goldfinches

 Mourning Dove & Eurasian Collared-Dove

There were always Anna's Hummingbirds buzzing around and a flock of Bushtits came through at one point...

There was a giant rat lurking in one of the shrubs, dashing out to steal food once in awhile...

Finally around 11:30, just as one fellow made the mistake of going inside to use the bathroom, the Brambling appeared!  The sighting lasted less than a minute as she flew from one feeder to another, to a tree, then back to the second feeder, and then gone... Luckily we were able to alert the bathroom guy in time and he was able to see the bird with the rest of us.


Crystal Springs, etc.

It's been a messy week.  Snow, rain, floods, muds, ice, slush, wind... We've got it all.  It's been a bummer for the most part- the snow only looked pretty in the middle of the night, and the weather wasn't bad enough to get out of working.  But definitely bad enough to not go birding.  So when I got up today and it wasn't raining I was psyched.

I headed to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden to look for some color in doomtown.

The sun even came out for a bit and Song Sparrows were singing like it was springtime...

Crystal Springs is always a good spot for tame-ish Buffleheads and Wood Ducks...

Even this flicker seemed more colorful than normal:

This afternoon I took the dogs to Vancouver to walk the Frenchman's Bar Trail.  There I found this woman on a pink scooter being pulled dog-sled-style by her two huskies:

Can't decide if it's stupid or brilliant.  Maybe both.  At Frenchman's Bar Park I stared at a large flock of sparrows trying to find int…