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 interesting ones.  I was surprised to find a Savannah Sparrow in the mix, first time I've seen one in winter here...

 Three pheasants were prancing across a field, probably on the way to their death. 

The last part of our walk there were some serious clouds nipping at our heels despite the blue sky overhead.

I will spare you the photos I took of the road-killed bloody beaver and skip ahead to the bird I found when I arrived home.  I got out of my car and saw a bird circling overhead- I tried my best to turn it into a Merlin but I think it's a sharpie [oops, a Cooper's].

Still a great yard bird since I've never seen one anywhere near my house.  Good times!


  1. Love the photo montage especially! What a great burst of color during some dreary winter days. The Wood Duck is stunning!

  2. I love all the color you found in the middle of winter. I agree with your call on the sharpie, those wrists come forward about as far as the beak.

  3. Thanks, Sarah! And Dawn, glad to know you didn't get blown out to sea in this week's storms!

  4. That hawk sure is interesting. I have to agree that it's not a Merlin. It looks more accipiter than falcon. My vote would be Cooper's. I'm no hawk expert by any means, but here are my amateur thoughts...

    - Wings and head look more like Sharpie (T rather than "cross" t). The wings also appear shorter and wider like Sharpie might show. However, the angle of this shot could contribute to these appearances, taking away wing length and suggesting less head protrusion.

    - The tail is long (no big deal), but boy is it clearly rounded! I don't think the angle here could turn something square into something SOOOO rounded.

    - I wish the head protruded just a bit further out from the body to feel more confident about Cooper's.

    Hawk experts, please chime in here and educate us novices.

  5. Hi Jen, glad you were not stuck in house after a week of bad weather. I love your mosaic of color it is beautiful. I can not wait for spring, because I hate winter. Your bufflehead and wood duck are gorgeous. Great sighting of the Savannah Sparrow. And I hope those Pheasants run and hide somewhere. Great post and photos. Happy Birding!

  6. Rhett, I see what you're saying- I think this shot is a bad angle to judge from- another shot I have does seem to make it more clearly a Cooper's. Thanks!


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