Washington birds.

Yesterday I did a mini-tour of Clark/Cowlitz counties in Washington, looking for a bunch of random birds.  I started at Lacamas Lake Park in Camas in search of a Tufted Duck.  Of course.  Did I find it?  Of course not.  Did someone find it about an hour after I left?  Yep.  It's okay though- I managed to find another life bird instead...

An American Dipper!  This was one of those birds that I felt I should have seen by now (in the same category as Northern Shrike, Merlin, and freakin Tufted Duck) but hadn't.  The best part was that he let me and the dogs watch as he went through his dipper-behavior-repertoire. 

He jumped in the water, sticking his whole head underwater...

Then he disappeared altogether for what felt like a long time...

Eventually he popped back up with some sort of slough snack in his mouth..

He brought the snack ashore and splashed it around some more...

When the slough snack turned from black to yellow he deemed it worthy of chowing down (not sure if it was dirty, in some kind of shell, or he had more than one item in his mouth). 

Then he flew down the slough.  Pretty awesome.  From Camas I headed back to Vancouver where I looked for the Northern Mockingbird that's been reported for a couple months now.  Amazingly it was exactly where it was supposed to be...

So easy.  From there I headed north to Woodland Bottoms to see what was going on.  I headed to the farm where there had been Rusty Blackbirds hanging out months ago and was psyched to find one pretty quickly.  It took some time to get a photo because the flock kept getting flushed by cars, but eventually got some decent ones.

Man that is one cool bird.  On the way back to Portland I figured it wouldn't hurt to do a loop around Ridgefield.  Things were pretty tame (and dang it gets crowded on Sunday afternoons!) so I made it a quick trip. 

Green-winged Teal

 Golden-crowned Sparrow

Good times!  I will be heading back to Camas today to try again on the Tufted Duck... Stay tuned. 


  1. There are some nice photos in here, and plenty of awesome birds (lots of new ones for me too).
    The American Dipper is a super cool bird. It's like that totally different AND cool AND secure kid in high school that most of us other birds wished we could be.

  2. Awesome sequence of the Dipper, Jen! I'm always amazed how you go out searching for a bird and usually find it. Wondeful behavioral series! Also cool to see the blackbird and Mockingbird!

  3. Hope you Bag your duck!! Thats a very awesome dipper series---THey are so quick-- hard to get good shots of em---Your did tho...Glad you found most of your targets today, and Ive got my money on you getting that tufted duck too!!

  4. Mmmmm....slough snack.

    You saw the Rusty again?! So jealz. It's a nice one too.

  5. I love Dippers. I have seen them in action several times and it is aways amazing to me how they can swim under water.

    Great pictures and post.

  6. Love those Dippers. So cute. I bet we just passed each other at Ridgefield Sunday. I was there in the morning. The highlight were to coyotes. I love to see them (and so does Maggie). Otherwise, it wasn't super exciting. I'll blog about it soon. Good luck on the Tufted!

  7. Great post, Jen! The Dipper is a cool bird. I saw one for the first time in Leavenworth, Wa. The Rusty Blackbirds are pretty. Wonderful photos and Good Luck on the Tufted Duck!

  8. I'll trade you my Tufted for your Dipper. We've got a Tufted that is lurking around Southeastern Massachusetts. Maybe you can get it when you come home. :) Wouldn't that be funny. I really need to get out to the west coast. Alaska in September.

  9. American Dipper has to be on my list of most-wanted birds-- I AM TERRIBLY JEALOUS.

    Great pics-- looks like an awesome weekend.

  10. The dipper is awesome! That's great that you got to see it do its thing.


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