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.