Shillapoo & Ridgefield.

I spent a lot of time in Washington this weekend.  Yesterday I decided to explore the Shillapoo Wildlife Area in Vancouver because although I've birded all around it, I had never actually been there.  There are three different sections and I spent my time at the Vancouver Lake unit.  I highly recommend checking it out if you need somewhere new to visit.

A drive down the entrance road produced oodles of goldfinches, Lazuli Buntings, Savannah Sparrows, and a couple of Anna's Hummingbirds chasing each other around.  In the main parking lot a couple of Violet-green Swallows were perched on the fence wire.

I walked the dogs up the gravel road to the next parking area and found a little haven of birds.  It started with this female Black-headed Grosbeak (that I briefly turned into a Varied Thrush):

She flew up to a nearby tree and soon I became aware of the amazing variety of birds in the trees- a pair of Bullock's Orioles defended one treetop, a couple of Townsend's Warblers poked around, a White-breasted Nuthatch zipped right towards my head, a Warbling Vireo sang from a branch, and a Western Tanager peeked through the leaves at me...

Bullock's Oriole

 I found a nice flycatcher too!  Check out this guy:

It's so yellowy it HAS to be a Pacific-slope, right???  Please don't crush my dreams.

The trail was flooded in parts but my boots were able to handle most of it.  We turned around when it got too deep...

See that heron?  Yeah.  He made for a nice distraction while Jake rolled in a big puddle of his poop.

Yum.  I made Jake wade out into the flood so I could rinse it off.  Not sure the smell is any better. 

On the way out of the park I stopped to take a picture of another flycatcher that I am pretty sure is a Western Wood-Pewee.

That was about it for Shillapoo (aka Rollinapoo).  Pretty awesome area, look forward to checking out the other units.

This morning I met up with some other (gasp!) birders to walk the Kiwa Trail at Ridgefield for the first time this year.  You should check out Michele's blog post from our walk too.  We were greeted immediately by a singing Black-headed Grosbeak and this very well camouflaged frog:

We watched a very cooperative pair of Violet-green Swallows perch and then chase each other around.  Funny because I rarely see perched V-G's yet here I am with a blog post full of 'em.

I was psyched to see a Blue-winged Teal from the trail...

He was not psyched to see me. 

While scanning for a mystery raptor flying in the trees, Laura spotted a snoozing owl:

I'm pretty sure this is another pewee:

After the trail we drove through the rest of the refuge.  A lot of birds were preening along the water like this shoveler and blackbird...

And lastly, a little Marsh Wren kept things real in the grass...

It was a fun morning trip!  Thanks to Michele, Laura, and Robin for the good times!!!


  1. Great outing, Jen! The Violet Green Swallows are pretty and I love the Bullock's oriole and the Owl. Great sightings. My dog had to roll in some Fox poop yesterday and had to have a bath when we got home. I wonder why the dogs have to roll in poop of all things. Happy Birding!

  2. LOL...Rollinapoo!
    Super birding!! That owl is very well camo'd amazing ya'll spotted it.

  3. I must get up to Shillapoo- great stuff you saw. Thanks for the fun day yesterday!

  4. You, miss, are an expert at flycatcher identification.

    I really wish I couldve birded Ridgefield on my last trip up will have to wait until next time I guess.


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