I am loving the dike trail in Troutdale lately- the habitat is just a continuation of the Sandy River Delta, with just as many rad birds yet fewer people.  Perfect.  Yesterday morning I spent two hours exploring the area with the dogs.

The most abundant, or at least the most vocal birds were Willow Flycatchers.  I think this is one of 'em:

I was psyched to finally find a Western Kingbird in the area after missing them on my last million visits...

While I was out there my camera's auto focus started going phooey.  It acts like it's trying to focus but ends up vibrating like crazy and making odd noises.  The weird thing is that this happened last time I was out there too.  It's right next to lots of power lines and a substation- could this affect my focus?  Seems like a long shot but curious if others have had this problem.  It's never happened to me anywhere else, ever.

House Wren

I finally (finally!) found my first Rufous Hummingbird of the year.

Lady time:

 Black-headed Grosbeak

Brown-headed Cowbird

Four Turkey Vultures came soaring in at one point...

A Red-tailed Hawk came through at the same time but was promptly attacked by a crow.  One of the vultures also got attacked, though I think it was by a Cooper's Hawk..

It's interesting how the hawk looks like it has a strong dark/light pattern on the wings but I think it's just the sun coming through the outer feathers.  Other photos show it to be more obviously a Cooper's. 

One of my favorite sightings of the morning was a pair of Blue-winged Teals:

My first Oregon ones.  One last flycatcher for ya:

Western Wood-Pewee, I believe...  Other birds around included (finally) a couple Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bullock's Orioles, Western Tanagers, a Lazuli Bunting, Common Yellowthroats, and other expected stuff.  Good times!!


  1. Nice! I'm going to try to get out to Sandy River Delta this weekend. So many great birds out there! (no luck on that sneaky bullfrog yet- I almost had him though- he is a sly one)

    1. Ooh awesome! Well, about you going to the delta, not the sneaky bullfrog..

  2. Jen, you always have a good time birding. I enjoyed this post and all the birds. The Grosbeak shot is my favorite. When I am in Troutdale I will have to check out this spot.

  3. Man, you and your flycatchers!

    I have to agree (now that I'm a proven expert on Empids - yeah right!) that your "Willow" is a Willow - slight but apparent eye-ring with shortish primary projections. Sure, why not?

    Your Wood-Pewee looks good too, but its chosen perch (high and exposed?) and erect posture almost rings Olive-sided. However, I see no strong "vest" or white patch on the back/flank, which can often be hidden anyhow. I'd go with Pewee though.

    And Blue-winged Teal! An excellent bird for the location!

    1. Thanks, Rhett! It seems like the BW Teals have taken over- I keep seeing new reports in all sorts of random places. I like it!

  4. Super shots aww the little Rufous is a cutey!! Congrats on the Blue Wings for your state list..My camera is really starting to piss me off it has a mind of its own--Im going to start a new camera fund!!!!

  5. Fuck yeah...FLYCATCHERS!!! I still don't have a good Willow shot....nice assortment otherwise.

    To be honest Im surprised it took me this long to accidentally send you a work text...Im sure you will get something tern or plover related again in the not distant future.

    When are you getting your empid tattoo?

    1. Haha an empid tattoo... Don't put ideas in my head! Funny about the text.. The last accidental one I got was a photo of the ugliest baby I've ever seen, so plovers and terns would be much preferred.

  6. I always love reading your posts, Jen. Just wondering how you manage to see so many birds with two dogs in tow. Personally I am more successful when my dog wanders off(in a safe place of course) which he likes to do; I am always worried though that someone will pick him up as a stray. Re your lens acting up I have had the same thing (the autofocus motor running) happen with my Sigma 150-500 lens; I am not sure what causes it and usually wait it out. Have a great weekend!

  7. Good stuff. That Cooper's must have had a chameleon-like 2-toned-underwing reaction to that Turkey Vulture, really cool capture and example of how light can make things look CRAZY! I saw loads of Willow Flycatchers last week in NY - freakin' cute little fitz-bewers they are! Then my mind was blown by an Alder Flycatcher who is identical to the WIFL, but says something like rrREeba instead. Tricksy eastern bastards.


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