Weekend birds.

Saturday evening I followed up on a hot tip about an owl on Sauvie Island.  I got there before sunset and was treated to a rather gorgeous scene...


Starlings and blackbirds were swirling around in the sky, deciding where and when to call it a night...


I never found the owl I was looking for, but a Great Horned Owl made a special guest appearance on a piece of construction equipment.


I watched him hunt in one of the fields until eventually losing sight of him in the waning light.  Pretty sweet, even if it was the wrong owl.


Sunday morning I really wanted to look for shorebirds, though with two dogs in tow my options were limited.  I decided on Broughton Beach but sadly only found five Western Sandpipers and oodles of Killdeer.  Other birds offered up nice views like this fancy breeding-plumaged American Pipit:


About a mile down the beach I came across a crow that appeared to be eating something.  I couldn't quite see what it was at first, but I could see that any time the crow put it down it would start walking away.  Finally I crept down closer and saw it was a crawdad!


It took the crow awhile to get the crawdad situated properly, but once he did he just started ripping it apart alive.  Bad ass. 

Sunday afternoon we took a walk along the Columbia Slough trail, hoping for more shorebird opportunities.  Unfortunately it hasn't dried up quite enough yet but of course there were other birds to see... Check out this bird's weird white-ish left leg:


This trail is a unique one.  It's one of the few places where you can view not one but two of the world's least interesting sports at the same time! 


Anyway.  The best birds along the trail are the Belted Kingfishers.  I counted four in the mile and a quarter we walked, which seems like a lot to me.  A couple were not getting along- a female (mother?)  and a juvenile. 


They were pretty comical- chasing each other around, screaming, battling over perches, and occasionally stopping for a fish snack.


Good times!

Comments

  1. Lots of good stuff! It's not the best birding this time of year. I was going to go to Ridgefield at the crack of dawn, but turned the alarm off and went back to bed, ha ha!

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    Replies
    1. Ha, I don't blame you- it was so dreary this morning!

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  2. =) That egret shot is a stunner!

    And the crawdad note made me do a ecological double take. "Crawdads? In the ocean?" 'Cause, I am a San Diego girl of yore, so I hear island and beach and think ocean. Which didn't match crawdad really well. So, I looked it up, and now know where you were. Merrily amid freshwater, and conveniently located to dull sports that use/generate tremendous amounts of toxic chemical waste, woo-hoo! What better place to have them than along an ecologically critical river! =)

    Looks like a great place to bird, though. I don't golf, but I do accompany golfers, now and then, and bird. And look for free golf balls in the gullies (tomboy skillz).

    Your getting out so frequently is a great reminder for me to do the same. MAKE it happen. Thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. Ha, yeah I suppose the island and beach references do make my location sound way more tropical!

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  3. Cool capture of the Crow with the crawdad! I love the kingfishers, awesome shots. Great post and birds, Jen! Happy Birding!

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  4. Love the kingfishers!! They look much bigger than the ones I see around the ponds n lakes here! I see the golf is that stock car racing in the background? I couldnt tell...what a mix if it is, lol. poor little crawdad...:o(

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