Thursday, November 29, 2012

Recent stuff.

So I have learned what it means to buy a house:  you fix one thing and another thing breaks.  I get my car fixed, my heat breaks.  I fix my heat, my internet disappears.  I fix my internet and my car breaks again.  At this moment I have everything working but by the end of the day I'm sure the basement will be flooded.  Ok and technically the car is not fixed- the mechanics couldn't figure it out and I ended up buying a new (to me) car. 

It's not all bad- I got a couple new yard birds this week including this bad-ass:


Whaddaya mean you don't know what the heck that is?  Obviously it's a Merlin being dethroned by a crow... Only my second Merlin and it was zipping around my yard! 


I also had some new American Goldfinches on my nyjer, but they are not as exciting.  On Monday morning I took the dogs for a walk at Broughton Beach...


A Tufted Duck has once again shown up on the Columbia with hundreds of scaup, purely to mock me mercilessly.  I did my best to hold my binoculars steady in the crazy wind, with two leashes tucked under my feet, to try to find that fancy bastard.  No dice.  Another case where a scope would be helpful but now I am WAY too poor to even think about that. 

Instead I shall present to you this gull (um... dark eye, black primaries, pink legs... Western hybrid?)  snacking on some kind of fishy thing:


After Broughton Beach I went over to Force Lake where there wasn't much going on.  About ten Common Mergansers were the only flashy watefowl...


Yesterday morning I took the dogs out to Powell Butte in hopes of bagging a Northern Shrike.  The weather was uncooperative and we didn't see much at all- I think I had less than 10 species.  But it was pretty at times despite the sideways pellet rain and the 30 mph wind gusts...


So nothing much exciting this week, but that will all change this weekend when I head to the coast to find myself a couple of Snowy Owls and maybe even some White-tailed Kites.  Who knows, things could get wild.  Good times!!

18 comments:

  1. Eh, sometimes you just gotta grind out a result. It is getting into winter now after all, when everything is bad and nothing is good.

    Are you sure that's a Merlin? I've never seen one that's an entirely dark silhouette before ;)
    LOL JK JK JK JK

    Nice photography.

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    1. Haha, I'm only sure because I ran it by Seagull first, of course. I like the part of this comment where you became a teenage girl.

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    2. Yeah I liked that too. It really made me feel like I could relate to you...SNAP

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    3. Yes, in addition to being rich I am also 15 years old. OMG!

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  2. If it were anyone else telling me that was a Merlin (or Peregrine-customers tell me they are in their backyard all the time). I would nod, say okay, then turn my head and roll my eyes, but since its you- I believe you. If you see a Snowy on Saturday I may just have to go back to the coast Sunday....or live vicariously through you yet another winter :( I went to Broughton on Monday afternoon. No birds. A guy with a scope said he was looking for the Tufted Duck and could see it occasionally, but even with the scope the water was too choppy to see it for long. I was looking for Short-eared Owls, but not luck.

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    1. The owls in Ocean Shores stayed till at least March last winter- I'm sure you'll have another chance before then! Short-eared Owls are so hit or miss at Broughton Beach, I think they spend most of their time at the airport cruising for rodents.

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  3. Congrats on a yard Merlin! The ones that I've seen perch are always on the very skinny top branches of trees like that too.

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  4. Nice job on the Merlin! Wasn't it just a couple of months ago that you were searching for your very first?

    Oh, and the gull? I believe Thayer's, not hybrid.

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    1. Oh geez, I was all ready to call it a Thayer's and then decided I was wrong. Thanks, Greg!

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  5. Whadda I say? Its one thing after anohter, but its the American Dream so we gotta have it right? Congrats to the new car too...been thinking of doing the same since my son basically TOOK my Blazer! OH and dont have kids if you can help it.
    I really love that last shot with the mountain bg, very nice. Super find on the Merlin!!! Good luck finding your owl, and have a great weekend..WE are camped out in our house while this horrid renovation happens.

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    1. Don't worry- no kids for me! Thanks for the kind words- hope the renovation isn't too brutal for ya.

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  6. Try the Nehalem Sewage Ponds and the adjacent fields for White tailed Kites. I have seen them there several times.

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  7. Congrats on the Merlin, a great yard bird! I have a Bausch & Lomb Elite spotting scope I would like to find a home for. I get the whole new house equals no money thing, but I would make you good deal if you are interested. (I mean that in the helpful way, not the creepy old guy from the internet way.) http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/spo/3431673617.html

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    1. Ooh, I will think about it, it's very tempting!

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  8. Jen, congrats on your Merlin! Cool bird! You have some beautiful scenic shots. Love the mountains in the background! Happy birding and have a great weekend!

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  9. Great recent and not so recent stuff, Jen. Don't let the drudgery of house maintenance get the better of your wildlife observations. Deal with that stuff after hours. The climate there certainly must be abusive to motor vehicles.

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  10. Jen, I use an Alpen scope I got new for around $500. It's about as cheap as I could find and it gives nice views. I got McCown's Longspur this weekend, and I wouldn't have been able to get diagnostic views without it.

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