Thursday, December 20, 2012

Three for three.

It's been a brutal week here in the northwest.  The rain has been relentless, except of course when it's been snowing.  But that's not quite enough to keep me indoors.  Especially when I got tapped Tuesday morning for a top secret owl hunt with Rhett the owl whisperer!

It was completely dry at my house so I was surprised on my drive to Reed Canyon to find snow and more snow.  I had never been to the canyon (which is in SE Portland on the Reed College campus) but now I will be disappointed to go back and not find it like this... a winter wonderland:


The owl we were hunting was unfortunately not where it was supposed to be.  But who cares?  It was a beautiful snowy morning and there were other birds to be had!  Like this most random lone female Barrow's Goldeneye in one of the ponds...


Some more snowy birds...


The best bird for me that morning was a Hutton's Vireo mixing with a flock of Bushtits and chickadees...


So this owl was the second owl I failed to find this week, starting with the Murder Barn Owl on Sunday.  I did not quit there, I went for a trifecta yesterday with a recently reported Barred Owl at Mount Tabor Park.  Adrian Hinkle was kind enough to share directions to where it had been roosting in view of one of the trails and I set out in the rain to find it.

But I didn't.  I found a Red-breasted Sapsucker...


And some Cedar Waxwings and robins feasting on hawthorn berries...


Owls shmowls. 

Oh well, this is the "worst" part of the year here.  It never really gets light out and the rain can make you feel a bit crazy... But when the holidays end things get better.   If the world doesn't end of course.  Good times!!

9 comments:

  1. I think you need to stop owling with this Rhett character, then you might actually see some birds.

    Your snowy bird photos turned out great! It really was a lovely winter scene all in all. Anyway, who needs owls? Well, I sort of do ;-)

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    1. Thanks! I think it is the other way around though- your owl-finding chances increase dramatically if I am not there.

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    2. I want to be tapped!! Let me know if there is any Sun-Mon owl hunting!

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  2. Beautiful weather shots, though, it makes me glad I live in Florida. It's weird to see a great blue heron in snow. He didn't get the "go south" memo. You got some cool shots there of the birds.

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  3. I love these snowy birding photos and the first scenic view is amazing. Makes me miss the snow (I was a northerner for half of my life)! Hope you find those owls soon:)

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  4. It's hard to find Hooters these days, but luckily there are other things to anticipate during the holidays.
    Sweet shots, both chilly and vivid.

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  5. WHOOOOOOO needs owls when you got Barrow's Goldeneye and Hutton's Vireos..Lovely snow.... hope the sun shines for you soon!

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  6. What a pretty scene, love the first shot! Great birds even if you missed the owls. Good luck next time! Happy Birding!

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  7. So, here's a bird nerdy question. How could you tell it was a Hutton's vireo v. ruby-crowned kinglet? I just looked them both up and it does looks like yours has a thicker bill than a RCK, but jeepers, that looks SO much like an rck. What field marks (or whatever) do YOU use in the field? I'll def. be checking back, 'cause who knows how many h's v's I've called rcks! Thanks. =)

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