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Showing posts from September, 2012

Birds this week.

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Yep, I've done a bunch of birding this week and have yet to share anything with y'all.  So here we go... First off from Ridgefield NWR:

Northern Harrier

 Black Phoebe

River otters

The other day my neighbors tossed a pile of walnuts into my yard.  Not sure why they didn't leave them in their own yard, but whatever.  This crow was perplexed:


Yesterday morning I walked the dogs along the Frenchman's Bar Trail and found lots of good birds have returned, starting with Golden-crowned Sparrows...


There were a few geese around...


Only Cackling and Canada Geese, have yet to see any Greater White-fronteds or Snows.  Also saw this guy flying over the Columbia River:


This afternoon I stopped by Smith & Bybee Lakes.  I avoided the Smith Lake boat launch area due to the avian botulism outbreak, but instead headed for the Bybee Lake blind.  A Red-shouldered Hawk was calling loudly right behind me but out of sight.  This Orange-crowned Warbler came by to peek at me:


 Along the paved tra…

Sunrise, sunset.

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I set out for Broughton Beach this morning hoping to catch a sweet sunrise, but was immediately disappointed by the amount of fog and haze and clouds.  The dogs and I trudged on anyhow, hoping for at least a wayward shorebird.  Instead we got a giant ridiculous chocolate lab all up in our grills while his owner ran across the beach to come haul him away.  But then I looked up...


Wowzer.  I was not expecting that.  It kept getting brighter and awesomer.


Back up on the bike path I found a kestrel was nibbling on the head of a vole...


On our walk back down the bike path I saw bird zipping around in the sky.  I followed it with my bins until it morphed into a gull and landed on the beach.  Then I realized that next to the gull was the mystery bird so I dragged the dogs down the trail back out onto the mud to investigate.  Turned out to be a Black-bellied Plover!


Around this time a huge swarm of swallows gathered nearby.  Hard to see in the photos, it was pretty impressive in person...


Thi…

Wasco County.

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Yesterday morning I drove out past Mount Hood to explore a few areas in Wasco County.  My first stop was Camas Prairie, though I never actually saw a prairie.  I followed the two signs from Highway 216 and ended up at this sign:


This seems simple enough.  I went about a quarter mile in the direction the sign is pointing and found a trail head.  I walked the dogs about a mile straight down the trail, never seeing anything prairie-like, only cow pie after cow pie.  We backtracked and followed another trail.  Nope.  I had been hoping for American Three-toed Woodpeckers and came up with one flicker.  Oh well.  On our way back down the trail I found a couple of Hermit Thrushes...


They looked a lot greyer than the ones I usually see- perhaps a different subspecies?  After the [lack of] prairie we headed east past Pine Grove and drove up Victor Road.  You might recall my last trip back in July to this very spot when I ended up in Short-eared Owl heaven.   It's really a gorgeous area...


D…

Grebe vs. Frog.

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This week at Ridgefield I watched a Pied-billed Grebe suck down a whole frog.  I had only seen them eat little fish before so this was pretty cool.  It was cloudy/hazy/early so photos aren't the best, but still interesting (to me, hopefully to you too).


Yummy!

Sauvie Island.

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I went out to Sauvie Island yesterday morning bright and early.  The sun was rising in a lovely shade of red due to forest fires in central Oregon...

St. Johns Bridge

A long walk around the Wapato loop didn't provide many great birds, but the return of loads of wigeons, pintails, and teals was nice.


I headed to Oak Island next and found yet another accipiter perched on a telephone pole.  This one was much easier to identify than the Larch Mountain demons.

Cooper's Hawk

The only warblers I saw yesterday were yellowthroats...


Sandhill Cranes were streaming by almost constantly...


I was happy to see my first Fox Sparrow of the season.  Interestingly, it appears to be Slate-colored? [Nope, it's of the regular sooty variety...]


And that was about it for the morning.  Good times!