Showing posts from February, 2013

This week's birds.

It's been a good week.  I conquered a nemesis.  The seeds I planted almost two weeks ago have been taking off (despite Ralph's best efforts to destroy them).  I added a handful of birds to my motorless list.  And I watched an eagle eat a duck. 

Tuesday morning I ventured up Larch Mountain Road to see if I could find anything cool.  I made it to almost MP 8 before the snow was intimidating enough to stop.  Outside things were silent except for the eerie sound of raven wings flapping out of nowhere...

I drove back down a bit and found Pacific Wrens singing all over the place... well as my county nemesis!

No more stupid eBird alerts about Hairy Woodpeckers!  Yay!  Now just Harris's Sparrows that folks mislabeled as Multnomah County when they actually saw it on Rentenaar Road in Columbia County.  Argh!  Nerd!

Anyway.  Wednesday morning I set out with the dogs on another motorless adventure, this time to another access point to the Columbia River.  I was able to add five…


The dogs and I spent yesterday afternoon wandering around some good Vancouver spots- Shillapoo, Vancouver Lake, Lower River Road, etc.  Nothing amazing happened, though I weirdly knew that a full moon was going to rise over the lake without actually having any idea where the moon was in its cycle...

The clouds to the south were looking all swirly and cozy...

Great Blue Heron

That was about it for Vancouver, but here's something gross for you:  some Mew Gulls were hanging out at the high school near me and this one has its tongue sticking out from below its bill.  Seagull Steve verified that happens sometimes and a quick google search found some similar birds.

I hate it.  Good times.

503 till i die

This afternoon after work I took the dogs for a nice long walk up to the Columbia River.  We passed under the Glen Jackson Bridge (aka the I-205 bridge) and found this choice graffiti that gave me quite a chuckle.  For those that don't know, 503 is the local area code for most of northwest Oregon.  We moved on to study a dead raccoon just up the path...

Always fun too look at dead stuff... We kept walking and found a ramp down to the water where we sat on rocks and watched some scaup and goldeneyes.  Nothing exciting, but a nice place to sit is a nice place to sit.

I figured it was a good spot to turn around and head back towards home.  As we were walking back towards the bridge something on the ground caught my eye.  A Bald Eagle!  Eating the dead raccoon!  In front of the "503 till i die" graffiti!

503 till I die?  Fine by me!

Unfortunately the eagle and its dinner were standing between me and home.  To the left was the Columbia and to the right was Marine Drive.  Aft…

Close to home.

After Jake gave me quite a scare on Friday morning I figured it would be a good weekend to stay close to home, keep things mellow.  Jake was fine by late Friday afternoon (google Vestibular Disease- it's a blast), but still liked the idea of working on yard projects and not planning any big adventures.  I realized it was the Great Backyard Bird Count weekend so it made even more sense to stay home.

I think I tallied about 17 species over the weekend in the yard.  Lesser Goldfinches have become nice regulars at the nyjer (when the Song Sparrows let them near it).

I've even had a couple new yard birds over the last week- a Bewick's Wren and a Downy Woodpecker.  No good photos of those guys, but here are a couple of other regulars...

On Saturday I started thinking about my motorless birding list and realized I should start over with the new house, as well as for the new year.  I don't live too close to any popular parks or nature reserves- that was one drawback about my h…

Ridgefield NWR.

The drive up to Ridgefield yesterday morning was dreary at best.  Misty rain, more misty rain, some fog.  My expectations went from so-so to zero over the 15 or so miles.  Thankfully after I arrived at the refuge the weather dried up and the skies brightened a little bit...

Cackling Geese

For some reason I thought to myself that it was a good day to find a Virginia Rail.  With remarkably little effort I did indeed find one one weaving through the cattails.  Posing in true rail style...

Finding a rail already exceeded my expectations for the morning, so everything else was just icing on the cake.  There was a bird singing at one point that drove me nuts.  Turned out to be a Bewick's Wren.  This happens every time I hear one singing- serious mental block.

With the weather turning milder herons were super stoked.   Some just sat around in trees laughing their asses off.

Lately the bird blind has been offering views of the most vile nonhuman creature on earth: the albino nutria.

Lots of…