My camera battery charger was inside my backpack when it got stolen last weekend, so I've been really trying to savor the last few bits of charge I had. Friday afternoon was gorgeous out and I was working in the yard digging out a ridiculous mass of roots from an azalea bush. I heard birds in the neighbor's yard flipping their lids and looked over to see a hawk perched in their bushes. I ran to get my camera hoping it had some juice left...
My accipiter mental block prevented me from correctly identifying the bird, but luckily that's what other bird nerds are there for. Cooper's Hawk! New yard bird! This was not his first visit- last Tuesday I heard a ruckus in the driveway that sent the dogs into a howl and ran to the window in time to see a hawk tail disappear around the garage. Anyway, after I threw in the towel on digging up the shrub I sat on my deck and watched another new yard bird, a Lesser Goldfinch, discover my thistle feeder.
On Saturday my friend and I drove down to Yamhill County to try to find the wintering Ferruginous Hawk. These guys are not usually found in the Willamette Valley, let alone in the winter. My friends Sarah and Max had just seen the bird the day before and Max wrote about in his blog. My friend and I decided to hike up to the Glacial Erratic Rock as well.
Hard to imagine that 36 ton mass traveling all the way from Montana! The views from this spot were pretty nice too.
Mount Hood was hard to see with my phone camera, so I tried dig-binning it:
Kinda neat looking. We hiked back down the trail and then I saw it- the Ferruginous Hawk was in a field just across the highway! We watched it for a long time, hoping it might come closer, but never did.
Oh well, it was still closer than the other nine Red-taileds in the same field. With this success under our belts we were free to explore other parts of the county. There is no shortage of cool stuff to look at in this farm country...
On our way south we had passed the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and we decided to stop there on the way back north. It was pretty expensive to get in so we just wandered around outside, checking out the planes, tanks, helicopters, and...birds! The trees behind the museum are filled with Acorn Woodpeckers!
Also in the trees were some Western Bluebirds!
Birds aside, the outdoor displays were pretty damn cool.
There was an amazing sunset going on when we came across a pair of American Kestrels perching on a couple of the planes. Judging by the bird poop, these guys are regulars.
Such a good day!!