Birds and not birds.

It's summer.  Things are not too exciting out there right now.  But that means it's a good time to explore new places and kind of bum around.  Yesterday I took the dogs out to Washington County to check out a spot where Mountain Quail are possible.  Never found them, but never asked anyone for specific directions either.  Just picked an old logging road and set off with the mutts.  The trees opened up to some nice cloudy views...


Things started getting birdy with families of MacGillivray's Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, and Northern Flickers causing commotions.

MacGillivray Warbler (commotion not pictured)

 White-crowned Sparrows

Things seemed to be getting interesting... But then I looked up and saw a big brown butt up ahead on the trail.  I couldn't register who it belonged to at first, I snapped three quick photos and slowly backed up with the dogs.  I believe what I saw was the backside of an elk...


Not a particularly terrifying animal, but one I do not need to meet head on with two dogs.  We strolled back the mile or so to the car, where I found some old bones on the ground.  This included a handful of teeth. 


I have four teeth I picked up in Yellowstone a few years ago, plucked straight from the jawbone of what I thought to be an elk.  These teeth are narrower- deer perhaps?  Thoughts?

In other news,  I've become rather addicted to identifying feathers.  I picked up three at Broughton Beach last weekend that I think belong to a Short-eared Owl.


I picked up a small feather in my yard recently that I think is from a Downy Woodpecker and another one on a dog walk that might be from a Great Blue Heron.


If you have any thoughts on these let me know!  I am quite new to the world of feather ID. 

Another recent distraction: yard bugs!  Last weekend I was cleaning up a corner of the yard, filling a yard debris bag with branches from my maple tree, when I got completely sidetracked by bugs.  First I found this colorful fellow:


Then I discovered some bugs hatching on the underside of one of the maple leaves...


All these creatures were far more fascinating than yard work so I went online trying to ID them.  I failed, but thankfully Sarah Swanson came to the rescue- her husband Max ID'ed them for me as sucking bug nymphs.  Stink bugs!  Crazy. 

And that's about it... Hope to get out somewhere interesting this weekend... Good times!