Recent motorless adventures.

Heron in the slough

 Yesterday I spent the day working on my motorless list.  I only added a couple species but had a lovely long walk with the dogs, and a nice bike ride over to Whitaker Ponds.

Lesser Goldfinch at Mason Wetlands

I finally organized my list taxonomically so I could easily see what I was missing... Turns out there's quite a few birds I can still hope to get before the year ends, so hopefully I will focus more on it these next couple months.  

American Kestrel, random field on NE 185th

Along the river things were pretty windy and gulls would soar slowly by...

Mew Gull

 Herring Gull...yes?  No.

Last week I discovered I could walk down to Johnson Lake, an area adjacent to the highway that may or may not be filled with homeless camps.  The lake can be viewed from Glass Plant Road without entering the sketchy woods surrounding it, and here I found a suspicious wigeon.  Breaking all rules Seagull Steve has ever written (ok, just one rule), I thought I had found an American x Eurasian hybrid.  Steve knocked some sense into me and told me it appeared to be a molting full-blooded Eurasian Wigeon.  I went back yesterday to get some sunny day photos of it...

 A great bird for my motorless list since I have zero intentions of riding my bike all the way to Westmoreland anytime soon.  Whitaker Ponds, on the other hand, is much closer, so I went to pick up Black Phoebe for my list.

 It was not easily tracked down once a whole science class of kids showed up to collect water samples, but I finally heard it and followed it to the far side of the far pond.  Yellow-rumps were also out flycatching...

Kinglets: the only birds that care about my pathetic pishing attempts

 After my day on Bonney Butte I felt way more confident with accipiters.  Of course that all went to hell when I found this one creeping in the shrubs:

 The bird took off when it noticed I was also creeping.  The tail seemed pretty short, and the bird seemed kind of squat which made me think sharpie.  The best view I got of the chest barring:

 Yeah.  So... thoughts? 

That's about it for my motorless birds... unless you want to see the dead one I found in my wood stove!  Oh you do?  No problem...


 Ok now I'm done.  Good times!!


  1. Just a Mew Gull. No big deal. Fuck. Super jealous. I think that accipiter is a Coop/Sharpie hybrid. Ha!

  2. Wow, nice sightings for your motorless outing! I love the first GB heron and reflection!

  3. That's a nice variety you encountered on your walk. I was having the same Cooper's vs. Sharp-shinned dilemma from this weekend as well...

  4. I'm going to vote for Sharpie on that. I feel like an expert as I have one hanging out in my backyard. That means I have no other birds, but I do have a Sharpie. I'll see what DP says. I made a list of all the birds that I should be able to see by the end of the year too. Tried for Swamp Sparrow at Jackson Bottoms yesterday, but no luck :( Your motorless list is impressive!

    1. Ha, bummer on the lack of birds! Mine are cleaning me out. I'm hoping to get out to Smith & Bybee to try for Swamp Sparrow but I know it's a long shot...

  5. Nice photography!

    I like Cooper's for the accipiter due its very flat-topped and mean-looking head structure. Sharpies always seem round-headed and "cute".

    That's some fine local birding!

    1. Alright, so that's two votes for cooper's, only one for sharpie... I'll accept it. How is this the first time I'm hearing of the mean vs. cute field mark? I am WAY better at detecting that than anything else.

    2. Mean vs cute? DP says his first impression was Coopers, but really can't tell from perched photos very well. I guess I'm outvoted....

  6. I will tentatively cast a COHA vote as well...aside from the relatively short tail, it looks fine for COHA (large head, tawny nape, etc).

    As for the gull, it looks like an Olympic to me.


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