County bird: Northern Pygmy-Owl
The two birds that had me panicked were the grosbeak and the pigeon- both higher elevation birds that I rarely see in the county. At first I light I dragged the mutts up to Pittock Mansion to begin the hunt.
Hmm. I said light, right? A heavy fog was blowing through, along with a chilly mist. I barely saw any birds there at all... I threw in the towel and drove over to Washington Park where I've had luck with Band-taileds before...
This dude was not helpful. Ralph didn't trust him either. I managed a rainy shot of a Varied Thrush in the shadows...
After getting soaked I decided to take the dogs home and chug another mug of coffee before setting out yet again. My plan was to nab a Thayer's Gull at Westmoreland Park, then hit up Mount Tabor and Larch Mountain. Plan was quickly crushed when I found Westmoreland in complete disrepair.
Ummm yeah, so the gull went out the window at that point. I headed over to Mount Tabor to battle the Sunday crowds. It was pretty if you tuned out the people...
As with most things I guess. I took a quick peek at a Merlin before forcing myself to stay on target.
I left the park without finding any of the birds I was looking for. I was bummed and frustrated. I really just wanted to quit for the day. Turns out, this kind of birding makes me never want to bird again. But I pushed on...
Larch Mountain was my next destination, but I stopped at Chinook Landing along the way. It was quiet, peaceful, and everything the last few parks had not been. Much better. I wandered around for a long time, still not finding any of my targets, though my morale eventually improved.
I followed a small flock of chickadees and kinglets, hoping a Bushtit would show up. No luck.
After that I continued to Larch Mountain. The fog increased with elevation, as did the rain. I made some brief attempts at pgymy owls and then called it quits to drive back into town where the weather was mellow. I hoped I could at least get Bushtits and maybe sapsucker at Whitaker Ponds.
I ran into my friend there who had just seen some Bushtits and thankfully we found them easily.
Phew. Redemeption. This Steller's Jay at the ponds was also rather cooperative...
I left Whitaker around 4 and decided to make one last effort for the sapsucker. It didn't pan out, but the sunset was lovely.
So, that's that. Now I know I hate that kind of birding. Learning is good, right? Nate won by only one bird, though he also found a sweet rare bird for his county which probably counts for even more. We're number 2! We're number 2! Not quite good times...