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Showing posts from September, 2013

Camera-free birding.

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I've been birding without my camera all week, leaving it to weep quietly on the coffee table while I rely on nothing but my phone for my photographic needs.  It's not bad really, but if there were any crazy birds around it would be a bummer.  

One morning I headed south to Browns Ferry Park to add some birds to my Clackamas County list.  I had never been there and I was pleasantly surprised- it's a charming park with a decent mix of habitats.  And this random barn...



I picked up ten birds for my county list there, not bad!  Another morning I went out to Eagle Creek to look at some dippers, not even realizing it's salmon spawning time.  The river was full of 'em, some making impressive leaps upstream over rocks, some just keeping things mellow.


In the next photo you can kind of see one jumping...


This whole area is so damn gorgeous...



The yard has been hopping with birds as well, finally had my first junco of the season yesterday.  Also had a Downy working on my sun…

Birds around town.

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Yesterday morning I took the mutts on a nice long walk along the Columbia Slough.  I went over there with zero expectations bird-wise and was pleasantly surprised. 


A Great Egret flew in as we began our walk...


Double-crested Cormorants were fishing up and down the slough.


A flock of Cackling Geese flew overhead followed by a small flock of Greater White-fronted Geese.  Mmm... migration.

Greater White-fronted Geese

One of the best finds of the day was a flock of sparrows and finches foraging around a pile of brush and wood.  My second Golden-crowned Sparrow of the season was among the sparrows, in addition to a Chipping Sparrow and a Lincoln's Sparrow, neither of which are easy for me to find in the county.

Chipping Sparrow

At the pedestrian bridge was another awesome find- a Peregrine Falcon perched on a bare tree that was amazingly unconcerned with me and the dogs.


Back at home yesterday afternoon I watched the crazy goldfinch party that has been going on the last week or so.  I …

New yard bird.

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I know, serious yawn.  But I don't care.  On Tuesday I looked out at the bird bath and saw a robin sharing the water with a Fox Sparrow!  Fox Sparrow was a bird I always expected to show up in my yard last winter but never did.  I was never able to track one down on my winter motorless birding trips either so it's actually both a new yard bird and a new motorless bird.  Score.




I don't know why it took me so long to buy a damn bird bath. 


American Goldfinches have been taking over.  I put out a second bird feeder (a $5 job from a thrift store) and it's usually packed with them.  

Cedar Waxwings have been daily visitors since my ash tree became filled with snacks. 


Another thing I've noticed in the yard is the Lesser Goldfinches chewing on sunflower leaves.  Huh?


Oh yeah and all these photos were taken through dirty dirty windows, sometimes at angles that make focusing impossible.  All this yard action was made possible because I have an extra dog right now, someti…

Pacifica, CA

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Ok, I know I already posted something called "The rest of California" but that was a lie.  Here is the rest of my California trip- mostly just walks around the beach or a county park with my friend and her son who live in Pacifica. 


One day we ate lunch by the pier and watched Elegant Terns fishing...


Here I saw my first jaeger tearing through the terns and then disappearing...  No photos worth sharing.

We spent a couple hours at San Pedro Valley County Park, with a quick stop in the visitors center to look at the stuffed birds...

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Wrentit


Random selection of birds.  On my last afternoon in town we went for a walk from my friend's house down to the beach.  There's a little boardwalk area with a sign about the threatened California red-legged frog, many of which could be found directly below the sign. 


On the walk to the beach we kept hearing ravens and I was trying to think if I had ever seen a crow there.  That's when I saw a crow.  Chasing a…

Mount Rainier NP.

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Somehow I convinced my friend to wake up at a ridiculous hour yesterday morning to head up to the Sunrise area of Mount Rainier National Park and hike the trail to the Mount Fremont fire lookout.  I had promised my friend marmots galore, maybe bears, maybe mountain goats, deer, all that.  Apparently the marmots only hang out at Paradise, and we saw no bears nor deer.  Mountain goats saved the day.  As did the freakin amazing scenery...


It really doesn't even look real.  The trail to the lookout was rocky and amazingly beautiful.  Looking behind us on the trail...


And looking ahead... You can see the lookout- it's a tiny square dot in the top left...


On the way up we didn't see many birds.  A couple of accipiters made for brief entertainment as they chased each other around and disappeared.  I believe they were both Cooper's but I am no expert.


Townsend's Warblers were hopping around in the trees...


Cicadas were buzzing all along the trail...


The fire lookout itself…