Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wasco County!

After a week of rain and uneventful birding I was itching to head east to sunshine...


I hit up a bunch of new spots as well as some ones I've visited before.  I started at Celilo Park on the Columbia River, then drove east on 206 where I stopped to check out some ponds and cliffsides.


Getting out of the car I heard a Canyon Wren, followed by a hollering Peregrine.


There were a pair of Peregrines flying around, eventually disappearing into the cliffside, hopefully at a nest.  I walked the dogs down the little trail there and found this head...


We walked a bit farther east to another pond and found a raven chasing a Cooper's Hawk while a kestrel watched from a post.


As the hawk flew off, a Red-tailed Hawk entered the scene and a Golden Eagle cruised by.


All that was missing was a Turkey Vulture. 


It was a pretty awesome mix of birds for this side of the road random stop.  After that I drove to the Wasco county border at the Deschutes River for another quick dog walk, then drove back west to head south on 197 from The Dalles.  I picked a spot from eBird, the Price Road wetlands, and headed there.


A Bald Eagle was taking dives at a Mallard, pissing off a Great Blue Heron and a bunch of Green-winged Teals.  The eagle gave up after a few dives and flew off.  In the trees nearby was a Lewis's Woodpecker!


Love those guys, but this one did not like me one bit.  I did find a dead animal nearby...


Thoughts on ID?  There was a leg missing, as well as most distinguishing features of the face.

The last area I birded was along Juniper Flats Road.


I had been hoping for Mountain Bluebirds and I was not disappointed...


Mingling with the bluebirds were a couple of handsome Townsend's Solitaires...


 My last non-birding stop was at this abandoned and broken house...


It was already a little spooky so when a deer popped out of nowhere I nearly crapped myself.  But I did pick up one last new Wasco county bird here, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.



It was a perfect day of exploring Wasco county- 15 new county birds, two tired mutts, and lots of good times!

8 comments:

  1. For me, any day I see a golden eagle is a good day. Great shots, especially of the bluebird.

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    1. I agree, golden eagles never disappoint.

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  2. This is very cool. Glad to see some corpses again, both of biologic and synthetic origins, and some great shots, especially with those carnival Bluebirds.

    Good times to read!

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    1. Thanks Laurence, it seems there is always a fresh supply of corpses to blog about.

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  3. Is that a poor ole mules head? That's awful...and the dead ted awwwww...
    What a collection of crooked beaks eh? You covered every page in the field guide for birds of prey!
    Love the Lewis never seen one of those guys! AND what good boyz you got sitting so patiently!

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    1. I know, that dead ted was so sad. Think the real head was a mule deer.

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  4. Awesome variety of birds. I love the Mountain Bluebirds! And you dogs are always nice to see. Great shots.

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