Thursday, May 8, 2014

Migration and stuff.

It's happening.  Things are getting more interesting.  The birds are arriving.  Dog walks are consistently turning up new motorless birds and I'm up to 111 for the year!  When I hit #110 yesterday I decided to check what #110 was in 2013.  Turns out there was no 110.  I went from 109 to 111.  Oops. 

Tree Swallow, Columbia Slough
Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 162nd Ave Water Quality Facility
It seems that all the swallows are back, though I have yet to find a definite Bank or a Purple Martin.  Soon I'm sure.  On Sunday I thought I would do my big motorless day for Birdathon.  I ended up with 47 species for the morning, more wind and rain that I would have liked, and some easy misses.  So I'm calling that a practice run.

American Kestrel, Columbia Slough
One other problem with my game plan for my motorless day:  a Bald Eagle sitting on a post in the middle of Mason Wetlands.   No shorebirds in sight and barely any waterfowl.

Rufous Hummingbird and that stupid twig, Mason Wetlands
I had my first Black-headed Grosbeak of the year there, but it dove just as I took the photo thanks to an incoming Mallard.  After the eagle left I heard a Virginia Rail which made up for things a little bit.

Osprey flaunting its recent catch, 162nd Ave Water Quality Facility
A second attempt at my motorless Birdathon day coming soon.  On Monday I bummed around Clackamas County all day with stops at Timber Park in Estacada and then a bunch of random spots in Mount Hood National Forest.

Western Tanager, Timber Park
Black-throated Gray Warbler, Timber Park
Timber Park is not any kind of popular birding destination, but I find it to be perfect for a dog walk and some birding.  As long as I get there before the disc golfers show up.  I even watched a couple of Red-breasted Nuthatches get busy! 

Post-coital nuthatch. 
The park has made a couple of changes since my last visit.  For one, there is now a new trail down to the water, complete with poison oak warning signs.  The other change is a new all fenced off-leash section.  Since it was empty I let Jake and Ralph test it out.  It worked.


From Estacada we headed east along the Clackamas River...


Mostly I explored various forest roads including 57, 58, 5810, 5830, and probably others I am forgetting.  One of them, 58 I think, turned too snowy for me to navigate but the rest were fine. 

Hermit Warbler, NF-5830
A few miles up 5810 from 58 I stopped to poke around and found this little Pacific tree frog in large area of rocks...


A couple of Sooty Grouses were hooting in stereo there.  On my way back down I noticed a grouse on the side of the road just standing there.  Unfortunately before I could even refind the bird after stopping, I saw it fly off...

Best grouse photo ever.
That's about it for Clackamas County.  Hopefully I can get out this weekend (after the Oregon Humane Society Doggie Dash of course).

While I have you, let me ask, do you have a second?  One of my favorite blogger ladies, Sondra, has asked for some help with winning a contest.  It's the easiest thing ever- just go to this website and click the big old "VOTE" button.  Do it.  It will earn you karma and hopefully Sondra will get a big Home Depot gift card like she seriously deserves! 

Good times!!

3 comments:

  1. Great sightings and birds. I love the colorful Western Tanager and the Hermit Warbler.. Happy Birding!

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  2. Pretty sweet Jen, and those two Swallow shots are tops, especially the Tree Swallow photo, which made me cry softly for a little while.

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  3. ...awww thank you kindly you're a JEM, Jen!! AND Kudos to all these most awesome birds, each one made me say ~~WOW ~~as I scrolled on down! I really love the swallow reflection that's a great photo!!

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