Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's raining.

Breaking weather alerts and flood watches be damned, I was going to get some birding in on my day off.  Once it got light-ish out (like 8:30) I headed west to the Vanport area to try to hunt down the reported Glaucous Gull.  I cruised by Vanport, Force Lake, and Heron Lakes Golf Course without noticing a single gull.  NOT ONE.  This is a feat all on its own. 

Force Lake

What the hell?  Where were they?  I eventually found dozens at Delta Park which, after a very wet dog walk, turned into hundreds.  I scanned and scanned and scanned and there was just no Glaucous among them.  One bird (through the window and the rain) looked possible for a 2nd winter Thayer's:


 But that was about as exciting as it got there.  One Ring-billed.  Tons of Mews.  All sorts of mutts.  I drove back over to the golf course where an egret was waiting for me.  Perhaps my former lunchtime companion during the TGC. 


There were actually a couple of gulls visible now so I started driving up and down the road, scanning all the nooks and crannies.  There's lots of hills and valleys in this area where birds can disappear easily.  I spent about 40 minutes doing this, not finding anything, when suddenly it appeared! 


So cool.  He disappeared again for a bit...


He reappeared flying into a flock of geese...


Yay!  A long overdue life bird for me.  My egret friend gave me a high five as I left the golf course.


Before heading home I went back over to Delta Park to run around with the dogs a bit and get really freakin wet. 


A couple of crows perched on the fence by the baseball fields were doing cute things. 


Back at home I've been able to watch my feeders a bit.  I won't bore you too much with it, but here's a couple of birds...

 Pine Siskin

Anna's Hummingbird

I just bought a new hummingbird feeder and while I was boiling some water for nectar this dude showed up at the old feeder.  A female showed up a bit later and they briefly maintained peace.

Pals.

One last yard tidbit for you.  I know I mentioned in a previous post that part of my tree in my backyard came down during the windstorm, but I never showed you the mess.


Unfortunately because it tore the whole side off the tree, the whole tree now has to come down.  No more Cedar Waxwings, no more Red-breasted Sapsuckers, no more Evening Grosbeaks (for five minutes a year)... It will be sad, but I will plant a nice native tree to take its place. 

Ok, that's all.  Good times!!

3 comments:

  1. Congrats on the lifer!!! GLGU is a good one, I havent seen one in a couple years now. Sad face. That tree damage looks gnar...hope you plant some good stuff. I recommend getting BRAM on your yard list someday.

    That other gull is not THGU, as the bill is massive.

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  2. too bad about the tree..we had one hit by lightening twice but it survived! Did you cut it yet?
    Great that you found your gull even in that messy weather!! You rule!! We did not have the siskins last yr Im hoping for a return this yr!!

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  3. I agree, the bill on that one gull is too big for Thayer's, It is close to a Glaucous-winged type, long with that gentle slope at tip. So I would assume a mutt. Take a gander at the outer end of the upper mandible on a pure Glaucous-winged then take a look at a pure Western. There is a difference.

    Isn't it funny how dogs like to rub their backs on grass? Huck's pal (Bert, who has appeared on some of my field trip reports) loves to rub in the grass. I think it is a way to rearrange the spine or some such thing.

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