Posts

Showing posts from February, 2014

Skamania!

Image
Skamania.  I am referring to the county in Washington, not my teenage wannabe rude girl days...

But anyway.  On Saturday I decided to head out to Skamania county to do some exploring.  I had driven through the county, climbed Beacon Rock, and hiked Wind Mountain, but I had never birded there. 

I picked up 37 species throughout the day and managed photos of far fewer.  The morning's first stop was at Mt Pleasant Cemetery not far over the county line...






It was sufficiently spooky, with Varied Thrushes and Steller's Jays providing living entertainment.  My next stop was the completely deserted Beacon Rock State Park. 


Beacon Rock looms over the park to the west...


Down by the water were hundreds of scaup, a handful of fishermen, and a soaring Bald Eagle...


After the park I headed west with a quick stop by the Bonneville Dam.  Ravens and a Red-tailed Hawk were the only birds of interest...


Along the Stevenson waterfront I picked up more birds like Western and Horned grebes, Comm…

Ratão-do-banhado!

Image
Well that sure sounds fancier than river rat, don't it?  I apologize in advance- this a dumb post about nutria.  On a recent trip up to Ridgefield in the pouring rain I was treated to something even more horrific than the albino nutria (you didn't think that was possible, did you???):

Ridgefield NWR, March 2011

NUTRIA SEX!


BLEEEEHHHHHHHHH!!!!   NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  
I watched it happen.  Twice actually.  I didn't obtain a good video, so I recreated it for you with this crappy video.
Also on this visit I watched a muskrat and a nutria swim by each other and I managed a comparison shot.  Not the best, but I know a lot of people don't know the difference... 

Muskrat below, Nutria above.   Distinguishing features:  muskrats are cute, nutria are foul.  Nutria often show their orange teeth and their big creepy whiskers.  Muskrats often look furrier or softer, even though nutria were introduced for their fur.  Vomit.  
At least some animals do their part in attempting to keep th…

Clackamas County.

Image
Clackamette Park

I went down to Clackamas county yesterday to try to do some birding between rain and hail showers.  Clackamette Park was flooding on both the Clackamas and the Willamette sides, pushing the gull flocks into the parking lot.  I decided to try to find a Thayer's among them, and actually had a couple good candidates.


The above gull seemed to follow the guidelines as laid out by Seagull Steve recently.  Be sure to check out his awesomely helpful Thayer's Gull post.  So this gull up there- rounded head, yellow/green bill, pale iris but not crazy Herring Gull pale, "black eye" look (suggested by someone else on my last gull post), and the underside of the right wing looks pale- though I get a little confused when I try to use that as a field mark.

Another candidate:


The above bird looks very similar to the previous bird.  Now a third bird, which also has a pale iris, but I find a bit more confusing.   Viewing the underside to the wings at this angle is wh…

Post-snowpocalyptic Life.

Image
This week I've been doing something new- trying to learn how to take pictures.  I've been a lazy bum about the whole thing for so many years that I finally decided it's time to really understand things.   Thankfully I have friends who actually know what they're doing and are quite helpful.  All photos from this post were taken NOT on auto for once...


This Pileated Woodpecker at Rooster Rock was a most obliging subject, pecking away for twenty minutes while I sat in the car trying to figure out how the hell to use a camera.  It was raining and foggy but I was pretty happy with a good handful of photos. 


Also at the park, a ground squirrel sent my carload of dogs into an excited frenzy...


Robins made for easy target practice too.


Yesterday I went up to Ridgefield for more practice.   I will start with one of the worst photos I wish to share, only because it makes me happy:


Heh.  Things at the refuge were tame overall.  Eagles were the stars but I will start with the wat…