Polk County.

Yesterday I set out to do some exploring around Polk County, an area that begins barely an hour south of Portland.  eBird said I had only seen 8 birds there which seems ridiculous.  My main destinations were Baskett Slough NWR and the foothills of the Coast Range near Falls City.

  Baskett Slough

 The narrows along Colville Road was the most productive stop I made with a calling Sora, flyby Green Heron, and a sneaky snipe.

It looked like someone had just spread some seed and the blackbirds, Mallards, coots, and geese were all poking around one spot.

 Yellow-headed Blackbird

Multiple icterid photo fail. 

This fancy female Red-winged was struttin her stuff, making all the other ladies feel inadequate:

Up the hill from the narrows a couple of Turkey Vultures were warming up for the day.

Further up the road, a kestrel spooked from the field.

After a couple hours at Baskett Slough I headed out to Falls City and beyond.  I followed Black Rock Road out of town and into the trees along the Little Luckiamute River, stopping at George T. Gerlinger County Park.  Want to know more about old George?  Wikipedia has you covered here.

The birds were singing but locating them for a photo proved frustrating.  Hence the snail.  And now a dog photo.  Pretend you are looking at Wilson's Warblers and Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

After the park I drove up Black Rock Road with the intention of hitting a place called Riley Peak, mentioned on the Birding Oregon website.  Unfortunately Weyerhauser had the road gated halfway there so I picked a nearby gated (but accessible) logging road to hike up with the mutts instead.

Although the trees seemed to be stuffed with warblers and Pacific-slope Flycatchers I managed few bird photos.

Orange-crowned Warbler

Gray Jay stalker

It was a nice hike even without the photos to prove it.  I had 65 species for the day without trying all that hard, and have a new appreciation for this part of the state.  Good times!


  1. Another great birdy day! I always enjoy seeing your mutts, they are such good boyz...Im liking that buzzard shot!

  2. Very bucolic ending, but really anything with a 'tough-as-nails' Gray Jay is pretty great, especially if you sniped snipe as well and scratched the icterid itch.

    It's been so long though...it's getting hard to remember what the CBCHs look like...

    1. Are Gray Jays tough as nails? Even though they will eat donut crumbs out of your hand?

  3. Excellent icterid triumvirate. And I'm glad you put the binocs in the dog photo for scale.

    1. Ha! I actually had just set them down to get out the dog treats and they ended up in the photo.

  4. So you just missed the White Wagtail? Looks like a great trip!

  5. I am a Jake fan, his attitude to the camera and seemingly lack of any willingness to participate is priceless.


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