Showing posts from July, 2016

Mount St. Helens

Yesterday I decided to wake up at a ridiculous hour and drive up to Mount St. Helens to do my first proper hike on the mountain.  Well.  I had actually planned a short improper hike for flowers, but it turned proper when I ended up at the top of Harry's Ridge, four miles from the Johnston Ridge parking lot. 

My first stop was one of many viewpoints on the road to Johnston Ridge.

Varied Thrushes were calling, bats were swooping out of the sky, and a creature unseen was rustling around in the bushes.  Perfect.

I began my hike on the Boundary Trail at 5:30 a.m. in the company of nighthawks and Willow Flycatchers.

The flowers were spectacular as I had hoped, though this was definitely a case of quantity over diversity.

Around 6:30 I heard a coyote give a quick howl and a bark so I stopped to scan for it.  I never located the source, but he or she erupted in full blown howls with coyotes in several directions responding.  It was lovely.

The coyotes quit howling after awhile and I began…

Post-Montana odds and ends

July has been so pleasant weather-wise that I have been out and about plenty, though my blog has yet to reflect that.  Let's catch up. 

On the way back from Montana I stopped at Turnbull NWR near Spokane to drive the auto tour.  This place has been on my radar for years merely because I once saw a photo on Flickr of a moose from this refuge.  No moose on this morning. 

Post-downpour grumpy owl

The refuge was pretty tame in the afterglow of my Montana lifer bonanza, and the highlight was a Red-naped Sapsucker family.

Back in Portland I began hitting the local hotspots including Smith & Bybee Lakes and Broughton Beach. 

Beetle threesome at S&B

 Horned Lark at BB

Least Sandpiper at BB

 Semipalmated Sandpiper at BB

Coyote at BB

 Red-tailed Hawk at BB

Dead barn owl at BB

 Bonaparte's Gull at BB

I have been psyched that White-crowned Sparrows nested somewhere near my house for the first time since I've lived here.  The young along with Song Sparrows are often poking around under m…