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 my feeder.

 Juv. White-crowned 

Juv. Song Sparrow

Weekly dog walks at Mount Tabor haven't turned up much of interest, though I was surprised to find a baby cowbird being fed by two different species one morning.  A Yellow-rumped Warbler was bringing it little worms, while a junco also brought it bugs.  I don't remember ever seeing that happen before.  I took a photo with my phone through binoculars:

Junco feeding cowbird on right while YRWA waits with more food.  

I've taken a few hikes lately, including a couple new ones to places I was curious about for one reason or another.   A couple weeks ago I checked out Rattlesnake Falls up near Husum, WA even though I knew ahead of time that the falls would not be falling. 

Still a pretty box canyon with bonus angry kestrels and a few wildflowers. 


Last week I hiked to Dry Creek Falls, a relatively unpopular falls in the gorge.  To get there you hike a couple miles along the PCT starting at the Cascade Locks trailhead, then hang a right when you hit a bridge.  It was rather pleasant.

I took a wrong turn in the middle of the hike and wandered a sunny stretch of a powerline trail.  This is where all the good insects were lurking.

A couple days ago T&C Audrey and I went up to Mount Rainier to cement the White-tailed Ptarmigan as my official nemesis bird.  It was (obviously) beautiful and marmots and other critters are always entertaining, even when ptarmigans do not cooperate. 

 A few Avalanche lilies

What trail?  Views of Adams and St. Helens in the distance

Hoary marmot

Along the Golden Gate trail we stopped to eat a snack.  Audrey had a packet of Wild Friends peanut butter that had melted and erupted out of the package when she opened it.  Wild friends showed up immediately to help clean up. 

Squirrel-chippy combo (Townsend's or Pine chippy?)

 At a nice lookout above Panorama Point on the High Skyline trail we found a few butterflies...

Anise swallowtail

 Edith's checkerspot I think

I have some new intel on a potential ptarmigan spot so we will be back for those jerks!

Good times!!!


  1. The avalanche lilies shot is drop dead gorgeous! I can't find a barn own dead or alive! I tried to guess the sandpiper and got it wrong...great insect action and portraits!

    1. Thanks, Sondra! The avalanche lily show was spectacular up there.


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