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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
At a nice lookout above Panorama Point on the High Skyline trail we found a few butterflies...
I have some new intel on a potential ptarmigan spot so we will be back for those jerks!