Last week's birds.

On my days off last week the snow was thawing, turning white fields into soup, and I was finally able to take the dogs out for a long walk.  I opted to check out the scene along Lower River Road in Vancouver.

Frenchman's Bar Park was closed, and as I turned around I noticed a couple of Ring-necked Pheasants on the side of the road.  They kept wandering into the street, dodging hunters' trucks at the last second.

I parked in the only unlocked lot near Vancouver Lake, and walked the mutts from there all the way back to Frenchman's Bar.  The sun peeked out here and there and I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle of Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and Cackling Geese. 

Sandhill Cranes would occasionally fly into the center of things...

I love a good spectacle.

In one of the photos I noticed a goose that looked like it was wearing a watch. 

It's not a normal neck band, but what is it?  Radio collar?  Tumor?  I couldn't find it in other photos so this is only angle I have.  Intriguing.

As we approached Frenchman's Bar the clouds began to do interesting things.

We walked into the park and were thankfully the only people around so the mutts got to run around the snowy field and then pose by the river.

As we walked back out of the park I noticed a lone Snow Goose near the trees by the entrance.  After seeing the hundreds (thousands?) it was weird to see a single one, and unfortunately I realized it had some issues.

It was walking around fine but would constantly open its mouth like it was panting. 

On the walk back to the car we passed more Sandhill Cranes that were occasionally getting fired up.

Always fun to see.  Later that afternoon I went out to Blue Lake Park to see if the water had melted yet. 

There were patches of open water but it was still mostly ice.  The wetlands area is technically closed because of all the ice storm damage but I took a quick peek at some icy tracks:

The only bird of interest was my year Hutton's Vireo working its way deeper into a shrub.

The mammals of interest are not interesting on their own, but when located inside a garbage can they become hilarious.

Lastly, some of you might recall that I researched the previous owners of my house and learned that the wife was a well-known poet in Portland, Vi Gale.  When I moved in there was a lot of random stuff left behind, including a big envelope containing prints of one of her poems with some original artwork.  I framed one for my house and gave away the rest to friends and family.  Lines from the poem kept popping in my head this month, so here it is for you all to enjoy. 

The photo was found in my basement, and I'm not sure if it's her or someone else, but I stuck it in the frame anyway.  Enjoy the thaw, everyone.  Good times!


  1. Those Snow Goose shots are pretty phenominal, especially with the cranes mixed in. Interesting that you are doing some house history research. I have been doing the exact same thing, and I located and spoke with the 88-year-old lady whose family moved in right after it was built in 1928. I managed to dig up some old photos as well. For a little while I thought I would launch a second blog dedicated to house genealogy, and maybe I still will. That is so cool that you have a famous artist in your house's history.

    1. Oh that's so cool! I love learning the history of places that are important to me. You should totally do a blog, or at least something to collect your research.

  2. Snow geese! Cranes! Funny squirrels! Lovely Poetry! This post has so many great things and an adorable dog photo.

    1. What I lack in bird variety I make up for with animals in garbage cans.

  3. I miss me a good cranegoose spectacle!

    I suspect that goose is wearing a field-readable collar that is partly covered up by feathers. I have never heard of a gps tag being put on a neck collar before, but it could be done.

    1. Ah, thanks for chiming in on that collar. That makes sense.

  4. That spectacle is pretty, well, spectacular (sorry).
    Seriously cool photos of the SWARM

    how do you make bleak things, like the sludgy landscape, look so pretty? Is it just a side effect of your contagiously bubbly optimism?

    1. Thanks, Laurence, spectacular indeed. Bleak is the new beautiful.

    2. Oh also I think #casualpheasant should become a thing.

  5. You made mud looks great in those photos, love the blue sky reflection in the sliver of melted got SKILLS! I am always crazy about pheasants, how did they become "ordinary" in out thinking so Regal and Royal, they appear to be wearing a coat fit only for a King! The boys look happy, and the dumpster diving squirrels---Cute!!! I love that poem its fits the theme of this post perfectly!!

    1. ...sorry just cross the (s) off the end of look, LoL.
      Although it does have a nice ring, "you made mud looks great," maybe I should patent that slogan...and run for office? HA!

    2. Ha!! Mud is tricky to work with, for sure.

  6. Love all the flight shots with the Snow Geese and the Cranes.... weird about the one with the thing around its neck. As you said, intriguing. That's neat about the woman who lived in your place - like your own little piece of history!


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