Sauvie Island.

Portland birders have had to brave all kinds of weather this winter, but thankfully on Wednesday things were back to the usual gloom and rain.  Jacob and I drove out to Sauvie Island for a pleasant day of birding and exploring.  Let it be known that this post is filled with blurry and fuzzy dark photos. 

Oak Island Road is a great three mile stretch for birds, especially Barn Owls.

This was one of several we had throughout the day.  At the end of the road is a little shelter that birds are always poking around.   On this morning a flock of chickadees was taking turns plucking morsels from the wood.

After Oak Island Road we continued on Reeder and passed a beautiful dark morph hawk.  I turned around so we could take a few photos.

Honestly I did not think much of this bird, figured it to be a dark Red-tailed.  It was suggested by one of Jacob's Instagram followers that it's actually a Harlan's Red-tailed.  Seagull agreed that might be the case.  Unfortunately we never saw it from another angle.  We did see an interesting light morph Harlan's on Oak Island Road that looked much like a bird I saw at Ridgefield a few years ago.  No photo.

Coon Point had all the expected swans and ducks, along with half a dozen or more flickers hanging out.

Jacob finally located the Great Horned Owl nest there but we only barely saw the top of one owl head.  Not the most satisfying tick.  At the Reeder Road store we found a flock of starlings, a flock of robins, and one very popular tree.

This tree was hosting a Red-breasted Sapsucker (bottom left), a Brown Creeper, a crow, and a flicker.  Good tree.

On the Multnomah/Columbia county line were a billion more Tundra Swans and ducks.

From the observation platform we did not see much, but we did see one gull.  A Thayer's Gull!  Pretty sure...

After another stop at another barn we drove up and down Rentenaar Road.

It was not a hunting day and Rentenaar was offering up a good Sandhill Crane show.

I had told Jacob that morning that I never needed to see another photo of a flying Northern Harrier ever again.  Then I proceeded to take a bunch of terrible photos of a flying Northern Harrier.

The cranes were moving around, occasionally crossing this one flooded area, appearing to briefly swim.

We had distant views of the Red-shouldered Hawk that has been hanging around the area before heading to the end of Reeder Road.  There is yet another barn there.

On the walk back to the car Jacob noticed four birds at the top of a tree that is popular with cows.  Purple Finches!

Last year bird of the day.  I think that was even a Columbia County bird for me.  Wild.  It was an excellent day of birding with a most excellent birding partner.  Good times!!


  1. Ah I want to see a barn owl sooo bad, just made me say DAMN! many things keeping me busy just can't get myself a day or so it seems to get out there...hopefully when the shed is done. Yard birds will have to do for now we did have a very nice purple finch pair at the feeders last week. It is def more fun with a good birding pal!

  2. I wish we could trade yard birds for a day!

  3. Looks like a great way to spend a gray day! How nice that you now have a model to liven up all your barn photos. :)

    1. My blog has been lacking in eye candy, don't you think?

  4. I always appreciate your Barn Owls. Especially since I read something about how they help support the only remaining population of the world's rarest fish somewhere in Death Valley... they apparently roost in the cave where something like 100 of these fish live, and by puking pellets into the water they provide a nutrient source. Owls. So cool.

  5. Love the Sandhill Crane shots! Especially the one that looks like it's swimming?!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I think that bird miscalculated the depth of the water. So strange to see.


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