Showing posts from April, 2018

Local April birds.

Spring is all about year birds, and they are coming fast and furious lately.  No time to chat, let's dive right in.

Not a year bird

Jacob and I went owling in my old 5MR a couple weeks ago and he showed me where he had seen a Barred Owl roosting earlier in the spring.  A Barn Owl flew out of the roost.  What?  Weird.  We had Great Horneds hooting that night but no saw-whet as we had hoped for.  Walking back to the car we had a striped skunk (life mammal for both of us!) creeping around.

It's initial reaction was to walk away from us, but soon decided we were not a threat and went about its skunk business. 

The Vancouver Lake area continues to hand out county birds, like this Bonaparte's Gull that Jim Danzenbaker found one morning:

After that success I went over to Shillapoo Lake and lucked into some flyover Black-bellied Plovers, another county bird.

Jacob and I invested in a couple of kayaks this month and our first outing was on Vancouver Lake.  We checked out some bac…

Klickitat County

Yesterday Jacob took the day off work since it was going to be super nice outside for the first time in a long time.  We decided to head east on 14 with no real destination, though I never have trouble coming up with places to stop.  After boring Bingen Pond we ended up past Catherine Creek on Balch Road, an area with a winery and a cemetery known for offering up Lewis's and Acorn Woodpeckers.

Immediately I noticed a bird fly into a tree and disappear into a hole.  When it flew out we saw it was a Lewis's and eventually it landed on a branch not too far away, offering the best views I've ever had of this species.

We parked at the cemetery and walked all over the area hearing every variety of tapping and drumming.  Red-breasted Nuthatches were excavating a nest in one tree, a Hairy Woodpecker was pecking on another, and a flicker was drumming on a dead branch.

Hairy Woodpecker

After stopping along Balch Lake for turtles and Osprey, we drove to the end of Balch Road where the…

Wildflower o'clock.

It's that magical time:  wildflower season in the Columbia River Gorge but also spring migration! Time to see all the things outside all the time.  Scattered dry days have been great for heading out to Catherine Creek for flowers, and rainy days have been the standard for birding locally.  Here I will combine the flowers from a recent day in the gorge with the birds I've been seeing recently.

Sunrise at Catherine Creek

 Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

 Yellow-headed Blackbird, Shillapoo Lake

 Upland larkspur (Delphinium nutallianum)

 Checker lily (or Mission bells) (Fritillaria affinis)

 Fingers crossed this will be a Red-breasted Sapsucker nest, Meadowbrook Marsh

Pacific Hound's tongue (Cynoglossum grande)

 Camas field with Mount Hood

Acorn Woodpecker, Catherine Creek (Klickitat County bird!)

 What is this??

 Chickweed monkeyflower (Erythanthe alsinoides)

 Wilson's Snipe, Meadowbrook Marsh

Naked broomrape (Orobanche uniflora) with monkeyflower and miniature lupine (I…