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Showing posts from April, 2018

Klickitat County

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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.

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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…

Recent Clark County birds

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Local birding has been solid lately despite the mostly bleh weather.  I recently went out to the Vancouver Lake area to check for some reported birds, starting with a Ross's Goose.  Big flocks of Cackling Geese and Sandhill Cranes were occupying the fields along Lower River Road and quickly I found a white dot.

Convincing.

Along the bike path was a dead Sandhill Crane, the second dead one I've seen in almost the exact same spot.  I'm guessing it hit the powerlines.



Next I drove down to the end of the road to look for Great Horned Owls "Nesting in open on goose nesting platform!!! Photos."  No photos were ever added to that checklist, and I never found an owl on a platform. 

Instead of owls I found a Great Egret battling a fish, a Greater Yellowlegs battling a fish, the continuing Snowy Egret, a pile of Dunlin, and a couple warblers in the willows.



Orange-crowned with an orange crown!

After that I did another drive by the goose area and found the fields nearly e…