Showing posts from January, 2019

January 5MR Highlights

January is almost over and 5MR mania is starting to mellow out a bit.  Several folks have even dropped out of the 2019 challenge, though there are still 199 going strong.  It's been fun to find some new and old bird blogs talking about the idea so I'm sharing those with you here.  If I missed any let me know!

Hutton's Vireo, David Douglas Park

Let's start with the local Portland metro area birding scene.  Eric, the bluebird guy, has taken on his 5MR by bike only.  Read about his adventures here and here.

Red-winged Blackbird with floof, Meadowbrook Marsh

Portlander Audrey has also been killing it with her 5MR.

Nobody wants a 5MR nutria, Columbia Springs Fish Hatchery

The east coast is being represented by several 5MR birder bloggers including Laurence and Jamie in North Carolina, and Sondra in South Carolina.

Everybody wants a 5MR ensatina!  Columbia Springs Fish Hatchery

California 5MR coverage has been strong since the beginning, especially with the endorsement of Seagu…

Vancouver Lake

Jacob and I went birding outside our 5MR (gasp!) this week on a chilly sunny morning.  The temperature at our house when we left was 42 but by the time we got to Vancouver Lake it had dropped to 29.

We had heard from a local birder that a certain owl was using the same roost it had used last winter and Jacob wanted to check it out.  First we walked down to the water for the mountain views and to check out the ducks and whatnot.

Frost on the sand

While I was crouched down trying to get macro shots of the frost I heard a familiar tweet: a Black Phoebe!  This was a bird we had dipped on several times the previous winter here so it was nice to see it actually exists.

Good start to the morning!  Next we checked for the owl but found a squirrel camped out right above its hole.  Grr..

No owl.

We lingered for a bit but the squirrel did not budge.  Eventually we made our way up the trail to see what else was around.

Hairy Woodpecker!  A new one for us at Vancouver Lake.

Golden-crowned Kinglet


2019: The first week.

The first day of the year is always exciting with every bird being a year bird and wondering what will be Bird Number One.  This year Jacob and I decided to head to my newish patch along the Burnt Bridge Creek before sunrise to try for the Barn Owl we had last time.  Jacob remembered how loud the Mallards were in the dark and to prevent them from being Bird Number One we drove around with the windows rolled up. 

After about thirty minutes of cruising the roads around this area Jacob spotted the owl!  It flew across the cow field right in front of us for amazing views.  Good start!  We rolled the windows down and immediately heard a Killdeer.  Phew, that would have been terrible. 

This spot has a fantastic view to the east so we decided to see if the sunrise did anything special.

American Wigeons

Heck yeah it was a good one.  We added some more birds to the year list here including a hooting Great Horned Owl, a Cooper's Hawk, Red-winged Blackbirds, and the ever vocal Mallards.

We we…