Showing posts from February, 2019

Chill birding.

Guys.  This whole Tufted Duck style of chill birding is totally working.  Instead of chasing 5MR year birds I've been focusing on birding spots that need more February checklists.  And I've been finding good stuff. WIN WIN WIN.

This is David Douglas Park:

I almost never want to bird there but every time I go I am glad that I did.  Case in point: see that little black dot at the tippy top of that tree?  That's a Merlin.


While I was watching the Merlin I heard angry crows and turned to see a Bald Eagle soaring, but that was not why they were upset.  Rather three ravens had dared to appear! 

Two crows, two ravens (5MR year bird #96!)

Once the ravens were successfully escorted off to the west, the crows returned still talking loudly, which briefly concerned the Merlin.

 As I made my way up the paved trail I become immersed in a large mixed flock.  This is something I love, when it's so loud and there are too many birds to count properly, and new birds are flashing i…

The art of Tufted Ducking.

I learned an important lesson in December of 2012.  It was my third winter of chasing reports of a Tufted Duck hiding in the massive scaup flocks that linger in the Columbia River.  I chased and dipped, chased and dipped, froze my fingers and melted my brain trying to sort scaup.  Then one day I was walking the dogs at Broughton Beach and boom, the Tufted Duck was the closest bird to shore.  That's when I understood, you do not chase the Tufted Duck.  It chases you.

A Tufted Duck is cool, and so you must also be cool.  When one was reported by a local birder last week in my 5MR I knew exactly what to do:  be cool, don't chase, act nonchalant.  Finally yesterday I felt the urge to bird Marine Park which is connected to the park where the duck was seen.  I left my scope at home because I was not going to chase that duck.

When it's 23˚ outside you might think that sturgeon did not smell as much.  No.  It smelled a lot.

I walked west along the beach to the boat ramp where a co…