March 09, 2015

County Birding

Yesterday afternoon we walked around Fernhill Wetlands. It was an unusual 72 degrees and sunny. The expected birds were there. The trails are open again and there are some muddy spots for shorebirds and dabbling ducks.

But lets get on to the good stuff. Things were exciting over on Milne Road. Evidently its the place to be these days as we ran into a couple of familiar faces.

First off: Horned Lark in the road!!!!!!!! This super hard to find county bird is my county lifer #190. It was just hanging out watching the sun set. Later it flew and another one popped out of the short grasses and followed it.

Last year for the Big Year, we visited Milne for Short-eared Owls and saw some, but not very well. We went back a few weeks ago and had the same experience. I grumbled "I'm never coming back to to this stupid place", but here I was again. Finally some owls were about!

They made their appearance shortly after 6:00. They were flying around with the harriers and hunting for rodents.

You can count on a nice sunset out there!

March 02, 2015

Sauvie Island and More

Sunday we visited Sauvie Island. All the usual suspects were accounted for. Cranes were out in full force although I didn't manage a decent photo. On Rentenaar Rd. there was the expected sparrow flock, but alas, someone dumped corn on the south side of the road. People: dump it on the north side!! So we watched the backlit birds and didn't take any sparrow photos. There were mostly Golden-crowned anyhow.

Sunshine and a hunting harrier!

A heron rookery had possibly 50 herons hanging out. And a Bald Eagle in the top middle.

At the same stop was an amazing display of soaring raptors. At one point we figured there were eagles, a Red-tailed Hawk, an accipter, and a harrier. I counted over 7 eagles later.

At Cedar Mill Wetlands this morning it was slightly ho-hum.

This sapsucker in the greenery made me happy though.

January 21, 2015

Weekend Birds

The weather was sunny for a couple of days so it was perfect for getting out and taking some photos! At the OES Wetlands this hummer found some concrete to lick. I guess there are minerals in it that it wanted?

Jackson Bottom was flooded! The water is so high that you can hardly see the wooden blind in the middle of the photo.

Someone told us the Northern Shrike had just been seen over by the CWS buildings so we walked over there. We couldn't find the shrike, but we got sidetracked taking photos of the moss on this wall with our cell phones.

One path was open to the middle viewing shelter and as we scanned the flooded park, the Northern Shrike flew in for a brief appearance.

We moved on to Dawson Creek for some nice sunshiney photography. The ducks are always cooperative there.

The perfect birding pace.

January 15, 2015

Bishop's Close

At Bishop's Close in SW Portland things are starting to bloom already. This garden is really nice in the late winter - spring.

Downy Woodpecker at Milwaukie Water Treatment plant.