November 11, 2014

Exploring Hagg Lake (again)

Yesterday we went back to Hagg Lake. I was hoping to add three more species to my county big year list, but I only got one more. That darn Eared Grebe just won't cooperate!

County bird #182 was a Greater Scaup that I didn't get that 'great' of a look at. Looking at birds three miles (I'm exaggerating) away with a scope is pretty ridiculous. I am learning what kind of birder I really am.

 me and the scope

Owls must be hanging out under the gazebo overlook because there were some big pellets in there. There was also a dead flicker hanging from the rafters which seemed really odd. Unlike some bloggers, I will refrain from posting a photo of the carcass. You know who you are :)

The best part of the trip for me, besides the sunshine was the plethora of fungi! There were so many juicy and alien species popping up in the woodland.

(a lichen)

We learned this is Helvella crispa. The common name of Elfin Saddle is so much more fun though.

Elsewhere mushrooms have been popping us and here are a few I photographed.

And a gall for good measure.

November 06, 2014

More of my backyard Cooper's Hawk

This youngster keeps hanging around. Chickadees were buzzing all around him and not happy with his presence, but he just perched in the crabapple tree while I took advantage of the great photo opp.

November 03, 2014

Backyard Cooper's Hawk

For the last week or so a Cooper's Hawk has been hanging around.  One minute all the birds are active and feeding at the feeders and the next minute it is dead quiet. Today I looked and the window and saw this. He was looking below the feeder in the shrubs for Juncos. I don't think he got lucky this time.

Yesterday I kept hearing a call from the neighbor's apple tree.  It took me a while to locate the sound I was hearing and it was fun to learn it was the hawk. Listen for an Anna's Hummingbird on the recording too.

October 22, 2014

Netarts Bay Coastal Trip

This is my second annual trip to the coast in October. Maggie came along too this time. She was excited to smell some sea birds and the stinky cattle of Tillamook.

At Pacific Oyster we watched Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Caspian Terns, and on the third visit we saw two Elegant Terns. Grebes were present and so were Dunlin and more.

The weather was unsettled most of the trip, but overall we managed to dodge showers.

Hundreds of Brown Pelicans were in Netarts Bay and the best views were at a boat landing.

We stumbled upon a new park near the sewage treatment ponds in Bay City. Kilchis Point Reserve is 200 acres of woodland trail that goes out to the bay. Park info can be found here. It's dog friendly and beautifully developed. The trail work was impressive. It is still being built so some areas required boots in the rainy weather. They were moving gravel when we were there.

On the day we discovered it we only walked a short ways and spent half an hour there. We returned the next day to walk the 1 mile out to the bay. We totaled 28 species on our visits. With a scope we might have seen more at the bay. It has the potential to be a great birding spot.

There were lots of Newts everywhere, but none would pose for me.

At the end of the trail:


October 14, 2014

County Birding Update

We recently went out to Dawson Creek to see the Mandarin Duck that has been reported. Torn as to whether or not its a "real" county bird, we decided to count it since we are using e-bird for our listing and e-bird lets us count it. We saw the boring female back in some cattails. Bird #175.

 There isn't a Mandarin Duck in this photo.

Yesterday at Hagg Lake:

Common Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe, Surf Scoter, and FINALLY #181: a Peregrine Falcon.

On the way home we saw two giant flocks of Cackling Geese. We estimated 5000 in this flock. I wish my collage could do it justice. (click on it to enlarge)

Only 2 1/2 months left!