Signs Of Spring

20150128_192150_Browns Landing CtThe morning light seemed brighter when looking out over the Multnomah Channel early this day.  Right away a Double-crested Cormorant eyed me as I opened the hatch to my sailboat.  Over in the large oak tree sat a beautiful Bald Eagle, proudly looking over it’s vast countryside.  This was going to be a good birding day, because well, they are all good birding days.

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In Search of Two Lifers

January 27, 2015 Bird List

January 27, 2015 Bird List

After my San Francisco Rustic Bunting trip was scrubbed this morning, I decided to head out and find a couple of more local lifers. The weather was cloudy but pleasant, it stayed in the 40’s all day, rained some, some fog, some mist but no wind. I arrived at Marine Park in Vancouver just after 11:30 (with chestnut praline latte in hand). The first bird of interest was the rare and mysterious Tufted Duck. It is a common and friendly bird of the United Kingdom and surrounding countries, but not so common over here in Oregon! Below are photos of my findings. This duck was photographed at quite a distance, but I managed to capture him here. Continue reading

Birding in Scappoose

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There was an old man with a beard, Who said: ‘It is just as I feared! Two owls and a hen, Four larks and a wren Have all built their nests in my beard  Edward Lear

This morning while Joey was at the groomer, I walked down Crown-Zellarbach Trail for about ninety minutes.  With coffee, camera, binoculars (and other essentials in my EDC), I headed out in the billowing fog.

I first discovered the ducks.  They were the usual suspects of mallards, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, and American Wigeon.  I tried desperately to turn one into a Eurasian Wigeon but the color wasn’t there.  They all seemed to be quite vocal this morning – and except for the mallards, I don’t even think any of them noticed me. Continue reading

Birding Tillamook

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”
Robert Lynd

There are few things I enjoy more than birding, except perhaps, writing down the birds I’ve seen with a favorite fountain pen.  I saw some amazing birds in the Tillamook area and I took over 200 photographs on January 12, 2015.  There are just a few here because when I returned home, I realized a setting on my camera had been bumped and most of the photos were not useable.  It happens to everyone eventually I guess.  Lesson learned.  Regardless, my list for the day topped out at 44 species, bringing my Big Year total to 69 species so far.  I have a good start on the year, that’s for sure.

The stars of today included the Tundra Bean-goose (from Russia), a few Common Loon’s, a female Ruddy Duck, a couple of Lesser Scaups, Canvasbacks, a Cooper’s Hawk  and a Western Grebe.  I had amazing views of a Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, and of course the goose. Continue reading

January Birding

It was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful.  The Ugly Duckling, by Han Christian Anderson.

As most mornings do, this particular morning promised me an adventure.  This day I was to explore the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant park that had a paved trail that wrapped around trees, ponds, and fields.  The wintery Oregon weather was typical, clouds, mist, temperatures not cold but certainly not warm.  I challenged my birding chances by heading out at the worst time of day to see any birding activity.  I was going to squeeze as many birds as I could from this park – and squeeze I did.  It took me about three hours to walk the three miles or so that I did to feel satisfied that I’ve done my very best.  Yes, this year is about getting as many bird species as I can on my list, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy watching the birds any less than I typically do.   Continue reading