Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tillamook trip

Michelle and I took a quick trip over to Tillamook and surrounding areas this week. It was, as always, a fun trip and we always see some great birds (for us at least).

The weather didn't cooperate too much but there were some breaks from the rain storms and we tried to take advantage of them as much as we could. Here are some photos from the trip and we are already planning our next trip to the coast. There is a list of all the birds we identified at the end of the post.

A Western Gull sits atop a post at the Memaloose boat ramp. We were on our way to the Bayocean spit when we decided to swing into the boat ramp parking lot.

We were really glad we stopped! This is a Horned Grebe in breeding plumage just off of the dock.

There were actually 5 or 6 Horned Grebes in this area.

Here is a Common Loon in the same area. There were 6 of these birds, as well.

A small flock of Black Turnstones. This is the only photo we got but they are another life list bird for us!

A Red-Necked Phalarope. There were 2 of these little guys feeding just as you entered the spit.

A view of Tillamook Bay.

Another great find for us was this Red-Breasted Merganser. Yet another life lister.

Yellow-Rumped Warblers abound!

You couldn't look left or right without seeing a Yellow-Rumped Warbler.

Another Western Gull posing (read: begging).

A Turkey Vulture caught us off guard flying right over our heads.

Birds we identified (51 species):
Canada Goose
Greater Scaup
Red-Breasted Merganser
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Western Grebe
Double-Crested Cormorant
Brandt's Cormorant
Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Black Turnstone
Northern Harrier
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
Red-Necked Phalarope
Western Gull
Ring-Billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Anna's Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Tree Swallow
Violet-Green Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-Capped Chickadee
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-Crowned Sparrow
Golden-Crowned Sparrow
Red-Winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
House Sparrow

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lincoln's Sparrow!

This morning we found a Lincoln's Sparrow in the backyard! We have only had this visitor once before and that was when there was nearly 2 feet of snow on the ground a couple of winters ago.

Here are a couple of photos. It isn't letting us get very close but we are trying to get some better shots.

Lincoln's Sparrow

Another shot of it.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Savannah Sparrow Yard Bird!

For the first time ever, we have had a Savannah Sparrow in the backyard! We have seen it many times out in the field, but never in our own yard. It showed up last night and was back here bright and early this morning.

We also have the iBird app on our phones and when we play the Savannah Sparrow song, we get quite a few replies from a 1 or 2 block radius. Fun stuff!

The Savannah is in the middle surrounded by Juncos and White-Crowned Sparrows.

This was about as close as we could get without it flying off.

Hanging out in our Quince tree.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Birding Adventures: An Introduction to Bird Watching

The Friends of Tryon Creek State Natural Area are hosting guest speaker, and Wetlands Education Specialist, Sarah Pinnock (from Jackson Bottom Wetlands) on Tuesday, May 3rd from 6pm-8:30pm! This will be a great chance for those of you that are relatively new to birding to come out and be part of a discussion on an introduction to birdwatching. It will also be an opportunity for experienced birders to get a little refresher course (those never hurt) and to meet some folks that are new to the birding community. This event is completely free to attend!

Free wine, beer, and other refreshments will be served (what is it about birders and their wine?)! It will be a fun and relaxed evening for all and a great learning experience for birders of all levels. You can read more about it here!

Tryon Creek Park is a hub of activity for a number of resident and migratory birds. With spring just around the corner, the park should be full of activity. If you have never been to the park, you should definitely schedule a day to visit!

Friends of Tryon Creek also have quite a few other birding-related events coming up in May. Here are some of the other events you can check out:

Workshop: Beginner Birding – April 28 (6 – 7:30 p.m.) and May 1 (8 – 11 a.m.). Cost is $6 ($5 for members)

Morning Bird Walk – May 2, 9 & 16, 7 – 9 a.m. Free.

International Migratory Bird Event: Go Wild! Go Birding! – May 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free.

Family Event: A Celebration of Woodpeckers – May 15, 2 – 4 p.m. Free.

You can go here to see their complete calendar of events for any month!
Take care, good birding, and we hope to see you there!

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011 Festival of the Birds

The 2011 Festival of the Birds is coming up this May 7, from 9am-3pm, and taking place at Sellwood Park - just above Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (Portland's first designated Migratory Bird Park)! This is a great time for new and experienced birders alike to come out and enjoy a day devoted to wild birds!

If you have never been it is a really great, family-friendly festival with guided bird walks (every half hour from 9am-2pm), booths, vendors, food, educational birds from the Audubon Society of Portland, storytelling, family activities, live music and more! It's quite a fun day and, best of all, it's completely free!

There is also a free, guided early bird walk on the day of the festival starting at 7:30am, however, registration is required. You can go here to pre-register for the walk!

Michelle and I, as NePo Suet Company, will be at the festival also. We will be offering Festival discounts on our suet. If you would like, stop by our booth and let us know you saw the blog and we will give you a 10% discount on your total purchase!

We hope to see you there and let's make this the biggest Festival of the Birds yet!

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Monday, April 4, 2011

A few backyard photos

We finally had a sunny (read: not rainy) day here in Portland! WooHoo! It has been so wet and yucky lately that we haven't been getting many photos. So yesterday we decided to get a few. Nothing spectacular but fun to look at anyway. We hope you enjoy!

A Steller's Jay coming in for some of their favorite food!

A Scrub-Jay testing each peanut to make sure it measures up to his standards. If it doesn't, he puts it back and keeps looking until he finds just the right one. Sometimes they even bring a peanut back and exchange it for a better one.

Aha! I think we have a winner!

A Robin contemplating a bath.

The bath is a "GO", I repeat the bath is a "GO"!

A female Red-Breasted Nuthatch looking as pretty as ever.

The same Nuthatch deciding to grab a bite to eat.

A Pine Siskin trying to figure out how to crack a black-oil sunflower shell with it's tiny beak.

A Junco having an afternoon snack.

Another Junco looking for that perfect sunflower seed.

A Fox Sparrow singing away yesterday. There are two of them and this is the latest we have ever had them in the yard. Usually, they are here during the dead of winter and then they skedaddle. But this year, they have been hanging around and seem to be in courtship. We are hoping to see some baby Fox Sparrows in the near future!

A Flicker trying to decide what to eat next.

A female Downy Woodpecker grabbing some suet!

A male Downy doing the same thing on the same feeder.

Could Bushtits be any cuter?

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