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Friday, August 15, 2014

Timberline.



Timberline Lodge.  You've seen The Shining, right?  Well I didn't head out to this historic Mount Hood lodge yesterday to hunt for ghost twins or rub noses with Jack Nicholson.  I just wanted to check out the trails that lead up the mountain from the lodge and maybe see a few birds along the way...


Wildflowers were a big highlight with hot pink paintbrush, lupine, aster, and many more I have yet to identify brightening up the landscape.

 Paintbrush

 Aster

 Penstemon?

Lupine

While hiking up a thick fog rolled in and the mountain completely disappeared for awhile. 


What mountain? 


Oh right.  Birds.  There were some of those too.  A young Horned Lark surprised us in the fog...


Later on after the fog passed and the sun came out I found a couple of adults as well.


The most abundant bird of the day was the juvenile Chipping Sparrow.  They were everywhere.  Never saw a single full-blown adult.


With the sunshine came much better views of... well... everything.

Early morning skiers

Ok back to birds.  The hike down passed through a major Mountain Bluebird party.


Also along the trail were lots of finches.  I saw no obvious males which made me very indecisive about the ID- Cassin's or Purple?


Never a lack of golden-mantled ground squirrels in these parts

As we made our way back down the trail I tried to keep an eye out for raptors.  No Golden Eagles or fancy hawks to be seen, but a Prairie Falcon tore through the small group of trees near the bottom of the trail.  eBird questioned it, so it must be a good sighting.  Har har.


The trees also attracted Clark's Nutcrackers.

See ya

 Lil chippy

 It was a good morning!  I would really like to explore this area more sometime, and maybe even figure out what trail I was on..




Good times!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Trail cam.

On Sunday morning I drove back out to the quail spot to pick up my trail cam.  Thankfully it was right where I left it and I drove it back home to see what I caught. 


Bobcat!  And a cropped version:


That's the only thing I caught, which was surprising with the amount of deer tracks and coyote scat along the road.

Now taking suggestions as to where I should set it up next!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to Quail Land.

Wednesday morning I decided to try for Mountain Quail again in the Tillamook State Forest.  I avoided the pitfalls of Monday (looking at google maps, forgetting to get gas) and arrived bright and early to the quail spot.


There were no signs of quail so I walked the dogs down the dirt road all the way to the end, hoping they might turn up.  Violet-green Swallows were zipping by our heads...



A Townsend's Solitaire was calling while we walked the road and I eventually spotted two juveniles down the western slope. 


There are two dead-ends on this off-the-map logging road, one that looks like a sudden drop-off...


I walked back up the road, telling myself that it wasn't a total wash- three solitaires on a beautiful morning's walk ain't shabby.


The dogs stopped to sniff something along the road when we started hearing strange noises.  Quail noises?  I wondered.  We slowly walked back down towards the sounds and caught sight of a flutter of quail wings!  The sounds continued and I took a video with my phone. 



Unfortunately even with the sound turned up full blast it's hard to hear, but it sounded nuts.  The dogs were baffled and stood there turning their heads back and forth.


It seemed as though I might not get to actually see a quail standing still, but I waited and eventually I got some visuals of my life birds.  This juvenile quail was the first to show itself:


He fluttered back into the bushes after a minute, and an adult came into view.


So cool!  And so crazy how wrong the bill looks in Sibley's.  Another small group of maybe five flushed from near the car, making a total of at least a dozen quail seen. 

Back at the car I grabbed my wildlife cam and wandered till I found a place to set it up.  Fingers crossed it doesn't get stolen!  Going to pick it up this weekend.  Good times!!!

Timber, Oregon