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Showing posts with label Mallard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mallard. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2014

The rest of Cape Cod.

There's more to Cape Cod than the beaches.  Wandering around my parents' house and neighborhood can produce awesome birds just as easily.  Here are some of the goodies I found close to their home...


Ok, that one's not real, but it was amazingly carved by my dad!  And now for outside birds...

Mallards on ice

 Worst photo of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker ever

Turkeys!

 White-throated Sparrow


 Northern Cardinal


Pine Warbler & goldfinches (through window screen)

It turns out that some life birds are so good that you get to lifer with them twice.  In this case, I found my second lifer Winter Wren in the neighborhood...


Another highlight of my visit was a Baltimore Oriole that has spent the winter at my parents' house.  She seemed to always be around somewhere- pulling up grubs in the backyard, relaxing on the feeder, perching on branches in the front yard.  Pretty cool.


And lastly, some non-birds swimming around and chomping fish in the nearby lake: river otters!


I am quite lucky to have parents that are willing to take me birding when I'm visiting, and I think we all had a lot of fun on this trip.  Good times!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Three for three.

It's been a brutal week here in the northwest.  The rain has been relentless, except of course when it's been snowing.  But that's not quite enough to keep me indoors.  Especially when I got tapped Tuesday morning for a top secret owl hunt with Rhett the owl whisperer!

It was completely dry at my house so I was surprised on my drive to Reed Canyon to find snow and more snow.  I had never been to the canyon (which is in SE Portland on the Reed College campus) but now I will be disappointed to go back and not find it like this... a winter wonderland:


The owl we were hunting was unfortunately not where it was supposed to be.  But who cares?  It was a beautiful snowy morning and there were other birds to be had!  Like this most random lone female Barrow's Goldeneye in one of the ponds...


Some more snowy birds...


The best bird for me that morning was a Hutton's Vireo mixing with a flock of Bushtits and chickadees...


So this owl was the second owl I failed to find this week, starting with the Murder Barn Owl on Sunday.  I did not quit there, I went for a trifecta yesterday with a recently reported Barred Owl at Mount Tabor Park.  Adrian Hinkle was kind enough to share directions to where it had been roosting in view of one of the trails and I set out in the rain to find it.

But I didn't.  I found a Red-breasted Sapsucker...


And some Cedar Waxwings and robins feasting on hawthorn berries...


Owls shmowls. 

Oh well, this is the "worst" part of the year here.  It never really gets light out and the rain can make you feel a bit crazy... But when the holidays end things get better.   If the world doesn't end of course.  Good times!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rain. Sun. Thunder.

Yep, it must be spring.  Our weather is all over the place and yesterday evening we even had a thunderstorm, something that many of us transplants dearly miss in the northwest.   They are so rare here that I didn't even realize what was happening during the first rumble (and went flying off the couch thinking a plane was about to crash on my roof).  Birding has been interesting- from cold and wet to hot and sunny.   Here's some recent stuff...

From Kelley Point Park on Thursday morning...

Spotted Towhee

 Young robin


Flycatcher... yep...


Wilson's Warbler


Warbling Vireo


Another young robin


Stick dog


I don't know what this next plant is called but I love it...


 From Force Lake also Thursday morning...

Mallard family
 
 Anna's Hummingbird


Common Yellowthroat

From Oaks Bottom yesterday afternoon...

Barn Swallow

The cotton in the sky was kind of hypnotizing...


Check out this enormous turtle:


I swear it's the biggest one I've ever seen in Portland.  I didn't have too much luck with birds at Oaks Bottom but it's a really nice place to wander around... Always good for a heron:


And I wouldn't be Flycatcher Jen if I didn't scrounge up at least one mystery bird... who unfortunately turned his head the second I got focused on him (and then flew away).



Eh?  The meadow at the end of the trail had tons of western box elder bugs, many of which liked landing on my arms. 


And that's about it for the last few days... Hope to get out somewhere more exciting this weekend.  Good times!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day.

After calling my mom this morning I headed out to do some birding- the most I've done since getting back to town.  I still have tons more birds from my trip to share, but today I had the perfect experience to post about for Mother's Day.  I visited Whitaker Ponds, Force Lake, and Vanport Wetlands, and saw a good number of Mallards and their ducklings.  At Force Lake this mama had five kids:


At nearby Vanport the only mama I saw had just one duckling.  Driving away from Force Lake right by the Expo Center, something caught my eye on the side of the road.  I stopped and looked back and there sitting in the road was a silly little duckling.  The curb was too high for it to get over so it was somewhat trapped.


I will admit that I am not sure what I did was right, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.  I put my hazards on and decided to try to catch it.  It took a few minutes with cars spooking it and me spooking it.. But finally I caught him.


I named him Ted and stood there holding him wondering what I should do next.  The nearest water was in Vanport, but it's surrounded by a chain-link fence.  I wasn't sure that shoving Ted through the fence would help him survive.   I remembered the ducklings at Force Lake, which was also pretty close, and so drove back over clutching Ted in my hand.

I did some one-handed googling and learned that if the Force Lake duck mama was in fact Ted's mama, then she would probably respond to his peeping and come get him.  So I waded through the tall grass and placed him beside the water in a spot where I could see the mama.

Then I waited.  At first mama did not get up (she was sunbathing), but after a few minutes I saw the family hop in the lake and start swimming towards Ted.


I was stoked!  Mama was coming for Ted.  I peeked over the stone wall and saw Ted happily join the other ducklings.  Unfortunately then I realized that Ted was a bit younger than the others, and obviously not a blood relative.


Things seemed okay at first despite his obvious differences.  But then mama started to catch on, and started poking at Ted.  At one point she even seemed to submerge him in the lake.  Oh dear...


I started to stress out that she was going to murder him in front of me, but that didn't happen.  She poked him some more and he kept coming back.  The other ducklings seemed fine with having him around and eventually they all just swam off together.


So I am not sure what will happen with Ted and his new adopted mother and siblings.  I am hoping for the best, but realize that things might not end well for him.  I plan to go back later this afternoon to check on them so I'll hopefully have an update.  Interesting times!