Birdmeister’s Blog

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The Baskett Slough NWR White Wagtail (04/30/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on May 3, 2015



This ocularis White Wagtail was at Baskett Slough NWR in a field just north of the narrows for just one day. I’m glad I pulled the trigger on this one. The black eyeline and large big will make it an ocularis.


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TX migration (4/23-4/27/15)

Posted by birdmeister on May 3, 2015

After waiting for 4 long years, I finally indulged again to experience the spectacle of spring migration around High Island. 22 species of warbler (including several Golden-wingeds and a female Cerulean) were seen, plus Black-billed Cuckoo and Philly Vireo. The Anahuac rail walk was a bust this time around, probably due to the threatening storm which was keeping the rails quiet. Nice shorebirds included White-rumped Sandpiper and Hudsonian Godwit, yet I failed to turn up an Upland Sandpiper. The Big Thicket performed, as usual, with the highlights being Swainson’s Warbler, oodles of Mississippi Kites, Bachman’s Sparrow and Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

The full report is here:

I was not really able to take any pictures as the pace was too high … So, here’s just a few crappy ones …

BTGreenWarbler GoldenWingedWarbler GreatCrestedFC MagnoliaWarbler RubyThroatedHummingbird

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Wallowa magic (02/14-16/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on February 18, 2015

Casy Cunningham and I spent President’s Day in the Wallowas. We found many good birds including Gyrfalcon (every day), Pine Grosbeak (every day), Gray-crowned Rosy-finches, Gray Partridge, American Tree Sparrow, Bohemian Waxwing, Spruce Grouse, Harris’s Sparrow and many lesser birds. See my post on OBOL from 2/16.


Adult Golden Eagle

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The amazing Gyrfalcon was easy to see every day along the Imnaha Hwy between Tenderfoot Valley and Tucker Down Rds.

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This male Spruce Grouse was at McCully Ck. Some other poor pix include American Tree Sparrow, Pine Grosbeak and Bohemian Waxwing.

AmericanTreeSparrow Bohemians PineGrosbeak

We even got the Snowy Owl north of Weston on the way back.

It was great fun!

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Baltimore Oriole (Netarts, OR, 1/11/15)

Posted by birdmeister on January 12, 2015

A wintering Baltimore Oriole is now being seen in Netarts, OR.

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Lots of other birds were also in the same yard, like this Varied Thrush.


The Tundra Bean Goose was fairly quickly located as well. This is from Christansen Rd at Nestucca NWR.



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A New Year’s Day trip to California (12/31-1/4/2015)

Posted by birdmeister on January 5, 2015

BramblingArcata FalcatedDuck1

Ok, neither is a good shot, but both the Arcata Brambling and the Colusa NWR Falcated Duck were nice birds for the new year.


Forster’s Tern


Greater White-fronted Goose


Probably the star of the show was the Abbott’s Lagoon LeConte’s Sparrow. A 2mi one-way walk to the location was well worth it.

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I probably wouldn’t have made the trip if it wasn’t for this Rustic Bunting in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

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While a little overexposed, this shows some of the rust-colored V on the bunting’s breast.


A Short-eared Owl at around 4pm at the Huichica Creek Unit of the Sonoma-Napa Marshes was a nice get.


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Some pix from a recent Okanogan trip (12/25-12/28/2014)`

Posted by birdmeister on December 29, 2014

Always a highlight for every trip. This Gyrfalcon posed for me, but I was fumbling with my gear and got what I deserved … As backlit as it can get.



This Snowy Owl was found just 2.5mi north of Waterville. The sun had already set.


While listening to singing Townsend’s Solitaires and watching a smallish flock of Bohemian Waxwings at Palmer Lake, I noticed this Cassin’s Finch.

What bothered me about this bird was the abundant blurry streaking, more reminiscent of Purple Finch (I was shooting for a possible Eastern here). The bird’s back seemed very crisp in the field. What made this a Cassin’s for me are the following (please speak up if you disagree):

  • Eye arcs!
  • Long primary projection
  • Very conical bill (not that visible in the shot below)
  • Crest is behind the eye
  • Crisp streaking on the vent (Eastern Purple doesn’t have that, Western usually does)



This poor shot shows the streaking on the vent.



The bills shows here …


Can you say Gray Partridge? Easily the best looks I ever had of a noisy, almost stationary flock.

096A0344 096A0359 GrayPartridge2

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