Birdmeister’s Blog

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Pictures from a trip to South Africa (09/15-10/06/2016)

Posted by birdmeister on October 16, 2016

With a lot of time at hand, I took a spring Rockjumper East South Africa trip with Cape extension for a total of 3 weeks. I chose to go fully guided because of safety concerns. Well, it was a heck of a trip! with 455 bird species (209 photographed) and many other critters including South Africa’s “The Big 5” and “Ugly Big 5”. My absolutely favorite was a Giraffe which got startled by some nearby lions and ran towards our truck using the truck as a shield.

There is no trip report (I’m waiting for the official Rockjumper one), but many pictures:

Birds (relatively good quality):

Birds (poor quality):

Other critters:

Here are a few of the highlights. Enjoy!

Giraffe at Kruger NP

African Penguin at Stony Point near Cape Town

African Penguin at Stony Point

Bateleurs at Kruger NP

Bateleurs at Kruger NP

Bokamakierie at lower Sani Pass

Bokmakierie at lower Sani Pass

Drakensberg Rockjumper at Sani Pass

Drakensberg Rockjumper at Sani Pass

Red-headed Weaver at Kruger NP

Red-headed Weaver at Kruger NP


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The Salishan Yellow-throated Vireo (9/12/16, just south of Lincoln City, OR)

Posted by birdmeister on September 13, 2016

This bird was found yesterday by Dave Irons. Found at around 5:30pm today, it had settled in for the night and didn’t move any more. It was hard to get a good picture of.


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Necanicum Estuary Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Posted by birdmeister on August 24, 2016

This afternoon I found myself at the Necanicum Estuary on the Gearhart side. While a Ruff had been reported, I found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper (which had been reported earlier, apparently). Many juvie Baird’s Sandpipers (they must have had a strong year!) and a Franklin’s Gull were also present.



I never found the Ruff …

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A whirlwind trip for a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (near Othello, WA, 08/11/16) – and the coast

Posted by birdmeister on August 15, 2016

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is a bird that I missed 11 or 12 years ago when one was near Moses Lake, WA, so I had to give chase. The spot several miles west of Othello was right along the road, with virtually no place to pull over. Trucks were barreling by, so did not linger for a good picture.


After that I went all the way west to the central WA state coast via Robinson Canyon where I camped. Common Poorwill and Common Nighthawk were still calling, Common Nighthawk was even displaying!

The highlight at the coast was a well-timed visit to Bottle Beach which yielded a Bar-tailed Godwit (also later seen back in Westport), a Willet, 1 Black and 2 Ruddy Turnstones and lots of the usuals. Red Knot was missed, but there is still time.

BarTailedGodwit IMG_0741

These Bar-tailed Godwit pictures were taken handheld with my iPhone through the scope, so it’s no surprise that the quality is lacking.

At Midway Beach I found a single Red-necked Phalarope and an American Bittern, Tokeland was pretty bleak with only 8 Willets and many Purple Martins. I also found Purple Martin at the Hoquiam STP, but missed the Franklin’s Gull in 3 separate attempts. Interesting there also was an otter taking a gull (was not able to id the victim) and dragging it into dense vegetation. 6 Wandering Tattlers were in Westport near float 20.

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Arizona again – A long monsoon trip with a lot of spare time

Posted by birdmeister on August 9, 2016

With a lot of time at hand, I drove down to AZ (that’s 20 hours to Phoenix from Portland one way!) to indulge during the monsoon season. It was great to go slow, talk to people, not be on a tight schedule, camp out and take pictures.

Trip report (skimpy this time):




This Red-faced Warbler is from upper Miller Canyon


This Rufous-capped Warbler was cooperative in Hunter Canyon


A family of Tufted Flycatchers stuck in upper Ramsey Canyon


A Virginia’s Warbler from Miller Canyon. I often ignore this bird on my weekend trips.

Posted in Bird Reports, Pictures | 9 Comments »

Yukon and BC: Trip report and pictures

Posted by birdmeister on July 17, 2016

After about 5 weeks and roughly 6000mi on the road, I have now returned back home. My trip took me up north through the Peace River region of BC into the Yukon. Then Whitehorse and Dawson Creek; and finally I drove into the Dempster Hwy almost 500km into the Northwest Territories before turning back. On the way back south through BC I took the Cassiar-Stewart, making an important stop near Hyder, AK, to see the Salmon Glacier. I saw 231 species of birds and some nice mammals too. Of course, there were some misses too, but overall I had a blast. It was a trip of a lifetime.


Trip report: (this is a long one, but does have the species list at the end)



Grizzly Bear near Tetsa River, BC


Northern Hawk-Owl along 97 near Prophet River, BC


Willow Ptarmigan near Salmon Glacier, BC.


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