Birdmeister’s Blog

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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.

GoldenEagle

Adult Golden Eagle

Gyr1 Gyr2

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

SpruceGrouse1 SpruceGrouse2

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.

BaltimoreOriole10 BaltimoreOriole9 BaltimoreOriole8 BaltimoreOriole7 BaltimoreOriole5 BaltimoreOriole4 BaltimoreOriole3 BaltimoreOriole2 BaltimoreOriole1

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

VariedThrush

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

TundraBeanGoose

 

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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.

ForstersTern

Forster’s Tern

GreaterWhiteFrontedGoose

Greater White-fronted Goose

LeContesSparrow1

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.

LeContesSparrow2 LeContesSparrow3

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

RusticBunting RusticBunting2 RusticBunting2-001

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

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

ShortEaredOwl

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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.

Gyrfalcon

 

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

SnowyOwl

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)

 

CassinsFinch

This poor shot shows the streaking on the vent.

CassinsFinch-001

 

The bills shows here …

CassinsFinchBill

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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Astoria Snow Bunting (12/13/2014)

Posted by birdmeister on December 14, 2014

 

The Snow Bunting at the Astoria Riverwalk was quickly located, with help from Andrew Mattingly.

SnowBunting

 

I dipped on the Fultano Pizza TK, but found several sluggish Red Phalaropes at the South Jetty, my other target for the morning. Looking for something more substantial, a Peregrine Falcon nailed a White-winged Scoter which had landed in one of the small pools at the jetty. That’s quite a large pray for the falcon which he couldn’t lift up as the scoter weighs about twice as much as the falcon.

 

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Testing the new Canon 7D Mark II on my recent AZ trip (11/27-12/01/2014)

Posted by birdmeister on December 4, 2014

Trip report is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AQE905eBYnxRMIU7HMFXUTD-Rds6ZshXHq7wqznQ0o0/edit?usp=sharing

Can you id all these birds? Ok, most of them are easy …

BaltimoreOriole

Baltimore Oriole at Sweetwater Wetlands (one of the few rarities that I didn’t dip on)

BlueGrosbeak

Female Blue Grosbeak at the San Pedro House. Late, real late …

BrewersSparrow

Brewer’s Sparrow

BridledTitmouse

Bridled Titmouse

ChippingSparrow

A poor shot of a Chipping Sparrow

ClarksGrebe

 

Clark’s Grebe at the Bill Williams River NWR

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This is a male Common Ground-Dove. The scaling is quite muddled on this pink. The bi-colored bill rules out Ruddy.

CommonGroundDoves

Both Common Ground-Doves (female on the left) together now

CostasHummingbird CostasHummingbird2

One of a few Costa’s Hummingbirds at the feeders at the Bill Williams River NWR visitor center. They are VERY reliable there.

CurveBilledThrasher

This banded Curve-billed Thrasher was at the San Pedro House visitor center

EasternMeadowlark

An Eastern Meadowlark in the San Rafael Valley

GilaWoodpecker

Gila Woodpecker

GreenHeron

Green Heron at Sweetwater Wetlands

GreenTailedTowhee GreenTailedTowhee2

This Green-tailed Towhee was at the San Pedro House visitor center. He was really close, but hard to get a picture of.

HuttonsVireo

Hutton’s Vireo

LadderBackedWoodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

LarkSparrow

Lark Sparrow

LeContesThrasher

Hard to believe, but this is a LeConte’s Thrasher at the Thrasher Spot at Baseline & Salome Hwy

LesserGoldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch (the dark-backed kind)

LikelyEasternBluebird

Hmmm, is the belly white or just gray? The outline of the ear coverts, throat and cheek suggests Eastern Bluebird.

MostlyGrayHeadedJunco

There were a few Gray-headed Juncos around. This one is not clean as evidenced by the brown tones on the flank and on the crown. The bill is not bicolored, so Red-backed is out of the question.

PinkSidedJunco

Pink-sided Junco (darker lores and lighter throat)

Pyrrhuloxia

There were many Pyrrhuloxias at the San Pedro House

RedBreastedSapsucker

Stakeout Red-breasted Sapsucker at McCormick Park. Male daggetti? The markings on the back are pretty extensive.

RednapedSapsucker

Red-naped Sapsucker

RunningTarantula

Tarantula at the San Pedro House

VermilionFlycatcher VermilionFlycatcher2

Vermilion Flycatchers at different spots

WesternBluebird

This surely looks like a Western Bluebird to me … Now the belly is gray, not white.

WesternGrebe

And a Western Grebe

YellowBelliedSapsucker

 

Finally, another stakeout from McCormick Park: A young Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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