Posts Tagged ‘Sandhill Cranes’

SAUVIE ISLAND–NORTHWESTERN U.S. IN WINTER

February 6, 2011

This was the first official day of our annual Northwestern U.S. trip.  Birding Sauvie Island west of Portland and nearby Scappoose Bottoms we had over sixty species.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a cross-section of the thousands of Cackling Geese wintering in the area.

 

 

 

 

And here are a few of the Sandhill Cranes that winter this far north.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we had Golden-crowns galore…sparrow, and kinglet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryan Arnold’s Photos From Northwest Birding Trip

January 29, 2010

You can see them here. A couple examples.

Top to bottom:    Sandhill Cranes in flight over Sauvie Island, OR.

Harlequin pair at Hama Hama, WA.

Puget Sound sundown, from Deception Pass, WA.

Some pictures from the Northwest trip

January 26, 2010

Dunlin, Fort Stevens Park, Oregon.

Young Red-tailed Hawk eating small rodent on Sauvie Island, Oregon.

Sandhill Cranes in flight over Sauvie Island.

Below: Barrow’s Goldeneye male in Hood Canal, Washington State.

All photos by Tom Bush.

Meal Time Along the Columbia

January 23, 2010

“Nature is just one big restaurant.”  –Woody Allen

Here’s a young Red-tailed Hawk eating a small brown rodent with a three-inch bare tail.  Perhaps a rat.  It was only one of the dining experiences our group of birders witnesses today on Sauvie Island.

We saw an immature Bald Eagle finishing off a luncheon of raw duck.

And we watched amazed as another young Bald Eagle soared back and forth across an arm of one lake making runs at Cackling Geese on the surface.  Eventually he landed in the water and grabbed one of the Cacklers.  Then he lifted himself and the goose off the surface and flew to a nearby post.  There he began what looked liked the process of killing and eating.   But suddently there was s flutter of wings and the goose flipped off the post, out of the eagle’s grasp and into the lake again. Three more eagles flew into the scene, including one adult.  It soon dispatched the youngsters and made a couple flights to try to recapture the goose for itself.  Failing, the adult eagle rested on the post.  The goose was clearly in shock at its near fatal experience.  But it slowly recovered from the shock of near-death and slowly, calmly paddled away.  It amazingly did not appear to be physically injured.

Adult Bald Eagle soaring down toward lake where thousands of Snow Geese and hundreds of Cackling Geese were swimming about.

And here’s the result of that assault:

We saw dozens of Sandhill Cranes flying into one section of fields to find their first meal of the day:

We saw a female Purple Finch pulling seeds off an evergreen.  Pintails, Wigeons, Green-winged Teal and other dabblers plied the muddy lakes, bottoms up and heads down for the good pond muck they prefer.  Later at Scappoose Bottoms we saw more feeding ducks.  This time there were dabblers plus Ruing-necked, Lesser Scaup and Common Mergansers diving for fresh flesh.  Then the alpha diner sped past, a Peregrine cruising for an available duck or shorebird.

One couple on this PIB trip said they got eight lifers this first day out.

Location:     Upper Sauvie’s Island
Observation date:     1/22/10
Notes:     Birds seen by some in our group: Northern Shrike, Cooper’s Hawk, House Sparrow
Number of species:     54

Snow Goose     2000
Ross’s Goose     3
Cackling Goose     4000
Canada Goose     25
Tundra Swan     40
Gadwall     2
Eurasian Wigeon     1
American Wigeon     400
Mallard     50
Northern Shoveler     8
Northern Pintail     150
Green-winged Teal     240
Green-winged Teal (Eurasian)     1
Ring-necked Duck     60
Lesser Scaup     8
Bufflehead     1
Hooded Merganser     5
Common Merganser     4
Great Blue Heron     8
Great Egret     1
Bald Eagle     10
Northern Harrier     5
Red-tailed Hawk     14
Rough-legged Hawk     2
American Kestrel     10
American Coot     10
Sandhill Crane     600
Mew Gull     25
Ring-billed Gull     40, Herring Gull     1
Glaucous-winged Gull     2
Eurasian Collared-Dove     6
Mourning Dove     2
Short-eared Owl     1
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     3
Black-capped Chickadee     4
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Bewick’s Wren     2
Golden-crowned Kinglet     6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     2
American Robin     20
European Starling     150
Spotted Towhee     2
Fox Sparrow     2
Song Sparrow     3
White-crowned Sparrow     6
Golden-crowned Sparrow     40
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     15
Red-winged Blackbird     40
Western Meadowlark     6
Brewer’s Blackbird     25
Purple Finch     3
House Finch     4

Location:     Scappoose Bottoms
Observation date:     1/22/10
Number of species:     17

Gadwall     140
Mallard     15
Northern Shoveler     2
Northern Pintail     45
Green-winged Teal     75
Ring-necked Duck     20
Lesser Scaup     15
Common Merganser     2
Great Blue Heron     1
American Kestrel     1
Peregrine Falcon     1
Killdeer     4
Dunlin     12
Mew Gull     16
Ring-billed Gull     4
Glaucous-winged Gull     1
White-crowned Sparrow     8

Winter Birds in Oregon

January 21, 2010

Today I got to Sauvie Island in time for some afternoon birding.  Starting Saturday I will be leading a PIB trip in Oregon and Washington.  We will be looking for those birds that don’t often show up at interior locations.

Here’s one.  An adult Glaucous-winged Gull does some non-political public polling.  This is the largest gull commonly found near the mouth of the Columbia River.

A blizzard of Snow Geese, with a few Ross’s, after a Bald Eagle soared over and stirred them up.

Earlier the same thing happened with a marsh full of Cackling Geese. But the nearby Sandhill Cranes never flinched.

Before the eagle’s appearance, all was peaceful.

Young Red-tailed Hawk.

On the right: Cooper’s Hawk hunting along the hedgerow.

Two cranes coming in for landing.

Location:     Upper Sauvie Island
Observation date:     1/20/10
Number of species:     33

Cackling Goose     1500
Canada Goose     300
Tundra Swan     12
American Wigeon     50
Mallard     50
Northern Shoveler     3
Northern Pintail     4
Green-winged Teal     15
Double-crested Cormorant     45
Great Blue Heron     2
Great Egret     1
Bald Eagle     6
Northern Harrier     4
Cooper’s Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     12
Rough-legged Hawk     1
American Kestrel     4
American Coot     16
Sandhill Crane     220
Ring-billed Gull     650
Glaucous-winged Gull     2
Mourning Dove     3
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     2
Steller’s Jay     1
Western Scrub-Jay     8
American Crow     14
American Robin     10
European Starling     150
Song Sparrow     1
Golden-crowned Sparrow     12
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     34
Brewer’s Blackbird     300
House Finch     2

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Location:     Lower Sauvie Island
Observation date:     1/20/10
Number of species:     18

Snow Goose     1500
Ross’s Goose     20
Cackling Goose     300
Canada Goose     120
Tundra Swan     16
American Wigeon     8
Mallard     45
Northern Shoveler     30
Green-winged Teal     25
Canvasback     2
Ring-necked Duck     80
Great Blue Heron     1
Bald Eagle     1
American Coot     60
Sandhill Crane     15
Ring-billed Gull     160
Mourning Dove     16
Western Meadowlark     1