Posts Tagged ‘Sauvie Island’

All birds seen on February, 2010, Northwest Trip.

February 21, 2010

PIB Northwest Birding Trip, Feb., 2010—Birds Seen:

Greater White-fronted Goose, Sauvie Is.
Snow Goose
Ross’s Goose, Sauvie Island
Brant
Cackling Goose,   Canada Goose,    Trumpeter Swans  on Whidbey Island                                                                                          
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Eurasian Wigeon
Am. Wigeon
Mallard
Shoveler
Pintail
GW Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter, Cannon Beach, OR
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
(we could not locate the YB Loon at Point Wilson)
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe                                                                                      
Red-necked Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Brown Pelican (three off the Oregon Coast)

Brandt’s Cormorant, Whidbey Island

Pelagic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret, Sauvie Island
Bald Eagle–seen each day
Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk, Ft. Clatsop
Red-tailed hawk
Rough-legged Hawk, Sauvie Is.
Kestrel
Merlin
Peregrine
Coot
Sandhill Crane, Sauvie Island
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer, Potlatch State Park
Black Turnstone
Surfbird
Sanderling
Dunlin
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Thayer’s Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
Marbled Murrelet
Cassin’s Auklet
Rhino Auklet
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon, Whidbey Island
Eurasian Collared-dove
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl, Sauvie Island
Anna’s Hummingbird, Sequim
Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker, Tolmie State Park
Steller’s Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Northwestern Crow or AmericanXNorthwestern
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper, Sequim
Bewick’s Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren,
GC Kinglet
RC Kinglet
Am. Robin
Varied Thrush, seen  in numbers at Fort Stevens Park
Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Sauvie Is.
Spotted Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow, Whidbey Island
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
DE Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer’s Blackbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Total species:  120                                                              Can you find the Winter Wren?

Our mammals included: harbor seal, California sealion, mule deer, white-tailed deer(on January trip), river otter, orca, eastern gray squirrel, coyote, western gray squirrel, harbor porpoises off Seaside, elk, muskrat, surfers.   Cold-blooded animals included: steelhead on

the surface of Coffeeberry Lake; red-legged frog, ring-necked snake, a newt.

Northwest Birding Gallery, February, 2010

February 13, 2010

One of the numerous Bald Eagles on Sauvie Island, west of Portland, Oregon.  The large number of wintering waterfowl attract the predatory eagles each year.  The competition is easily viewed as mature eagles like this one frequently swoop in and displace a younger eagle from its perch with a clear view of the lakes and marshes.  Geese and ducks are spooked into swirling flocks aflight whenever an eagle soars over their location.  Harriers can also raise a cloud of birds. The potential prey does not act the same way when a Red-tailed Hawk is seen.

Below:   Peregrine overlooking marsh on the  west end of Sauvie Island.

Top to bottom:  Looking east across the flats of Sauvie Island.

Dawn at Astoria near the mouth of the Columbia River.

Eagle pair overlooking Columbia from perch in Warrenton, Oregon.  After they left this lone young eagle took the same perch, well known, apparently, among local eagles.

Two Surfbirds on the boulder beach at Seaside, Oregon.  As usual, they were mixed in with a flock of Black Turnstones.  Offshore were White-winged Scoters.  On the right: single Surfbird and starfish on rocks.

Sauvie Island revisited

February 6, 2010

I brought a second group of PIBirding clients to Sauvie Island today.  Despite the forecast of rain we endured hours of sunshine after a couple rainbows.  Over sixty species.

One of the last birds we saw today:

This Peregrine al0ng Rentenaar Road. Of course there were plenty of BIG raptors:

Location:  Sauvie’s Island
Observation date:     2/5/10
Number of species:     62

Greater White-fronted Goose     2
Snow Goose     800
Ross’s Goose     15
Cackling Goose     120
Canada Goose     2500
Canada Goose (Dusky)     400
Tundra Swan     250
Eurasian Wigeon     4
American Wigeon     800
Mallard     200
Northern Shoveler     120
Northern Pintail     750
Green-winged Teal     250
Ring-necked Duck     150
Lesser Scaup     15
Bufflehead     2
Hooded Merganser     3
Pied-billed Grebe     3
Double-crested Cormorant     35
Great Blue Heron     6
Great Egret     4
Bald Eagle     16
Northern Harrier     10
Red-tailed Hawk     25
American Kestrel     12
Peregrine Falcon     1
American Coot     160
Sandhill Crane     300
Dunlin     40
Mew Gull     30
Ring-billed Gull     350
California Gull     1
Rock Pigeon     15
Eurasian Collared-Dove     5
Mourning Dove     30
Great Horned Owl     1
Red-breasted Sapsucker     3
Downy Woodpecker     2
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     12
Steller’s Jay     4
Western Scrub-Jay     16
American Crow     30
Black-capped Chickadee     8
Brown Creeper     3
Bewick’s Wren     2
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     15
European Starling     250
Yellow-rumped Warbler     6
Spotted Towhee     4
Fox Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     10
White-crowned Sparrow     8
Golden-crowned Sparrow     50
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     24
Red-winged Blackbird     20
Western Meadowlark     4
Brewer’s Blackbird     50
House Finch     6
Pine Siskin     2
American Goldfinch     2

List of species from Northwest Birding Trip, January, 2010

February 2, 2010

PIB Northwest Birding Trip, January, 2010
Birds Seen–Updated Feb 15, 2010

Harlequin Duck pair at Hama Hama.

Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

Snowy Goose
Ross’s Goose, Sauvie Island
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Brant
Trumpeter Swan, Sequim
Tundra Swan
Gadwall
Eurasian Wigeon, Sauvie Island
Am. Wigeon
Mallard
Shoveler
Pintail
GW Teal
[Common Teal, the European teal not yet seen as separate species by AOU]
Canvasback
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter, Hood Canal
Black Scoter, Cannon Beach, OR
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Brandt’s Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret, Sauvie Island
Bald Eagle
Harrier
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-tailed hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Kestrel
Merlin,  Cannon Beach
Peregrine
Coot
Sandhill Crane, Sauvie Island
Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer
Black Oystercatcher
Greater Yellowlegs
Marbled Godwit, Sequim\
Sanberling
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Dunlin
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Thayer’s Gull
Western Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
Cassin’s Auklet, Marbled Murrelet
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-dove
Mourning Dove
Short-eared Owl, Sauvie Island
Anna’s Hummingbird,                Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker                     Northern Shrike, Sauvie’s Island, seen by two of our group
Steller’s Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow
Northwestern Crow or AmericanXNorthwestern
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper, Sequim
Bewick’s Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren, Nisqually NWR (seen by only part of our group on final day)
GC Kinglet

RC Kinglet, Hermit Thrush,  Am. Robin
Varied Thrush, seen by only a few of the group, Fort Stevens
Wrentit, heard by all, seen by only two of the group, Coffeeberry Lake, Ft. Stevens
Starling
Spotted Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
DE Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer’s Blackbird
Purple Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Total species:  117 including Common Teal

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.

Scappoose and More

January 22, 2010

View across Sauvie to the Cascades.

The Golden-crowned Sparrows crowd the berry brambles along roads, pastures and water courses on Sauvie.  They’re only here for the winter.  I also rustled up a couple of Fox Sparrows on the island, not nearly as abundant.  And a lone White-crowned.  I could not locate the American Tree Sparrow supposed to be about.

There was a single large flock of Red-winged Blackbirds mixed with Starlings.  Most of the flock was female Red-wings, like this one.

Here’s how they decorated one bare tree:

Location:     Scappoose Bottoms
Observation date:     1/21/10
Number of species:     25

Canada Goose     12
Canada Goose (Dusky)     200
Gadwall     4
Eurasian Wigeon     1
American Wigeon     60
Mallard     20
Northern Shoveler     10
Northern Pintail     150
Ring-necked Duck     35
Common Merganser     6
Double-crested Cormorant     30
Great Blue Heron     2
Bald Eagle     4
Northern Harrier     2
Red-tailed Hawk     3
American Kestrel     3
American Coot     16
Sandhill Crane     4
Dunlin     120
Mew Gull     8
Ring-billed Gull     150
American Crow     13
European Starling     45
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     4
Red-winged Blackbird     60

Location:     Upper Sauvie’s Island
Observation date:     1/21/10
Number of species:     43

Canada Goose     500
Tundra Swan     7
Gadwall     4
American Wigeon     75
Mallard     77
Northern Shoveler     8
Northern Pintail     480
Green-winged Teal     180
Green-winged Teal (Eurasian)     1
Ring-necked Duck     140
Bufflehead     2
California Quail     1
Pied-billed Grebe     1
Double-crested Cormorant     31
Great Blue Heron     4
Great Egret     1
Bald Eagle     5
Northern Harrier     2
Red-tailed Hawk     7
American Kestrel     5
Mew Gull     70
Ring-billed Gull     50
Herring Gull     1
Glaucous-winged Gull     3
Eurasian Collared-Dove     8
Mourning Dove     1
Red-breasted Sapsucker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     2
Steller’s Jay     3
Western Scrub-Jay     8
American Crow     18
Common Raven     1
American Robin     16
European Starling     20
Spotted Towhee     5
Fox Sparrow     2
Song Sparrow     3
White-crowned Sparrow     1
Golden-crowned Sparrow     16
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     10
Red-winged Blackbird     300
Brewer’s Blackbird     60
House Finch     41

Asian Ducks in Oregon

January 22, 2010

Dabblers from Siberia.  There was a Common Teal on Sauvie Island and a Eurasian Wigeon in a farm pond in the Scappoose Bottoms.*  Lots of plain old Yankee ducks about as well.  Eleven species of ‘Merican ducks.  In Europe they consider the Common Teal to be a separate species.  The AOU is the North American arbiter of the species splitting business and they don’t agree, still lumping Green-winged and Common.  The Common male lacks that spiffy, vertical white shoulder bar that denotes the male Green-winged Teal.  Most numerous duck of the day: a plentitude of Pintails.

Mew Gull paddling about a farm pond along Dike Road, Scappoose Bottoms.  Same pond that held numerous Wigeons including the Eurasian male.

One of the many Song Sparrpws that inhabit the dense berry tangles along the channels and canals of Sauvie Island.

Here’s is one of several Bald Eagles seen today.  This one was watching a channel at the foot of his tree.  And here’s that same bird, giving me the eagle eye.

*Scappoose Bottoms is a geographical, not an anatomical term.

Sauvie Sounds

January 21, 2010

Sauvie Island is not far from downtown Portland, Oregon.  It’s flat so there are no hills to curb sound.  Occasional  jets pass as they go into and out of Portland Airport up-river along the Columbia River.  Rail lines parallel the Columbia on the both the Oregon and Washington riverbanks.  Freight trains run with whistles blowing.  There are some cattle, herds of sheep.  But mostly it is nature that provides the sound-track for life on Sauvie.

In this season the cottonwoods, oaks and other deciduous trees have no sound-baffling foliage.  You stand in the open and from nearby and far-off you hear the sound of birds.  It may be the bugling of Sandhill Cranes as they mill about a pasture.  A sound heard across North America for over 50-million years.  Or it could be the toots of hundreds of Cackling Geese.  Even when happily grazing on the ground, these geese are not silent.  Let an eagle intrude and they take to the air in swirling, screaming layers of goose flesh.  And there are the Snow Geese that gather in dense white drifts along shallow ponds.  The Snows, along with a few Ross’s, wade the sticky mud or paddle through partially submerged grass in loose squadrons.  Every twenty geese or so you notice one with a blue rinse on its feathers.  Again an eagle can send airborne both the smaller ducks and the thick white smoke of Snow Geese against the soft winter blue of the Oregon sky. There are dozens of Canada Geese in almost every flock of birds and they, too, add their familiar “golf,”  “golf,”  honking to the cacophony.  Snow Geese have what David Sibley calls a raucous sand harsh sounding “whouk” call.  If the ducks are calling, their sound is lost in the chaotic orchestra of flying geese.

Between outbreaks of goose panic, there are the sweet whistlings of an unseen song bird.  Somewhere in the uncut grass and weeds a single Western Meadowlark whistles his melodic jingle. He must know the days are getting longer.  The noise-making geese and cranes will move on northward.  Many of the wintering raptors, especially the low-flying Harriers, will also move north. Life will become ever-so-peaceful for the residents.  Even the Columbia River, engorged by winter rains, will subside a bit.  It’ll flow with less mud and roiling water and debris headed to sea.  Thus leaving the locals, including the singing meadowlark to a quieter, slower-paced life during the Sauvie Spring.

A Sauvie Island Pond with Snow and Ross’s Geese in flight after a Bald Eagle flew over.

One small fraction of the flock of Cackling Geese in a Sauvie Island farm yard.

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

——————————————————–

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