Posts Tagged ‘Varied Thrush’


February 13, 2011

Our Colorado birders got 114 species on the Oregon/Washington State trip last week.  As we headed south from the Olympic Peninsula we got our final two species at the Wild Birds Unlimited Store along Hwy 101 southeast of Sequim.  Pine Siskin and Cassin’s Finch were among the crowd in the garden full of feeders there at WBU.

Look at the beak on this fella.  It would make a House or Purple Finch jealous.  It’s a serious seed-crunching implement.

Amonmg our 114 species: five alcids including a few fly-by Cassin’s Auklets and good look at Rhino Auklets. There were twenty-nine species of waterfowl from Trumpeter Swans to Eurasian Wigeon, three mergansers, two goldeneyes, Harlequin, Long-tailed Duck and both scaup in large numbers.

You got your Wood Duck, your Mandarin Duck, your Cinnamon Teal or even your Red-breasted Goose.  But this guy in full breeding regalia…Parisian courtiers could not conceive of such glamor.  Neither could I until I finally saw this duck up close a few years back.  This male and his mate paddled around the Keystone Ferry harbor, Whidbey Island, within thirty feet of us for half an hour.  An ecstatic half-hour for our birding group.

We did OK on raptors, with over sixty different Bald Eagle sightings. 

And we enjoyed some pretty good land-birding as well, from Pileated down to Pacific (nee Winter) Wren and both kinglets at close range.  And then there is the Northwest’s scenery where snow, fog, steep mountains, volcanoes and blue seas combine for a panorama not found in most of the world.

Not the overcast skies but no rain.  While the Coloradans’ friends and family struggled with blizzard and sub-freezing, we breezed around the Northwest under mild temps of 45-55 degrees and only a half day of rain in seven days afield. 

Finally there were several satisfying looks at Varied Thrush, including one in the garden at Wild Birds our last day.

The park is named for the Dr. Tolmie who gave his name to the Latin binomial for MacGillivray’s Warbler.

This group of VATH was in the shade beneath the Sitka spruce at Tolmie State Park near Olympia, WA.

More Murray…You Shudda Been There

March 21, 2010

Eagles in aerial combat above Nisqually River at Nisqually NWR.  One eagle had a duck in its talons.  Two other eagles envied that.

Mew Gull (Left) and three Western Gulls.

Rhino Auklet in flight.

Part of the Varied Thrush flock we found along the road in Ft. Stevens Park near the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.

Red-necked Grebe.  There were many in Hood Canal, none near shore.

Pileated who flew around the treetops at Tolmie State Park, WA.

Red-throated Loon.

Astoria and the northern Oregon coast

February 7, 2010

We birded nearly all day in light rain.  The sunshine we saw was always just above the horizon line, never overhead.  We had early morning rainbows, then the sunlight seemed to give up and retreat before the hovering grayness.  But the birds were still visible if you kept your lenses relatively dry.  Here’s what the dawn looked like:

At a small riverside park in Warrenton we had our first Bald Eagles by 8 AM:

After the grown-ups left, this young eagle used the same perch just above the shoreline:

At Fort Stevens we had large flocks of Dunlin and a few Sanderlings, our first Peregrine of the day, Winter Wren, our first Common Mergansers of the trip, meadowlarks at the edge of the continent, and three Varied Thrush encounters.

At Seaside we found Surfbirds with a couple of accompanying Black Turnstone on the surf-slickened rocks.  I got this picture and one of our group took a tumble on the slick rocks gettting a much closer shot.  He seems to be mentally and physically unharmed by the fall.

At the Surfbird beach we also found some White-winged Scoters and Western Grebe offshore.

At an overlook along Hwy 101 south of Cannon Beach we scored: BC and CB Chickadees, Black and Surf Scoters, Raven, Harlequin, Pacific Loon, Rhino Auklet, Pelagic Cormorant, 3 Brown Pelicans, Western Gull, Western Grebe.  For some of our birders lifers seemed to be falling out of the sky.  So we eneded the day with all 3 scoters.

At Fort Clatsop near the end of the afternoon, there was a calling Red-shouldered Hawk, seen by three of our group.

Two male Surf Scoters in an estuary in Seaside.

Location:     Fort Stevens Park
Observation date:     2/6/10
Number of species:     20

Surf Scoter     15
Bufflehead     35
Common Merganser     3
Double-crested Cormorant     5
Pelagic Cormorant     1
Great Blue Heron     1
Bald Eagle     3
Peregrine Falcon     1
Sanderling     10
Dunlin     500
Western Gull     35
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     2
Winter Wren     1
Golden-crowned Kinglet     1
Varied Thrush     15
European Starling     6
Fox Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     4
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     8
Western Meadowlark     4

Location:     Seaside
Observation date:     2/6/10
Number of species:     14

Mallard     6
Surf Scoter     8
White-winged Scoter     8
Bufflehead     16
Common Goldeneye     2
Western Grebe     1
Double-crested Cormorant     3
Black Turnstone     2
Surfbird     35
Western Gull     18
Glaucous-winged Gull     1
Rock Pigeon     2
Belted Kingfisher     1
American Crow     25

Location:     Cannon Beach and Ecola Park
Observation date:     2/6/10
Number of species:     15

Harlequin Duck     3
Surf Scoter     16
White-winged Scoter     8
Black Scoter     6
Pacific Loon     1
Western Grebe     2
Brown Pelican     3
Double-crested Cormorant     4
Pelagic Cormorant     2
Western Gull     140
Rhinoceros Auklet     1
American Crow     30
Common Raven     2