Friday, May 27, 2016
Bryan Johnston City Park in South Salem to have a pair of White-crowned Sparrows quite agitated and very vocal in their unhappiness at our presence. We quickly decided that thy must have a nest near-by that they were defending. It's definitely that time of year and one of the things that makes birding extra interesting right now. Yesterday it was a female Black-headed Grosbeak that complained and complained about our presence while we were birding at Wallace Marine City Park. In fact the male finally showed up to lend support. And then Jeanette spotted the nest with eggs. We quickly retreated to leave them in peace and with a smile on our faces for the privilege of actually seeing their nest.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016
the birds we found on and around the lake. Normally the list is made on one of our iPhones as we bird, but here at Fish Lake the cell service was so poor that we reverted back to the old fashioned method of pen and paper. In our recent ramblings around the Cascades we had cell service from no service to four bars of service. Fish Lake is tucked into a unique area between the West (or Old) Cascades and the younger taller main Cascades. Ancient lava fields dominate the area, and Fish Lake is a lake that disappers in the summer as the water drains out of the porous lake bed. The historic Fish Lake Remount Depot is located on the shore line, and in summer Fish Lake and nearby Lava Lake provided forage and hay for stock used at the Depot and the historic Santiam Wagon Road. As a youngster I can remember my dad driving through the dry lake bed on our way to fish at Clear Lake. Because Jeanette and I both have childhood memories of outings in the Cascades, and many experiences together of hiking, skiing and biking in the Cascades, we are enjoying revisting many of our old haunts and recalling the many good memories. These ramblings are now taylor made for our aging bodies by using our Free Spirit camping van.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Park Creek with the Three Pyrmids in the background.
We recently started a new chapter in our RV life by deciding to take shorter trips and downsize to a van. We have already taken several short trips to the coast of just a few days. On this outing we were feeling the pull up the Santiam River and into the Cascades. My parents, who have been our mentors in the RV life style, loved this area and, at the "drop of the hat", would escape into the Cascades in the summer. My dad suffered from grass allergies, so time spend in the Cascades gave him relief. This particular area of Park Creek was a favorite. My first trip here was on my first cross county ski trip with the Chemeketans in 1974. We skied into this bridge at Park Creek for our lunch stop. I was so taken with the location and the fishing possibilities that I was sure my dad would enjoy. After taking him here it became a place that he returned to for many years.
parked for the night
On this trip we attempted to get to the bridge from Highway 22, but were stopped by downed trees. We cicled around and came in from Highway 20. With virtually no traffic we decided to park for the night at juction above the bridge, as it was the most level.
Jeanette shows Buster snow
A few feet around the corner was a snow bank that Jeanette enticed Buster to explore. The elevation here is 3570', and yet most of the ground is already bare. In fact, I took photos of Trillium.
enjoying our afternoon
Our choice of location turned out to be pefect. Interupting the quiet were two Common Ravens, probably hoping for a handout. The strange call of a Red-breasted Sapsucker caught our attention in a tree high overhead. A Kingfisher could be heard down along the creek. A Red-breasted Nuthatch called from the forest. A Robin appeared in a sunlit grassy area. A Pacific Wren protested our presence. It has been Jeanette's fantasy to be able to poke around the mountains, parking for the night in available spots as we find them. She is loving it!
Monday, May 9, 2016
Our good friends Michael & Melissa Garguilo from Elkton are taking a little tour of North West Oregon in their RV and have spent a couple of days with us. One of the many fun things we did with them was take them to one of our favorite birding sites, Lyons City Park. Believe it or not this photo was not posed, I snapped this off while they were unaware and busy looking at birds accross the main pond. You can see our list of observation by clicking here.
Canada Goose pair with some of their goslings.
female Mallard with one of her 9 ducklings.
Proud papa Mallard
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Today marks the first day that a pair of swallows has gotten serious about starting to build a nest. The male Violet-green Swallow is shown guarding the nesting box while the female is working inside. This is after arriving around the 20th of March, which strikes me as taking a lot of time to make up their minds. We have four nesting boxes up this year, and a great amount of inspecting, and posturing has been going on with several pairs of Tree Swallows as well as several pairs of Violet-greens. Dispite my having put up two brand new swallow specific designed nesting boxes, this pair chose the older design. Only time will tell how and when the other vacancies fill. The lower photo shows the female about to enter the nesting box with nesting materials. I saw her make several succeful trips with material. This box is right outside my den window, so you can be sure I will be watching.