Saturday, July 29, 2017

Butterfly Mass Migration

Why traveling to Bend this weekend for the Scott Family Reunion, I noticed bugs starting to smack on my freshly cleaned windshield.  I soon realized that there was an unusually high number of bugs, and as I glanced to the right and left, I noticed that they were orange colored butterflies.  My first guess and fear was that they were Monarchs.  I pulled off Highway 22 at the Cold Springs Snow-Park to park and see if I could get a photo.  It turned out to be a little more difficult than I imagined, even though there were hundreds if not thousands, because they were in constant flight. I was relieved they weren't Monarchs, but was not sure what they were.  Later that evening, after looking through a couple of phone apps, I determined that they were California Tortoiseshells. Ironically, the California Tortoiseshell is the first Critter entered into Cascade Rambling years ago. The next day one of the family members pointed out the dead butterflies in the grill of my motor home. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Observing Western Bluebirds

Earlier this month I received a report of nesting Western Bluebirds along the first fairway of the golf course here in Salemtowne were we live.  I took an exploring trip on July 7th and found the nesting box and took some photos of the male and female busy with their obligations of feeding and removing fecal sacks. Today, July 20th, while on a morning birdwalk I discovered a juvenile feeding on insects along the 8th fairway, proving that we have successful fledglings.  Up until this year I am not aware of any nesting bluebirds here in Salemtowne.  In general Western Bluebirds  are not expected to be seen in urban areas, but are said to prefer rural areas with large fields, so this is all very exciting to me.



male removing fecal sack


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sharing Sitka Sedge State Natural Area

Friends Judy & Gary Disnsmore mentioned the other day that they would like to see Sitka Sedge.  We share intrests with them of birding, RVing, and bicycling.  We originally met them while I was leading bird walks at Lake Havasu State Park in Arizona during the winter of 2012-2013.  We have stayed some-what in touch, and as they are currently volunteering at Fort Yamhill State Park, it's easier to meet up.  We agreed to meet them at Neskowin on Sunday evening where we had dinner together at The Beach Club Bistro and parked for the night at Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site. On Monday morning after breakfast we traveled to Sitka Sedge for a morning of bird watching.

Sitka Sedge Trail

Great Blue Heron

Greater Yellowlegs with a fish

Long-billed Dowitchers

Although we came to see the birds we also enjoyed other wildlife like this handsome buck.

 and this young one.

To finish up our morning of birding we had an impromptu lunch at nearby Clay Myers State Natural Area.  Great freinds, great bird walk, & great lunch. You might notice that another thing we have in common is that we both drive Mercedes-Benz vans!