Saturday, September 28, 2019

Bird Crazy

A Western Gull photo-bombed an otherwise perfect photo of a Brown Pelican at the North Bend Boardwalk in the above photo taken on Friday. Since leaving on Wednesday for a trip to Coos Bay we have stopped and counted birds in five different counties. In Polk County we stopped in the morning at Riverview Park in Independence.  We finished the day in Benton County where we birded at Adair Wildlife Area.  In Lane County the next morning, with friend Glenn Reubon, we counted 35 birds at Perkins Peninsula Park on Fern Ridge Lake. In the afternoon we made a stop in Douglas County at Reedsport, and I made a brief count on the levy. Our last stop of the day on Thursday was at Tugman State Park in Coos County where we made a list in the evening.  On Friday we made a daily record (for us) of observations lists at six different locations. Starting first thing in the morning at Tugman State Park, then David Dewett Memorial, Ferry Road Park, North Bend Boardwalk, Empire Lakes, and Pony Slough. Is this making your head spin? Your eyes roll back?  Well, it's all fun for us.  It is also filled in with lots of down time to relax, take naps, and a great variety of meals to eat.  

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pleasures and Conviences of Van Life

What we love about our Roadtrek Zion van is that it enables us to lead such a spontaneous life style.  Yesterday was a perfect example of how how our days can so easily be filled with comfort and adventure.  We left home knowing we had three days to get to Coos Bay to meet up with friends Kerry & Debbie Kliever.  Our first stop was in Independence at the Riverview Park to walk Buster and look for birds.  The river level was up and the birds were amazingly scarce, but we did enjoy watching this busy Spotted Sandpiper. Nothing so unusual, just a nice walk in the sunshine. But then the day took a couple of interesting turns.

Jeanette was next to  drive, and on the way to grab a burger some place, she swung by the Independence Cinema to see if they would be showing the new Downton Abbey movie.  They were, and as we were circling the parking lot, I noticed The Pink House restaurant was open.  Hey, let's have lunch there and then check out the movie times.  We snagged a table in the sun on the front porch and enjoyed a wonderful sandwich.  Walking back pass the Cinema we found out there was an afternoon matinee showing of the Downton Abbey in an hour and a half.  So, we drove to a shady spot we know of behind the Civic Center and rested and I worked on photos.  Then back to the Cinema to watch Downton Abbey.

 Journeying on south on Highway 99, Jeanette had hopes of watching the four o'clock news on PBS, so we made a stop at the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife office at Adair Village and parked in the parking lot to watch the news, which led to dinner,  and then a bird walk down to the pond. We love birding here and recalling the times we volunteered here a number of years ago. Bird life was busy as the sun went down for the day. You can see our complete bird list and photos here.

This morning we will be venturing on, meeting up with our friend Glenn to bird at Perkins Peninsula at Fern Ridge Reservoir.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

From Birds to Brunch

This summer the Riverview Park in Independence has become our favorite birding destination.  We have enjoyed watching an active Osprey nest, and a good variety of herons, sandpipers, and ducks on the river. The continuing development of the Willamette River waterfront, with the addition of the The Independence Hotel, has brought a wonderfully landscaped cement walkway connecting the Riverview Park and the hotel to the Independence Civic Center. We now actually walk the path in reverse order, having discovered the delightful shaded parking lot in the back of the Civic Center, which is a perfect place to park the van. Yesterday was our third short birding trip since getting out of the hospital, and as we approached the hotel location, I was starting to tire, and I mentioned to Jeanette that I could use a cup of coffee.  We considered our options, we could go back to the van and make coffee, go find a coffee shop, or we both realized suddenly that it looked like the restaurant in the new hotel might be open.  Jeanette, never afraid to ask, marched right up to the restaurant and inquired about coffee.  The next thing I know I'm sitting in the outdoor patio, with a great view of the river, enjoying a complimentary cup of great coffee. Questions about food, led to perusing the menu, and to our ording a late breakfast. The service and the food where possibly the best ever, thank you Vidal. The story in a nutshell is; we came in search of a simple cup of coffee, and discovered a full service restaurant. But beyond that, we now have the perfect location for both birding and eating, all in one location! See eBird observation list here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Park Prescription

Brush College Park

It has been well documented that time spent in the great outdoors is not only good for your emotional well being, but also good for your actual physical health. We recently watched a TV show where a pediatric physician has decided to take this to heart and makes an actual prescription up for her patients to spend time outdoors.  She calls it a Park Prescription. It may be as simple as sitting on a park bench 10 minutes a day listening to the sounds of nature, the chirp of birds, the chatter of a squirrel, and the sound of the wind in the trees,  or it might include going for an hours walk in the park three times a week; but the point is to require the patient to spend time outdoors. Her goal is to match every prescription for medicine with a prescription for time in the park.  To this end she writes up a specific prescription for time to be spent in the park.

I totally buy into this life style.  Today we went to Brush College Park, about a mile from home, and took our first bird walk since getting out of the hospital a week ago.  We called it our "Park Prescription".  We walked for  41 minutes, covered 3/4 of a mile, and counted 10 different species of birds.  We plan on taking our Park Prescription on a daily basis.