May 6–12, 2018

Company Lake; Troutdale, Oregon; May 6, 2018

New Birds:
House Wren
Spotted Sandpiper
Bullock’s Oriole
Brown-headed Cowbird

BHCB

Brown-headed Cowbirds; Company Lake; Troutdale, Oregon; May 6, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

HOWR

House Wren; Company Lake; Troutdale, Oregon; May 6, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

KLDR

Killdeer; Company Lake; Troutdale, Oregon; May 6, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

Jackson-Frazier Wetlands; Corvallis, Oregon; May 7, 2018

New Birds:
Virginia Rail

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge; Benton County, Oregon; May 12, 2018

New Birds:
Band-tailed Pigeon
Western Wood-Pewee
Cliff Swallow
Swainson’s Thrush
Yellow-breasted Chat
Western Tanager

SVSP

Savannah Sparrow: William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge; Benton County, Oregon; May 12, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt

New Birds for 2018: 11
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 167

 

May 5, 2018

Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018

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Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

NTFK

Northern Flicker (female); Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Orange-crowned Warbler; Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

ORCR

Orange-crowned Warbler, with the not-so-often-seen orange crown; Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

 

BAEA

Bald Eagle; Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Wood Thrush (me); Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Clint Burfitt.

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A shy Bushtit; Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Phyciodes mylitta; Skinner Butte; Eugene, Oregon; May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

SVSP

Savannah Sparrow; canola field north of Corvallis, May 5, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

New Birds for 2018: 1
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 156

 

May 2, 2018

May 2, 2018, was my birthday, and I took the day off work. I went birding.

My first stop was Witham Hill Natural Area just northwest or Corvallis. I didn’t get any new birds here, but it was a lovely walk in the woods and a great early way to start my birthday.

My next stop was Mary’s River Park in Philomath. I got three new 2018 birds here: Rufous Hummingbird, Yellow Warbler, and Warbling Vireo. The park appears to function mostly as a dog park and Frisbee golf destinations, but I found a few wooded trails, including one that took me to the river’s edge. I stayed here for an hour by myself.

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Mary’s River Park; Philomath, Oregon; May 2, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

I continued on to Finley, and got an additional three species: Sora, Western Kingbird, and Cassin’s Vireo. Among other secretive marsh birds, at the very very end of the Vimeo video at the end of this post, you can hear the Sora.

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Camassia quamash (camas) in bloom in Finley’s wet prairie habitat; William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge; May 2, 2018; photography by Linda Burfitt.

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Western Kingbird; William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge; May 2, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Oregon Ash riparian hardwood forest; William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge; May 2, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Oregon Ash riparian hardwood forest; William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge; May 2, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

CSVR

Cassin’s Vireo; William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge; May 2, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

Listen to Finley marsh birds here –> https://vimeo.com/268320144

New Birds for 2018: 6
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 155

April 29, 2018

William-Finley National Wildlife Refuge =
the gem of all birding places in the Willamette Valley

We headed to Finley on April 29, 2018, and focused on the west side of the refuge where it is largely forested (oak woodland mixed with some Douglas-fir). It rained on us a lot, and I could not get any photos of actual birds. I did, however, get a video and three new Oregon 2018 species (two of which you can hear in the video): Hutton’s Vireo, Black-throated Grey Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler.

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Oak Woodlands; William-Finley National Wildlife Refuge; April 29, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Oak Savannah; William-Finley National Wildlife Refuge; April 29, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Oak Savannah; William-Finley National Wildlife Refuge; April 29, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

Click here to see the video: https://vimeo.com/268218882

After Finley, we visited the Timberhill Natural Area in Corvallis, and I got a bird #149 Chipping Sparrow.

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Timberhill Natural Area; Corvallis, Oregon; August 29, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

New Birds for 2018: 4
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 149

 

April 15, 2018

We took a quick trip to the Oregon Coast on April 15, 2018, when Abby was in town last month. We stopped by Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area  to look for a Brown Booby, which had been seen there that week. No booby. I did, however, see “a few” Common Murres and one Black Oystercatcher, Oregon 2018 Birds #141 and #142.

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Common Murres through my scope; Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area; Oregon Coast; April 15, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area; Oregon Coast; April 15, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt (thru my scope).

Later on during the week of April 15, I got two additional 2018 Oregon birds: The Vaux’s Swifts arrived and are now daily visitors in the skies over our house (I adore listening to them). I also got my FOY Orange-Crowned Warbler in Minto-Brown.

And, on April 22, 2018, I finally got some Pine Siskins in the Bronson’s Creek area in Cedar Mill, Oregon.

New Birds for 2018: 5
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 145

 

April 8, 2018

Yes, April 8 was nearly a month ago. I’m catching up.

On our way back from Burns, Oregon, last month, on April 8, 2018, we caught wind of some Red-Necked Phalaropes at the Philomath Sewage Ponds. This species is a relatively common migrant in Oregon on or nearshore, but is rarely seen inland in Oregon. We decided to take a small detour to get this species on our way back to Salem. We arrived to the ponds about 1 hour before sunset, saw the phalaropes spin around on the water*, had great conversations with some birders from Corvallis, and watched the sunset from the ponds.

*Phalaropes spin around on the water to “kick up” tasty bites. The “Spinning Phalaropes” would make a great band name.

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Watching Red-Necked Phalaropes spin around on the water; Philomath Sewage Ponds; Philomath, Oregon; April 8, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Red-Necked Phalaropes spinning around on the water (I should have taken a video; it’s very amusing); Philomath Sewage Ponds; Philomath, Oregon; April 8, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Sunset from the Sewage Ponds (don’t knock it ’till you try it!); Philomath Sewage Ponds; Philomath, Oregon; April 8, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

Later on during the week of April 8, I got three additional 2018 Oregon species: Violet-Green Swallow and Common Yellowthroat in Minto Conservation Area in Salem, Oregon, as well as a singing Lazuli Bunting in my backyard in Salem, Oregon.

New Birds for 2018: 4
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 140

 

April 7, 2018

A few hours east of Bend, Oregon, lies the town of Burns, Oregon, a long town grudgingly straddling State Highway 78. Burns shares its length with Hines, Oregon, though I’m not sure where the boundary is or if that even matters at this point.

Combined, the towns have numerous restaurants and store fronts, many of which are permanently closed. Those that are still open are open for breakfast (sometimes), then they close, and then they open again for dinner (maybe). Or they’re not open ever, even though the GIANT sign says they are open. Or their door is open, and you can walk in, but they’re not really open.

What are ya gettin’ at Burns?

When you arrive in Burns after driving all day from Salem, Oregon, and you’re hungry (and a bit grumpy) even though it’s only 4pm, YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED.  I swore a lot out loud at this town.

If you want to shine a bright light on your sense of entitlement, head on over to Burns, Oregon.

What does this have to do with birding? We drove out to this area to attend the Harvey County Migratory Bird Festival, and were scheduled to spend all day Saturday doing a full day of birding with a group. We did not stay in Burns overnight. Instead, we passed go and stayed about 25 miles east in Crane, Oregon, at Crystal Crane Hot Springs, which was wonderful, and happened to be a bit of a birding mecca.

The alarm went off at 4:30AM Saturday morning, and all I could hear was pouring rain. Step 1: coffee. Step 2: shower. Step 3: get in car and drive back to Burns. Step 4: try to find a coffee shop that was open (just kidding, we were already Burns-savvy at this point and knew this would have been futile). Step 4: meet at Burns High School to find our birding group for the day.

And we’re off, to tour the greater Burns and Crane, Oregon, region, including parts of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  Although the area lacks services to please my spoiled self, it shines like a Canadian diamond when it comes to birding.

You’ve gotten this far? Well, thanks. And here are my counts followed by photos. Migration time is underway, so I hope to be posting more often now.

New 2018 Oregon Species:

Ross’s Goose
Cinnamon Teal
Chukar
Amer. White Pelican
Swainson’s Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Black-necked Stilt
Amer. Avocet
Long-billed Curlew
Franklin’s Gull
Barn Swallow
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Cassin’s Finch

New Birds for 2018: 13
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 133

CCHP

Crystal Crane Hot Springs; Crane, Oregon; April 6, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

BRBL

Brewer’s Blackbirds; Crystal Crane Hot Springs; Crane, Oregon; April 6, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

GLEA

A >100-Year-Old Golden Eagle nest that, after many years of growing, finally experienced gravity (can you find it?); Harvey County; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Ross’s Geese; south of Burns, Oregon; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Ross’s Geese; south of Burns, Oregon; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Ross’s Geese; south of Burns, Oregon; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

GHOW

Great Horned Owl 1 of 2; Harvey County, Oregon; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

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Great Horned Owl 2 of 2; Burns, County; April 7, 2018; photography by Linda Burfitt.

FRGL

Franklin’s Gull; Harvey County, Oregon; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

AMPP

American Pipit; Crystal Crane Hot Springs; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

BNST

Black-Necked Stilts; Crystal Crane Hot Springs; Crane, Oregon; April 7, 2018; photography by Linda Burfitt.

FOREST

Malheur National Forest; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

CSFN

Cassin’s Finch; Malheur National Forest; April 7, 2018; photography by Linda Butfitt.

TWST

Townsend’s Solitaire; Malheur National Forest; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

BEER

One of the virtues of Burns, Oregon = Steens Mountain Brewing, the smallest brewery in Oregon; April 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.