December 16 and 17, 2018

We birded the Union, Oregon, area for the Union County Christmas bird count. It might have been the windiest day I’ve ever experienced willingly. Our area yielded a total of 24 species, including a Barn Owl. The following day, we birded north of La Grande, Oregon, and I got a few American Tree Sparrows.

New Birds for 2018: 2
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 260!

 

December 1 and 2, 2018

When I grow up, I’m going to establish a local bird “seed area” just outside my town. Here, I’ll regularly distribute high-quality bird seed, and birders will frequent this area and can even bird from their car if they wish (helpful in Oregon when it’s raining). Rare sparrows will visit, and my seed area will become a birding hot spot. Non-birding locals will assume we are up to no good, and that will make us birders feel a little badass for once, outside our birding circle. Nevermind that we are all in Subarus or Priuses.

One of these established seed area hot spots “near” me is in Lane County near the Eugene airport.

After our failed attempt to re-locate the Tundra Bean-Goose at Finley, my birding sister took me to this seed area on December 1, 2018, to see if we could get the recently recorded Harris’s Sparrow. We birded the area for a good 2 hours, and the Harris’s Sparrow did not pop out from the “brambles” (invasive blackberries). My very wonderful consolation prize, though, was a fetching White-throated Sparrow, another “oh you’ll get that species eventually, don’t worry” bird.

Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada!

IMG_1776

The Bond Road seed area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_7425

A White-throated Sparrow and friends (blurry junco and a white-crowned); the Bond Road seed area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_7442

White-crowned Sparrows and a Golden-crowned Sparrow; the Bond Road seed area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_7460

Oh sweet White-throated Sparrow; the Bond Road seed area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_7494

Song Sparrow; the Bond Road seed area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_1782

Amazon Creek near the Bond Road seed  area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_1785

Amazon Creek near the Bond Road seed area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_1773

Badass birders at the Bond Road seed area; Lane County, Oregon; December 1, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt.

New Birds for 2018: 2 (including a Sharp-shined Hawk)
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 257

I re-located the Tundra Bean-Goose at Finley the next day, December 2! No photos. I got too excited, shared my scope with other birders, and then a Bald Eagle flew in and shuffled the deck.

New Birds for 2018: 1
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 258

 

November 28, 2018

If you look at the Eastern Bluebird’s range map on eBird, you’ll see lots and lots of purple generally west of Colorado. You’ll now see a little purple square on Oregon, as of November 26, 2018. Two (!) Eastern Bluebirds were first reported by Portland birder Eric Carlson at the Dharma Rain Zen Center in east Portland. As of yesterday (December 25), the pair is still there and being visited almost daily.

I visited them in the pouring rain on November 28, 2018, in their famous Yellow Tree. Prepare your eyes for a feast of EABL photos taken with my phone, through my scope (which was precariously propped up on my car’s passenger seat), through my car’s open window. Did I mention it was pouring rain, too?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New Birds for 2018: 1
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 255

November 23, 2018

A failed chase to find a reported Yellow-billed Loon north of Garibaldi, Oregon, finally yielded me a Bonaparte’s Gull and Red-Breasted Merganser (one of the “oh you’ll get that species eventually, don’t worry” birds). I had been worried.

IMG_7393v2

Red-breasted Merganser; Nehalem Bay, Tillamook, Oregon; November 23, 2018; photography by Linda Burfitt.

IMG_1687

Birders looking for the Yellow-billed Loon; Nehalem Bay, Tillamook, Oregon; November 23, 2018; photography by Linda Burfitt.

New Birds for 2018: 2
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 254