The end of March and beginning of April have been cool and wet. Spring is progressing, but seemingly very slowly. Here are a few images from the past week.
Pacific Wrens are singing everywhere. This bird was at Powell Butte Nature Park in SE Portland.
Savannah Sparrows are staking out their territories in the grassland at the top of Powell Butte.
This Ruddy Duck at Vanport Wetlands is sporting his spring colors.
This Pileated Woodpecker is excavating a cavity at Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Thanks to Michele for sharing the location of this nest.
This tiny Common Garter was also at Tualatin Hills.
As was this Townsend’s Chipmunk.
Nala is far more interested in fetching sticks from the river than looking at birds. This “stick” in the Columbia is probably her biggest to date.
I spent the last day of the dry season walking Bayocean Spit on Tillamook Bay (Birding Oregon p. 128). On a day trip from Portland, it is tempting to try to cover all the hotspots around the bay, but spending the day exploring Bayocean Spit provides access to all the major habitats of the area along with a nice hike.
Although the shorebird migration is winding down, there were still some birds on the bay side of the spit. Black-bellied Plovers were the most obvious and vocal, joined by Western Sandpipers, Short-billed Dowitchers, a Semipalmated Plover, and the first Dunlin of the season.
Brown Pelican near the jetty at the mouth of the bay
The ocean side of Bayocean Spit usually has far fewer birds than the bay side, but it is a nice stretch of secluded beach.
Judging from the size, I am guessing these shorebird tracks were from a Black-bellied Plover.
After walking on the beach a while, I cut across the wooded section of the spit to return to the bay side.
The woods on the spit attract a nice variety of songbirds, including Fox Sparrows, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, both kinglets, and Wrentits.
This Townsend’s Chipmunk was busy eating these little red fruits.
I am helping with a series of point counts on the Oak Island section of Sauvie Island (Birding Oregon p.56). The goal is to gather baseline information on bird species using this area before habitat restoration work begins. The habitat consists of large oaks, grassy fields, and scattered thickets along the shore of Sturgeon Lake.
The area has a nice variety of nesting species. Those who live in the wooded areas seldom display themselves in such a way that allows me to capture a photo. So here are some birds (and a couple of mammals) of the edge habitats.