Author Archives: John Rakestraw

False Spring in the Wetlands

It is still very much winter in western Oregon, but February always brings stirrings of spring. Many birds, like this Red-winged Blackbird, are warming up their songs in preparation for setting up nesting territories. Male Anna’s Hummingbirds always seem to … Continue reading

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Mew Gulls

I made a quick trip to Amberglen Office Park in Hillsboro to check the lawn for gulls. Along with a small flock of Ring-billed Gulls were four Mew Gulls. Mews are one of my favorite gulls. They are easy to … Continue reading

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Autumn Images

Between the recent bouts of rain, we have seen a few sunny days. The birds seem to really take advantage of the nice weather to bulk up for winter. Cedar Waxwings, like this juvenile, have been working fruiting trees and … Continue reading

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Mt. Hood National Forest

I had the opportunity to guide a lovely couple from Florida on a trip to Mt. Hood National Forest. The weather was not great, with dreary conditions at lower elevations and driving rain at Timberline Lodge. But we did manage … Continue reading

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Late Summer Wetlands

I made a quick trip to Fernhill Wetlands and Jackson Bottom to look for shorebirds. My first bird of the morning was this Killdeer standing on the sidewalk. I guess that counts. There is a frustrating lack of mudflats in … Continue reading

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Portraits from the coast

I made a trip out to the coast to scout for my shorebird class. Much of the trip consisted of running from site to site to check on conditions, but I did spend a little time at a few sites … Continue reading

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Rocky Mountain National Park

We took a quick trip to Colorado for a family reunion. There wasn’t much time for hardcore birding, but we made a quick pass through Rocky Mountain National Park. Moose are always a treat to see, provided you are a … Continue reading

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Birds vs. Birding

We spent close to a week in northern Wasco County, OR, to get our dogs away from the barrage of illegal fireworks that plague the Portland area every July. While the property where we stayed provided some nice hiking opportunities, … Continue reading

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My Love/Hate Relationship with My 5MR

It has been six months since I joined the Five Mile Radius movement, concentrating on finding as many species of birds as possible within five miles of my home. My 5MR has a pretty good mix of habitats. I have … Continue reading

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Random Spring Migrants

Our sunny warm spring has turned cool and wet. This is a good thing, as we continue to be far below average in rainfall amounts, but the weather has put a bit of a damper on birding and photography. This … Continue reading

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