Author Archives: John Rakestraw

Northwest Portland Wetlands

I went out to Smith and Bybee Wetlands and Vanport Wetlands to check for migrants. The Smith and Bybee area was pretty slow. Water levels were high so some of the trails were inaccessible. Vanport had some really interesting birds, … Continue reading

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Spring on the Coast

I have made four trips to the Oregon Coast in as many weeks this spring. For three of the four, I was leading groups. That, combined with rainy weather, limited my photo opportunities, but here are a few shots. The … Continue reading

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Soggy Songbirds

This has been the longest February ever. I know the calendar indicates that it is actually late May, and we have had several lovely dry days, but the cold wet weather continues to dominate. Despite the nasty conditions, spring migration … Continue reading

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Spring at Fernhill

While we continue to get above-average rainfall in the Portland area, there have been a few dry days of late, so I ran out for a quick tour of Fernhill Wetlands. Most of the wintering geese are gone, and there … Continue reading

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February Doldrums

I think February is the most challenging month to live in the Portland area, as it is typically wet and dreary. This past month had three times the normal rainfall, so the brief sun breaks were especially appreciated. A quick … Continue reading

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Commonwealth Lake

Now that the snow has melted, the weather has turned to freezing temps and a howling east wind. Bleah. Despite the lousy conditions, I bundled up and took a walk around Commonwealth Lake. The park was hosting a large flock … Continue reading

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Post-Snowpocalypse Ramblings

The Portland area got a dump of about 10″ of snow recently. It was lovely on the first day, but for the next week it was a pain, with roads being impassable from the ice and snow. When I was … Continue reading

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Random Images

Life and inclement weather have conspired against me of late, so my outings have been far too few. But here are some photos from recent weeks. A trip to Broughton Beach provided nice looks at a small flock of Horned … Continue reading

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Siletz Bay

This Common Scoter was recently found in Siletz Bay, just south of Lincoln City. This is only the second record of this species in North America, so he was definitely worth chasing. The Common Scoter seems pretty comfortable in Siletz … Continue reading

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Gull big day

My recent gull class field trip found ten species of gulls (Western, Glaucous-winged, Glaucous, Herring, Thayer’s, California, Ring-billed, Mew, Bonaparte’s, and Heermann’s). This was a new record for the class, and it got me wondering. How many species of gulls … Continue reading

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