Author Archives: John Rakestraw

Jackson Bottom

Spring migration hasn’t really revved up yet, but a recent warm sunny day drew me out to Jackson Bottom Wetlands. I was as interested in herping as I was birding, and some cooperative herps easily filled the void created by … Continue reading

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Spring Waterfowl

I know it is technically not spring yet, but the waterfowl are all either on the move or looking to pair up, so close enough. A flock of 12 Greater White-fronted Geese stopped by Force Lake in north Portland. This … Continue reading

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Little Brown Birds

Late winter is when I typically concentrate on sparrows. There isn’t much else going on this time of year, and the vegetation is worn down enough that visibility is pretty good. Rentenaar Road on Sauvie Island continues to be the … Continue reading

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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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