Author Archives: John Rakestraw

Some Non-avian Sightings

While I am usually looking specifically for birds, I enjoy whatever wildlife I encounter along the way. I don’t spend a lot of effort looking for butterflies, but I do appreciate it when one poses for me. This is a … Continue reading

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Random Summer Birds

Spring migration has come and gone, and many birders agree that it was a dud. Numbers and diversity seemed quite low in the Portland area this spring. So now we concentrate on the summer residents, like this Black-headed Grosbeak. Most … Continue reading

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North Portland

Our team for the Audubon Society of Portland’s Birdathon birded several sites in the northern parts of Portland. The weather was cool and rainy, not conducive to photography or bird activity, but we ended our efforts with 76 species for … Continue reading

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Tualatin River NWR

The long hiking trail at Tualatin River NWR is open, and this refuge always offers some good birding in the spring and early summer. A pair of Blue-winged Teal was in the southwest pond. As is typical for this species, … Continue reading

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Still Waiting

Every spring, birders suggest that the migration is running a little late. I think a lot  of that feeling just comes from a desire to see spring migrants again. But this year, a lot of species are arriving noticeably late. … Continue reading

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Fort Stevens State Park

I went to Fort Stevens to look for shorebirds this week. The main push of spring migrants hadn’t arrived yet, but numbers were definitely on the increase. I was pleased that I timed the tide correctly at Parking Lot D. … Continue reading

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Cooper Mountain

I went to Cooper Mountain Nature Park in Beaverton primarily to look for herps, but the birds were a lot more cooperative. White-crowned Sparrows were singing everywhere. Chipping Sparrows nest at higher elevations, but a few can be found in … Continue reading

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Spring at Fernhill

A quick tour of Fernhill Wetlands showed bird activity picking up, with the appearance of newly arrived migrants and nest building by the local breeders. This Tree Swallow was staking out a cavity. There are still some Cackling Geese around, … Continue reading

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Smith and Bybee Wetlands

I went out to Smith and Bybee Wetlands in north Portland. This site can be a little challenging to bird, as the noise from Marine Drive makes it difficult to hear bird song and other natural sounds. But as you … Continue reading

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A Slow Start

I have been complaining a lot lately about how slow the birding has been. We are in that lull when many of the winter birds have moved on and the spring migrants haven’t returned. But, say it with me, there … Continue reading

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