Author Archives: John Rakestraw

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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Updates

I have updated the Classes page to show all the classes I currently have scheduled. I would love to share what I know (that part doesn’t take long) and then go birding with you. Check it out. I have also … Continue reading

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Autumn at Fernhill

Fernhill Wetlands is the place to be in autumn. Even after the extensive wetland renovations that have taken place, resulting in less open water, the Cackling Geese still congregate here by the thousands. This Great Egret was catching the sunshine … Continue reading

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Random Bits of August

I taught two shorebird classes and led three shorebird field trips in August. The southbound shorebird migration has been pretty great so far, with unprecedented numbers of Baird’s Sandpipers and a nice smattering of rarities throughout Oregon. My trips missed … Continue reading

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Broughton Beach Horned Larks

Broughton Beach, along the Columbia River, has been a favorite spot in Portland to check for shorebirds, gulls, and waterfowl, depending on the season. On my recent visit I enjoyed watching a family of Horned Larks working the beach. There … Continue reading

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