Author Archives: John Rakestraw

Glaucous Gull

I found this first-cycle Glaucous Gull at the Seaside Cove recently. He was very accommodating, allowing me close views. I don’t get to see Glaucous Gulls very often, but I was struck by the large size of this bird. He … Continue reading

Posted in rarities | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Shorebirds on the rocks

A recent trip to the coast on a sunny and windy day resulted in these images of shorebirds using rocky habitats. Two of these species are usually found on rocks, but the other two are not. I wonder if the … Continue reading

Posted in behavior | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Twitching in the rain

One of the more popular avian celebrities in Portland this fall is a Virginia’s Warbler that has been visiting the suet feeders at a home for the past several weeks. This is a great bird for Oregon, and the bird … Continue reading

Posted in birding philosophy, rarities | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Koll Center Wetlands

A couple of Black-crowned Night-Herons has been hanging out at Koll Center Wetlands recently. This spot is strictly parking lot birding (pull up, get out of the car, and scan the pond), but it has attracted more than it’s share … Continue reading

Posted in mammals, OR Birding Sites | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Taverner’s Cackling Goose vs. Ridgeway’s Cackling Goose

On a recent trip to Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, I had the opportunity to observe Taverner’s and Ridgeway’s Cackling Geese side-by-side. Taverner’s are larger, with pale breasts and slightly longer bills. Ridgeway’s have dark, iridescent breasts (on adults) and … Continue reading

Posted in identification challenges, seasonal movements, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Random Images

Once again, here are a few photos from the past few weeks’ ramblings. While one can admire the adorableness of this Black-capped Chickadee, the real bird of interest is his drinking buddy in the background, a Pine Siskin. Siskins were … Continue reading

Posted in seasonal movements | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mount Hood

At least once a year I like to visit the moonscape that is Mount Hood above Timberline Lodge. The birding there is hit or miss, sometimes yielding great spectacles like a flock of 200 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, and sometimes offering little … Continue reading

Posted in mammals, OR Birding Sites | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prothonotary Warbler

The Portland birding scene was abuzz recently with news of a Prothonotary Warbler that was visiting a bird bath at a home northwest of town. For about a week, this little eastern warbler would arrive just before sundown, take a … Continue reading

Posted in rarities | Tagged | 1 Comment

Summer shorebirds

Mid to late summer is the prime time to watch shorebirds in western Oregon, partly because it is the peak of southbound shorebird migration, and partly because the locally nesting songbirds have stopped singing and are very hard to see. … Continue reading

Posted in OR Birding Sites, seasonal movements | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fernhill Wetlands

With the ongoing renovations taking place at Fernhill Wetlands, each visit throughout the year is a new experience. Most of the breeding species have done their thing, and the resident waterfowl have molted into ugly duck season. Water levels are … Continue reading

Posted in identification challenges, mammals, nesting, OR Birding Sites | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment