Author Archives: John Rakestraw

Troutdale

I spent some time exploring the area just west of the Sandy River Delta in Troutdale, OR. A section of the 40-Mile Loop Trail starts just north of I-84 and runs north along the Sandy River, then west past Company … Continue reading

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Fernhill Wetlands

Summer is settling in at Fernhill Wetlands. The birds that are here now are probably nesting. Always a treat this far west is this handsome Blue-winged Teal. I hope he has a mate sitting on eggs somewhere. Just as lovely, … Continue reading

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Tualatin River NWR

The pandemic birding continues. While the visitor center and parking lot are closed, you can still walk the trails at Tualatin River NWR. Social distancing, birder style The big news at the refuge this spring has been this pair of … Continue reading

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Pittock in the Pandemic

I visited Pittock Mansion in northwest Portland the other morning. The gate to the park is locked, but you can park in the neighborhood and walk up the hill. It is nice to be able to bird the entrance road … Continue reading

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Still Waiting for Spring – Jackson Bottom

Jackson Bottom is another site that I can visit during the pandemic, assuming I get there early. The big push of spring migration has not hit, but you can tell it’s so close. Tree Swallows have been back for quite … Continue reading

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Fernhill Wetlands

During the current pandemic, it is not always easy to visit favorite birding sites. I have found that if I go very early, I can get some good birding in at Fernhill Wetlands without encountering too many folks. (Of course, … Continue reading

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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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