Author Archives: John Rakestraw

My Love/Hate Relationship with My 5MR

It has been six months since I joined the Five Mile Radius movement, concentrating on finding as many species of birds as possible within five miles of my home. My 5MR has a pretty good mix of habitats. I have … Continue reading

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Random Spring Migrants

Our sunny warm spring has turned cool and wet. This is a good thing, as we continue to be far below average in rainfall amounts, but the weather has put a bit of a damper on birding and photography. This … Continue reading

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Inland Shorebirds

From the end of April through the middle of May, migrant shorebird numbers peak along the Oregon coast. I haven’t made it out to the coast yet this spring, but my local inland sites have produced a few species. There … Continue reading

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Early Spring in the 5MR

The weather has gone from winter rain to spring rain, still rather gloomy but definitely more pleasant overall. Spring migration is slowly picking up with new species gradually accumulating in my 5-Mile Radius. Most of the new sites that I … Continue reading

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Virginia Rail

As many people are jumping on the “bird local” bandwagon, little Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton has been getting a lot of birding attention and producing an increasing array of interesting species. One of the stars of this winter is … Continue reading

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Dreary February

February weather can be the most challenging, with cold temperatures and frequent rain. We desperately need the moisture so I am not complaining, but it is harder to get motivated to get out into the cold and damp. I continue … Continue reading

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5MR: The First Month

For the month of January, virtually all of my birding has been conducted within my 5 Mile Radius. This included dedicated birding trips and keeping track of birds while at the dog park and on family hikes.  (This Red-breasted Sapsucker … Continue reading

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In the Bleak Midwinter

Between the holidays, work, and family activities, there has been very little birding in recent weeks. One of the more enjoyable outings was a hike on Larch Mountain. The dogs loved the snow and it was great to get outside … Continue reading

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Fernhill Wetlands

I visited Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove on a rare sunny December day. The sun is so low at this time of year that if there is no cloud cover the sun is either at your back or directly in … Continue reading

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Commonwealth Lake

When time is limited or weather is sketchy, I appreciate having Commonwealth Lake close to home for a quick birding fix. Early in the morning, River Otters will often visit the lake to fill up on fish. There were three … Continue reading

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