Skip navigation

Category Archives: birding

I saw most of these from my kayak. Except the last three. I struggled with the first one, the gray bird that appeared to be sitting on a nest but my friend quickly ID’ed it. I’m sure you will too! Then there was the constantly calling flycatcher which is probably more gray in normal light but the evening sun gave it a very warm tone. And then the zebra striped baby. Some ducks of various ages. Then there was another, very elegant, flycatcher. And then three forest birds. The last one had the most interesting call. I would not have guessed it but my friend recognized it and was able to locate it in the dappled forest. I have so much to learn!

Sky and I got away for three days last week. The weather continues to be fairly cool, well cold, most days. The dog water froze outside each night and I was grateful for a working heater in the camper. We walked and walked and walked and saw a fair number of deer. There was one otter that entertained me for an afternoon. We also saw a skunk on one of our rambles in the hills. Luckily, I saw it before it saw us! I identified 64 bird species and am sure I missed some whose songs I didn’t recognize. We had a fine campsite overlooking a small lake with a variety of waterfowl and one lone swan. There were numerous buttercups in bloom and one Astragulus and some tiny lomatiums. The snow had just finished melting and while we were there, we had one impressive snow squall that left the hills white til the sun came out again. Mountain Bluebirds were everywhere! Red-winged Blackbirds, American Robins and Canada Geese woke us each morning with their songs and calls.

Here is my bird list for the three days:

Canada Goose 

Tundra Swan 

Wood Duck 

American Wigeon 

Mallard 

Green-winged Teal 

Ring-necked Duck 

Greater Scaup 

Bufflehead 

Barrow’s Goldeneye 

Hooded Merganser 

Common Merganser 

California Quail 

Ruffed Grouse 

Dusky Grouse 

Pied-billed Grebe 

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 

Eurasian Collared-Dove 

Mourning Dove 

Virginia Rail 

American Coot 

Turkey Vulture 

Osprey 

Northern Harrier 

Red-tailed Hawk 

Great Horned Owl 

Belted Kingfisher 

Red-naped Sapsucker 

Downy Woodpecker 

Pileated Woodpecker 

Northern Flicker 

American Kestrel 

Say’s Phoebe 

Black-billed Magpie 

American Crow 

Common Raven 

Black-capped Chickadee 

Mountain Chickadee 

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 

Tree Swallow 

Violet-green Swallow 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 

Red-breasted Nuthatch 

Pygmy Nuthatch 

Brown Creeper 

Bewick’s Wren 

American Dipper 

European Starling 

Western Bluebird 

Mountain Bluebird 

American Robin 

House Finch 

Cassin’s Finch 

Pine Siskin 

Chipping Sparrow 

Fox Sparrow 

Dark-eyed Junco 

White-crowned Sparrow 

Song Sparrow 

Spotted Towhee 

Western Meadowlark 

Red-winged Blackbird 

Brewer’s Blackbird 

Yellow-rumped Warbler 

A friend and I (no dogs, can you believe it?) went birding a couple days ago. We drove down the Methow, up the big river and then north on the east side of the county and back across the Loup. The weather was outstanding. Sunny and bright, cold in the morning but warm enough for light jackets in the afternoon. There were many water birds, few little brown jobs (sparrows and finches and such) and a good number of raptors. It was a good day birding.

One of our favorites was this nearby Pied-billed Grebe eating its lunch. It was very close and gave us such good views! The lump in its throat in the last image is the fish.

We noticed this Bufflehead sitting on a frozen lake separated by a dike from the big river. It was a ‘sitting duck’. Not a good thing in an area where we observed several Bald Eagles, a Cooper’s Hawk and a Northern Harrier. I don’t know if it was injured or it had mistakenly landed on the ice and could not get enough lift to get over the dike to the open water. It would fly low to the ice and land clumsily and finally it walked over to some cattails where it could be under cover while it planned its next move. According to All About Birds, Bufflehead are seldom seen on dry land: females walk only when they lead their ducklings from the nest to the water or when they’re forced to switch ponds with their ducklings.

We saw lots of other birds and had grand views of the mountains to the west. A good day birding.

Our bird list:

Common Loon

Horned Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Western Grebe

Great Blue Heron

Canada Goose

Mallard

American Wigeon

Green-winged Teal

Canvasback

Redhead

Greater Scaup

Lesser Scaup

Common Goldeneye

Barrow’s Goldeneye

Bufflehead

Hood Merganser

Common Merganser

Northern Harrier

Cooper’s Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk

Bald Eagle

Merlin

American Kestrel

California Quail

Ring-necked Pheasant

American Coot

Mew Gull

Mourning Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Rock Pigeon

Northern Flicker

Say’s Phoebe

Northern Shrike

Black-billed Magpie

Common Raven

American Crow

Horned Lark

Black-capped Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

American Robin

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Yellow-rumped Warblee

American Tree Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Snow Bunting

Red-winged Blackbird

House Finch

House Sparrow

More winter birds hanging around our place. Pine Siskin. American Goldfinch. House Cassin’s Finch. Evening Grosbeak. Red-winged Blackbird. Bald Eagle. And my favorite of this group, White-breasted Nuthatch.

Yesterday was a perfect day for bird watching. Many hummers visited the feeder including Calliope and Rufus Hummingbirds. A House Wren sat on the deck railing chattering continually. An American Goldfinch glowed yellow under the warm sun. I saw a male Calliope Hummingbird on my walk. Also on my walk I watched a Lewis’ Woodpecker confront a European Starling over a potential nest hole in a dead tree. And a Spotted Towhee called from a high perch.

Ken’s mother used to sit and watch the hummingbirds for hours. My mother would have enjoyed them too.

%d bloggers like this: