Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Virginia's Warbler

A NE Portland homeowner reported a Virginia's Warbler coming to his suet feeder. I went to look for it on 3 days with no luck, then the bird started coming to the suet feeder more often and I got to see it 11/18/17.

Camera comparison: photo above taken with Sony RX10 iv;
photo below taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Prothonotary Warbler

Along with a small group of birders, I got to see this rare bird, thanks to a hospitable homeowner who invited us into his yard in NW Multnomah county.

It has been coming in to the birdbath every evening like clockwork at 7pm for just a few minutes, starting 4 days ago.
This is only the 8th Prothonotary Warbler ever documented in Oregon.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Total eclipse of the sun, viewed near Antelope, Oregon 8/21/17
Photo by Nick captured magenta color at 1 o'clock.
(Click on image for larger view.)

Watching sky and mountains go dark as eclipse reaches totality.

Lloyd driving big blue truck full of people to top of hill for a better view of the eclipse (yes, he's driving!)

Stuart and Nick had binoculars with special coatings to view the partial stages of the eclipse.

Crescents are projected through round holes from the partially eclipsed sun.

Thanks to Chuck (above) and Shelley (below) for hosting a fantastic and memorable eclipse viewing event at the ranch!

Leaving for a canyon tour in the big blue truck.

We camped at the ranch the night before the eclipse (photo by Nick) and were treated to a spectacular sunset.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Lawrence's Goldfinch

There was a report on OBOL 6/5/17 of a homeowner who had a Lawrence's Goldfinch coming to his backyard bird feeder in the Sherwood area. A group of about 12 people coordinated to meet and carpool to the house the next morning. We sat on chairs on the lovely patio watching 2 bird feeders, and it was no more than 10 minutes before the bird appeared! And, it was bird #400 on my Oregon Life List!!

Lawrence's Goldfinch is an Oregon Bird Records Committee bird, with only 11 accepted Oregon sightings to date.

Another Lawrence's Goldfinch was reported on OBOL in May:
Date: 5/9/17 8:15 am From: Charles Gates Subject: [obol] Washington Co. Lawrences Goldfinch Sometimes these eBird posts have very good stuff hidden right at the end. See Rick Bennett's post about Lawrence's Goldfinch in Sherwood. I'm pretty sure this is a county first and a great Oregon bird. Photos too. Lawrence's Goldfinch (Spinus lawrencei) (1) - Reported May 08, 2017 16:50 by Rick Bennett - Price Terrace Sherwood OR, Washington, Oregon - Map:http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=45.3516212,-122.8667097&ll=45.3516212,-122.8667097 - Checklist:http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36667475 - Media: 3 Photos - Comments: "While watching the finches in our backyard (mostly AMGO), one showed up with black not only on the forehead, but on the chin and with yellow on the wings. After consulting Sibley, I immediately realized it was a Lawrence's Goldfinch that I had never seen before. On the slim chance of getting a photo, I grabbed the camera and it was at a feeder with some AMGOs."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Glossy Ibis

A lone Ibis along Diamond Lane near Hwy 205 (in Harney County, at Malheur NWR). On closer look, I noticed the face was dark, so I scoped it and saw that the eye was also dark, not red like on the much more commonly seen White-faced Ibis.

Digiscoped photo of Glossy Ibis. The thin, light bluish-gray lines bordering the face do not continue all the way around the back of the eyes; the face is dark brownish-gray; and the legs are gray with contrasting pink ankle joints (midway between foot and body). These are all field marks that distinguish Glossy Ibis from White-faced Ibis.

Luckily there was cell phone coverage to get the word out to other birders.

More photos of Glossy Ibis:

Dark Ibis Identification
Identification of the two dark ibises (genus Plegadis) can range from easy to impossible, depending on their plumage stage. ... In adult breeding (alternate) plumage (roughly March to August, per The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd ed.), identification is straightforward:
(a) White-faced Ibis has pinkish-red to burgundy facial skin, with a striking rim of white feathers that surrounds the facial-skin patch and extends behind the eye. The eye and the legs are red.
(b) Glossy Ibis has dark gray facial skin, with thin pale-blue or gray-blue margins that are also skin and do not extend behind the eye. This bluish skin assumes a distinctive shape, as shown in field guides: the upper margin is a bit thicker, especially in the middle, while the lower one is thinner and follows the edge of the dark skin closely. The eye is dark brown, and the legs are gray-green with reddish joints.

Sibley's comparison of Glossy Ibis (top) and White-faced Ibis (bottom). Glossy Ibis are found year-round along the gulf coast of the US, and along the east coast in the summer, and they make rare appearances inland in the eastern US. In Oregon, there are only 8 previous records of Glossy Ibis.

White-faced Ibis:

Here is a White-faced Ibis (above) for comparison. Many flocks of hundreds of White-faced Ibis are commonly seen around Malheur in the spring and summer, plus they make rare appearances in the rest of Oregon.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017