Sunday, July 31, 2005

This young Western Wood-Pewee was practicing take-offs and landings on this hot afternoon near the river, but mostly it just perched on the wire, stretched occasionally and watched insects flying by. Mom and dad were busy bringing food and scolding jays that came too close.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I know, I know... I've already put Arctic Tern up here more than once. I just can't stop admiring this bird, the famed long-distance traveler that flies from the Arctic to Antarctica and back every year. For a creature that is only 15 inches long and weighs about 3 1/2 ounces, I think that's remarkable. This one was resting on a rock in the Sinuk River just a little northwest of Nome.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

If you don't like to be splashed, stay away from the pool when the Bushtits show up. Everybody gets wet!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Red Admiral was patrolling a pathway through the woods near the river this evening. Unfortunately a shadow obscured the blue spots near the lower tip of the wings when I took this photo, and he (or she?) didn't give me a second chance.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

There is a rare Plover in Oregon right now, but this Semi-palmated Plover is not it. The Semi-palm is common in migration, and I took this photo today near Seaside, Oregon. I did see the rare (for North America) Lesser Sand-Plover there today also, but did not get a good photo. Most birders seem to agree that the "old" name (Mongolian Plover) had a much more pleasing ring to it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The pleasure of travel, for me, is greatly enhanced and extended by the photos I bring back. A glance at this image brings into sharp focus in my memory the movements and the calls of this female Yellow Wagtail that I watched last month about 50 miles north of Nome. The sensation is perhaps intensified by the fact that, except for an accidental that I saw here in Oregon a few years ago, I have seen Yellow Wagtails only in several Asian countries. Somehow this species doesn't seem to belong on a list of the birds of North America, but it does. They are certainly making themselves at home near Nome.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I know that a beaver is not really a flying creature, but as I was sitting on the riverbank watching other things, this beaver seemed to be flying under water as he moved silently upstream past me.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Black Phoebe nest along the Willamette River south of Dayton still contains the four eggs it held on June 19. I suspect that the two-tone coloration of these normally white eggs confirms that there is no life in them. The female was still spending some time sitting on them on July 9 when this photo was taken.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Last night I moved the webcam out of the box to catch the morning action outside the Violet-green Swallows' nestbox. At about 5:51 this morning the female delivered breakfast to one of the nestlings waiting at the opening, and about one minute later the youngster abruptly launched out. I then quickly went outside to watch, and saw the other four follow at about 6 minute intervals. They all flew very well except the last one. He hit the neighbors' car and landed on the ground, but in just a few seconds was airborne again. During the next hour I watched their practice flights and landings, and saw the parents feeding them where they perched. I'm missing them already! :-)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The young Violet-green Swallows are about as big as the adults now on day 21. In fact the book says they will probably weigh a few grams more than their parents when they fledge. They certainly do seem eager to get out of the box, which is getting pretty messy inside. The adult female very seldom enters the box now, so most of the 'trash' is not being carried away.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Violet-green Swallow nestbox is a focus of intense activity today. Other swallows in the neighborhood have already fledged, but the parents of the five in the camera box are still bringing in the bugs several times per minute.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The five Violet-green Swallow nestlings will soon become fledglings, but today they were still taking turns at the nestbox opening waiting for food deliveries. At intervals the situation becomes rather chaotic when several of them decide to engage in some wing-stretching exercises.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Back to my Alaska trip... One of the pleasures of a visit to Nome is seeing familiar birds in unfamiliar places. In Oregon, during migration, or occasionally as wintering birds, Western Sandpipers are observed as waders along beaches and shorelines, or in wet fields. This female and several others nearby, on June 15, were tending chicks that had hatched perhaps just a day or two earlier. The males were hanging out on the other side of the Sinuk River about 26 miles northwest of Nome.