Monday, December 26, 2005

Red Phalarope resting

Many of the RED PHALAROPE that have been blown ashore spend lots of time resting on shallow rainwater pools. These two were near the mouth of the Columbia River, and hopefully will be strong enough to return to the open ocean when the current storms have blown themselves out.

Red Phalarope

When a strong southwest wind batters the Oregon coast in the winter it often blows RED PHALAROPE on shore, which is probably not to their liking since they usually stay offshore over deep water at this time. Right now, following several days of strong wind, there are thousands of these birds in flooded pastures and estuaries. This one was near the mouth of the Columbia River, searching for tidbits in watery, weedy areas among the dunes.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

This photo accompanies the previous one. Today looking south from Cape Meares the east wind was blowing mist off the tops of the swells like smoke.

Birding at Cape Meares

A high point of the year for many birders is the annual Christmas Bird Count, a nationwide survey that has been conducted for the past 105 years. Today I joined the team of about 30 for the Tillamook count on the Oregon coast. In spite of the unusual strong east wind, and below-freezing temperature, the group tallied (unofficially) 131 species for the day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Nene (Hawaiian Goose)

My recent photo attempts here at home have not been very successful, so this seems like a good time to send up another of my Hawaii memories. There was no challenge in finding and photographing Hawaii's endemic goose, the Nene, but such a handsome bird deserves more exposure to the world, so degree of difficulty is not a factor.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Great Horned Owl

A few days ago, while hoping to find that one of the Snowy Owls currently invading Oregon had chosen to stop in my corner of the Willamette Valley, I did find a more common resident, a Great Horned Owl. He did not appear to be pleased by having his mid-day nap interrupted. A good recording of Great Horned Owls hooting can be heard at

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker

This day was cold, and the sun never broke through, but when this Flicker came down to see what I was doing in his neighborhood the afternoon seemed to get a little brighter and warmer.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Moa (Red Junglefowl)

Also seen in Hawaii, but more ho-hum than inspirational because it is an introduced species, was the Moa, or Red Junglefowl. Some of them, such as the one pictured here, are truly wild birds and have been doing well (as a species) for hundreds of years.