You would think, after five days away from the farm with all my catching-up duties, that I would stay home, rest up and catch up. I did for two days. Then Dawn emailed, saying, "Want to go birding tomorrow?" Of course, I said yes.
The day started slowly with no White-tailed Kites visible at their usual Tyee Road location. But things quickly speeded up. We found two kites at Shenk Wetlands, harassing a Red-tailed Hawk that was apparently invading their territory. Too far for pictures, so we drove on... and soon saw a Bald Eagle atop a snag next to the road.
Next up was a lovely Rough-legged Hawk that I managed a photo of in flight, with all the diagnostic field marks visible... at least after I zoomed it up.
To give a little justification for the trip, I stopped at the feed store for feed. You know, the one that is close to Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge so I always have to go there, too. That's where we found the Bird of the Day: a Prairie Falcon, a life bird for Dawn. Always quick with the camera, she managed to get a shot of the bird after it lit way off in the distance. I stole this photo from her. Thanks, Dawn Villaescusa!
The only other bird photo I got was of a group of American Wigeon, posing (dimly) with front, back and side views.
Of course, I had to photograph beautiful Mt. Jefferson, visible from most everywhere we went on this sunny day.
On the way home, the Tyee Road kites were back on site and a third kite was over the field at the corner of Grand Ronde Rd. and Hebo Rd., just one mile from the farm. Any day I see a White-tailed Kite (or a Dipper or a Black Oystercatcher) is a good day.
Dawn dutifully kept track of all the birds we saw on our jaunt: fifty species, she tells me. A great day with a good friend. I'm glad she took me away from my duties. Work will always be here... Prairie Falcons rarely.