I walked around the farm at first light, listening to the dawn chorus of bird songs and trying to separate them out. The Ruffed Grouse drumming in our woods was obvious. I also tried to get a few photos of birds on our farm in the early morning, but it was foggy and the birds not terribly cooperative. Later, when the sun came out, this American Goldfinch insisted on hiding behind branches.
A very rufous Rufous Hummingbird was up in plain sight, but the lighting was difficult.
After morning chores we headed up Agency Creek Rd. and our first Dipper nest site, which entails a long hike through the woods. In the deep, damp shade we found these Western Coral Roots, a native orchid.
|Spotted Coral Root: Corallorhiza maculata|
|Black-throated Gray Warbler|
We saw a Spotted Sandpiper at the gravel quarry ponds. They are said to be common around streams and lakes everywhere but I rarely see them. It was too far for a photo but we came back after the weekend: the bird was still there and I managed this photo.
|American Dipper fledglings waiting for food|
|Parent Dipper delivering food to open-mouthed fledgling|
|Calling and batting its wings for food|
|Aquilegia canadensis |
|Maianthemum racemosum False Soloman's Seal|
Polk County migration count is on the same day as Yamhill county, so after leaving Agency Creek, we drove to nearby Shenk's Wetlands in Polk county and counted birds there, including two White-tailed Kites. By then we were hungry, so went to Willamina's Wildwood Cafe for supper.
The next day, Sunday, was the Tillamook county migration count. We combined our Black Oystercatcher survey at Cape Kiwanda with that count. Those wonderful black birds with the long orange bills were right where they usually are at high tide, resting on the side of a cliff.
Johnny hiked on out to the very end of the cape and peered over the edge at the rocky ledge below. He spotted two Ruddy Turnstones. (No, he didn't know what they were but he found them in our bird book.) I eventually worked up the courage to go out to see them and take photos. They were a long way away and well camouflaged at times. Believe it or not, both Turnstones are in this photo.
Here is one visible. The second is just below it and to the right. Look for the orange leg.
Once in awhile, a Turnstone cooperated by choosing a contrasting background.
Two Black Oystercatchers were down on these rocks, too. We were not sure if they are the same two that might have flown from the cliff or a different pair. There are two pair that nest on Haystack Rock and feed on Cape Kiwanda.
On the north side of the cape, a hang glider was enjoying the lovely weather in his own way.
From Cape Kiwanda we drove to Whelan Island to add birds to the Tillamook count. It was a beautiful walk through a forest of blooming rhododendrons.
The butterflies were enjoying the rhododendron flowers, too.
Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus
A Rufous Hummingbird showed off his brilliant gorget.
We did not want to go back to crowded-on-Mother's-Day Cape Kiwanda for supper, so we drove home via Cloverdale, where all the cafes were closed, finally settling for an ice cream cone in Hebo and supper at home.
It was an exhausting weekend, but fun, greatly enhanced by hearing from Steve on Mother's Day morning that he was feeling fine.