On Friday, Dec. 2, I picked the last of the corn from the garden. The next day, we scouted for the Upper Nestucca Christmas Bird Count, scheduled for Dec. 15, weather permitting. It was a nice enough day that we could picnic beside Clarence Creek Falls, while checking out roads in the count circle.
It's hard to tell where this waterfall ends as it tumbles down a rocky stream bed for a very long way...
Since we had time before dark, we surveyed our American Dipper areas along Agency Creek. As you can see, Asinine Bridge curves the opposite way that it should... a little engineering mistake that made the road crew blast the side of the mountain to give the log trucks room to turn. A pair of Dippers nests near this bridge every year... they don't care which way the bridge goes.
And here is one. We found Dippers in most of the nest areas that we checked on.
The reflections in the rock quarry pond made it hard to tell where mountain stopped and water began.
I am always intrigued by the wavy lava flows here.
The next day, Sunday the 4th, we hiked around the farm. The weather was pleasant, but the mackerel sky told me that cold precipitation was coming soon...
This day, pretty red fungi were poking up through woodland leaves
But sure enough, on Monday the 5th, we woke to snow...
We had planned to run our Grand Ronde raptor route the next day, Tuesday, Dec. 6, but waited until morning to see what the weather would be. It turned out clear and cold, with snow mostly just at our place on our route and in the hills above.
Johnny spotted a white-looking Red-tailed Hawk in a distant tree in the area where we have seen White Wing, the lovely white-winged redtail, for many years... but not for months now. We are still not sure if this is White Wing or a descendant. My previous photos show him from the back with white wings and a brilliant red tail. These photos are from the front, more or less, magnified greatly.
Two white-tailed kites were huddled together in the area where they often nest. We saw them there last month, too, so we're hoping they nest again.
We also found two lovely Red-shouldered Hawks on our route. One sat for a photo.
We ate our lunch by Willamina's Huddleston Pond, where two Bald Eagles kept watch.
Winter has arrived.