Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Trip report: Montane Bird Hop

Clark's Nutcracker. Photo by Lisa Cox.
This post is by Lisa Cox, I'm just putting it up. --Libby

Saturday's Bird Hop was a lot of fun. We had ten total, including two kids, one of whom ticked off two lifers and one who got one.

There was no action at The Beartree, so we wandered around the back into the trees, and found a home with feeders and ALL the action! The owner eventually came out to chat with us, said he'd seen maybe 20 to 22 Clark's Nutcrackers and a bunch of Red-winged Blackbirds earlier in the morning. He invited us back any time, and some of us were talking about how it would be fun to return seasonally just to chat with him and see what's happening around the feeders.

As we were gawking there, a young couple joined us who hadn't been able to get to town in time to meet up. Luckily, we had ended up in front of their house!

We moved on to Albany via Dinwiddie Road, and found the feeder on the deck at the Lodge full, but no birds around there or in the nearby trees. A couple of the guys at the Lodge explained they'd had three cats around for a year, and the birds just haven't really come back since the cats have been gone. Our small group decided to have a late breakfast (great move!) and keep our eyes on the feeder. It was a gorgeous sunny day, with not much wind, and we all enjoyed each other's company--but still saw no birds there.

Here's our list for the day:
Centennial feeders:
7 Evening Grosbeaks
5 Black-billed Magpies
6 Steller's Jays
2 Mountain Chickadees
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Oregon Dark-eyed Junco
4 Clark's Nutcrackers
We heard a nuthatch in the trees, but no one spotted it.

Along the way out and back:
Scads of Canada geese- "Scads" is the proper technical term, yes? ;)
1 Bald Eagle
2 unidentified raptors
several Horned Larks
several Common Ravens
More elk and deer than you can shake a stick at, as my dad would say.

Great trip. Would love to do it again.

Steller's Jay. Photo by Lisa Cox.

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