[Tweeters] Fall Birds - neo-fallout

Rob Conway robin_birder at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 1 23:23:42 PDT 2013

This morning I walked slowly (very slowly) along the Columbia dike near Cottonwood Beach in Washougal. There were many more ducks and geese on the river than I've seen in a long time. There were 3 Common Mergansers, a Hooded Merganser in the dock/marina area, loads of Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye, Mallards, scores of Canada Geese that kept taking off and landing just 100 feet away or so, a single Greater White Fronted Goose, and a pair of squabbling GB Herons. On the inland side there were 2 Western Meadowlarks (a first in this location for me), a Raven chasing what I'm guessing were voles in a field (I saw at least 10 voles crossing the dike), many American Crows, a raucous group of Steller's Jays in the trees near the sewer plant, and 2 Bald Eagles Overhead. Oh, and a Kestrel on the fence likely eyeing the same voles.

At home there were skeins of geese flying over all day long, as well as a group of 7 Sandhill Cranes all in a diagonal line and calling loudly. Varied Thrushes are now every day visitors tearing through the leaves we have yet to rake, a single Robin (are there just fewer this year?), and a noisy Pacific Wren. Yesteday I had an equally noisy Bewick's Wren actively feeding under the junipers. Best bird of the day was a very light Peregrine Falcon that sat at the top of a big fir tree, I think eyeing my feeder area and the hundreds of finches, sparrows, juncos, and "my" mob of Stellers Jays and their cousins the Scrub Jay murder crew. I have heard a GH Owl the last 3 nights, and both a Western Screech Owl and what I am assuming is a Barred Owl (haven't spotted it) or mayber even 2.

I sit most of the day watching the birds and fretting about the yardwork that I probably need to hire someone to do. Still under doctors orders to avoid any stress or strenous exercise, and I try to do just that. I'm thinking about just leaving the leaves where they fall this year to start building up a natural mulch - the birds enjoy the leaves flipping and checking for juicy bugs and worms, so 2 birds with one lack of effort.


Rob Conway
Camas, WA
45.58°N 122.44°W - elevation 310 ft.
robin_birder at hotmail.com

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