[Tweeters] Steller's clowns, Black-throated Greys

Rob Conway robin_birder at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 26 00:25:47 PDT 2014

As part of my daily therapy to keep my body mobile and to build some endurance I took a walk with my partner today on the Washougal River Greenway Trail in Camas. ( http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Washougal_River_Greenway_Loop_Hike ) . This relatively short trail takes in sensitive Oak/Oregon Ash woodlands running on both sides of the trail along with beargrass meadows that grow over 7' high by early summer, but flood this time of year when the Washougal River and Lacamas Creek are bankfull. There is a fantastic pedestrian bridge over the Washougal River, under which you can occassionally see salmon, steelhead and even the occassional sturgeon in the river below. Farther along the trail are water filled pits left from old gravel mining activities that often have interesting waterfowl (today 2 Bufflehead, a Wood Duck, 4 Hooded Merganser, and a single Pied Billed Grebe) and towards the east end of the trail more meadows and oak woodlands.

Today in the oak woodlands there was a significant fallout of Black-throated Grey Warblers along with a few Nashvilles, Orange Crowned, and Yellow Rumps (mostly Audubon). A large flock of tree swallows was flying overhead between the low boardwalk bridge and the river bridge. Three Kingfishers were moving up and down the river and a flock of 7 Common Mergansers floated along the very high and very swift running river. Robins were collecting worms from the paved part of the trail and Swainsons thrushes could be heard in the brushy edges on the far side of the meadow areas. There are still 2 or 3 flocks of 8-10 Bushtits that haven't paired off working the newly leafed Oregan Ash trees for insects. Downy, Hairy, and Pileated Woodpeckers flew overhead as did at least 6 Northern Flickers and a single Red-breasted Sapsucker. Many sparrows all around in bushes, meadows and riverside with Vesper, Savannah, Swamp, and Song making themselves known and several pairs of Chipping Sparrows working the meadow woodland edge. An Osprey made a flyover as did 3 Turkey Vultures and a Great Blue Heron.

Back at home I have a pair of Stellars Jays going through courtship rituals including feeding each other tidbits. The have discoved that by making a flying pass at my suet cage they can knock hunks out and recover them on the ground to use in this ritual (and just to feed) - they will keep it up for more than an hour a few times a day. I also have a Barred Owl somewhere at the top of my lot hooting loudly starting around 4:30 AM - I'm guessing this isn't breeding behavior, but in any case it is nice to know someone else has an interest in squirrel removal from the neighborhood.

Bird Well!


Robin Conway
Camas, WA
robin_birder at hotmail.com

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