Posted by: atowhee | March 6, 2008

White-fronts at Ankeny

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Photo by Don Bruschera, at Sacramento Wildlife Refuge.  At Ankeny refuge in northern Oregon the ratio was reversed.  Far more White-fronted than Snow Geese.

 We drove from Ashland to Portland today and I finally got a chance to look over the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge between Albany and Salem, just a few miles west of I-5.  Thosuands of honking WF Geese were the highlight.  I saw a quartet of Snow Geese and a few dozen Canada. The White-fronted were is dense swirls over a couple fields, and others in sinewy lines trailing abovr the woods.  Later we saw dark lines of the geese moving across the stunning snowy face of Mount Hood.  White mountain behind black specks in motion.

Ankeny’s ponds held some ducks: Shoveler, Mallard, Ruddy, Bufflehead, Green-winged Teal.  Great Egrets hunted in the shallows.  Coots, of course.  There are rails but I didn’t have time to search them out this visit.

Not far south of Portland a handful of Sandhill Cranes were feeding in a wet pasture alongside the freeway.  Just north of Eugene we’d seen two Bald Eagles on the ground among grazing sheep.  The northward moving Turkey Vutlures do not seem to have reached Portland yet though we saw two near Eugene 150 miles to the south.

The day was perfecty clear so not only did we have a constant view of Mount Hood after we reached Albany, but once near Portland we could see the slopes of Mt. St. Helens, now the stub of a once-perfect conical volcano.  It too is snpow covered at this time of year. 


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