Posted by: atowhee | April 20, 2010

Ashland to Mt. Hood

Since Saturday morning we’ve been from 2,000 feet to 800 feet to 6,000 feet elevation. Lots of different birds.  Here are two of the Eve. Grosbeaks hanging out in a large tree behind NAPA auto parts in Ashland before we left town.  Like Cedar Waxwings, these birds are gregarious, talkative, and upredictable in arrival and departure.  They are our largest finch, not rerlated to other “grosbeaks” like Black-headed.

This is not much of an image, but it is my first Nashvbille Warvbler of the spring.  Anders and I found it along Lolo Pass Road on the western slopes of Mt. Hood, east of Portland.  There was also a Gray Flycatcher in the flock and an Orange-crown. 

It was a lifer for Anders, a very keen Danish birder who’s spent many weeks birding the U.S.  We got him about eight lifers ont our mountain exucrsion on the slopes of Mt. Hood including both Gray Jay and the Nutcracker, Townsend’s Solitaire, Cliff Swallow (most of his eaerrliler visits were in winter), Winter Wren (the same wren they have in Europe), Gray Flycatcher with its large beak and patented tail dipping.   We heard Ruffed Grouse thrumming on the eastern side of ther Cascades, not sighting of course.  Other goodies on the day: Crossbills, a zillion Siskins, Chipping Sparrows, close views opf Dippers onSalmon River, tweo good views of Varioed Thrush in their breeding habitat of dense, damp forest.

In the lowlands we visited Tualatin River NWR: a field full of Cackling Geese nearby, a few dozen overhead.  Blad Eagle carrying huge fish.   Plenty of dabbling ducks still in the ponds there.

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