Posted by: atowhee | October 17, 2017


Before the drizzle set upon us Rob Schulman and I birded Hagg Lake this morning.  Again, most of the action was at the shallow end, much of the birdlife visible from C-Ramp or Tanner Creek Overlook.
Coots out-numbered every other species but there were ten species of waterfowl that we could see, plus grebes, loons, et al.

Highlight was when Rob spotted a gang of little birds in a tree at the C-Ramp parking lot.  They turned out to be my first Golden-crowned Kinglets of the season on the valley floor.  The male Hooded Mergansers are already in full breeding plumage splendor.

fiv duxAbove: pair of wigeons, trip of GW Teal.  Below: Great Blue Heron, immature, slowly white-washing his favorite perching rocks at C-Ramp.gbh rock2inwaterAbove: Ring-billed Gull and two female Hooded Mergansers.  Below: wigeon and teal.inwater2Pair of Hooded Mergansers and a Ring-necked Duck, male, which I didn’t even recognize until I got home and looked at the images.  I was focused–like my camera–on the Hoodies.  Fuzzy images due to low light and misty conditions.inwater3inwater4Two Lesser Scaup cruising on the shore we heard Canada Geese but did not see them.  They were over the ridge beyond the Blue Heron’s perching point.  Then two honkers  curved around the peninsula and landed on the barren lakebed.  They were the vanguard.  Next came a handful of loud invaders, a bold landing party who strode uphill from the lake after their own smooth landing.  Within moments came the main force, flying across the narrow bay and seizing control of shoreline and dry slope on the other side.  This force included a small company of Cackling Geese as well.cago inavdecago incomingcago incoming2land-dWaxwings preening after a berry filling meal nearby.waxw1hgg-ahgg-bThe only Red-tail we saw.  He, misty-eyed, looked us over and departed.  Thus were we rejected as both possible meal, or acceptable company.IMG_0216Uphill from C-Ramp the Steller’s Jays were loudly protesting something that irked them: a hawk, a pygmy-owl, a visiting raven?  We later saw two ravens cleaning up roadkill though they reluctantly moved off the pavement to let us pass, but one was back in the middle of the road within four seconds of our passage.

Henry Hagg Lake Park (Scoggins Valley Park), Washington, Oregon, US
Oct 17, 2017 9:40 AM – 11:10 AM.  31 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  25
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  60
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  2
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  50
Green-winged Teal (American) (Anas crecca carolinensis)  60
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  15
Ring-necked Duck   x
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  20
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  30
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  2
Common Loon (Gavia immer)  2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  17
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  2
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  3
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  200
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  4
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  2
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  4
California Gull (Larus californicus)  6
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  4
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  8
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  12
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  40
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  1

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