Posted by: atowhee | November 11, 2017


It was raining despite the forecast.  It was soggy and foggy and water abounding.  It was Sauvie Island at her most tempting, taunting and tantalizing.  It was cranes and swans and geese and falcons and OH BOY, LOOK AT THAT!  We three birders arrived mid-morning and reluctantly left to climb back up Germantown Road in late afternoon.  In fall and winter it is impossible to get a surfeit of Sauvie, whether or no, weather or no.

This was a family of four, the adults being on far right and third from right.  Most crane families adhere to a one child per year policy.  This is an unusual quartet.CRAIN FOURYou may sometimes hear somebody claim “we haven’t the foggiest.”   Well, today we three had the foggiest but the crane didn’t mind, so we played along.CRAIN1CRAIN2CRAIN3There were few minutes when we were outside that we couldn’t hear the bugling of cranes.  Often when we could actually see the buglers, up in the clouds or over behind a shielding row of trees or beyond the next rise.CRAIN7The foreground cranes were roadside when we first stopped.  As ever they nonchalantly showed their backs and ambled away from us.  Note the numerous cranes at the far side of this field, just in front of the unharvested corn.  We saw scenes like this in over a dozen locations.CRANE AWAYNO GOOSE LIKE SNOW GOOSESNOLONEWhen we first saw this lone Snow Goose among his cackling friends, we were excited.  Is he the last left on the island?  The others off to California…SNOLONE2Then no many miles down the road we spotted snow drift.  So did a Peregrine who flew some sorties causing lift-off.  We have all seen snowfall, today we witnessed snowrise.  And it includes a great deal of goose noise.  The nearby cranes ignored the whole affair, a mere Peregrine not worthy of their notice.SNOW RISESNOW RISE2SNOW RISE4SNOW RISE5TRUMPETERS
We saw five Trumpeters overhead, first a trio, then a duo.SWAN DUOSWAN DUO2SWAN TRIOPEREGUD1Peregrine in Columbia County, above.  Some of the score of snipe at Wapato Marsh, below.SNIPSS2We were standing atop the levee in Columbia County along the self-same river and seeing gulls, cormorants, a perched Bald Eagle in Washington State, Western Grebes.  Then a male harrier came cruising toward us along the levee top, he swerved away to avoid passing over us and then came back above the levee and quickly landed.  When he lifted off he clutched a small mammal.  Thence the harrier coasted down to the beach along the river and dined al fresco, enjoying his rodent tartare.HARREAT

Sauvie Island–Multnomah, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Nov 11, 2017.  37 species

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)  2000
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  5000
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  X
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  X
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  X
Green-winged Teal (American) (Anas crecca carolinensis)  X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  4
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  40
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  4, Great Egret  2
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  3
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  600
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  20
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  50
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  3
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  8
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  1
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  50
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  40
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X

Sauvie’s Island Lower–Columbia Cty, Columbia, Oregon, US
Nov 11, 2017.  32 species (+1 other taxa)

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  500
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)  5
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  6
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  X
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  X
Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)  20
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  2
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  1
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  4
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  4
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  6
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  X
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  X
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  2
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
American Coot (Fulica americana)  50
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  30
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X


  1. You lucky!!!!!

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