Posted by: atowhee | October 29, 2021


Roxie Evans visual summary of our day on Sauvie Island, breath deeply (click on any image for full screen view):

Four fine shots by Paul Evans:

I go to Sauvie Island in fall or winter for the Sandhill Cranes. Once my severe crane drought is eased, after relishing the sight of a few hundred, I can then pay atttention to the many lesser species–both in size and elegance. Yet one of our group of eight noted later in the day that the sound of crane bugling was omnipresent, even when you couldn’t look up and see a flock overhead, nor find some digging edibles in the nearest stubblefield. A day any craniac would savor.

We had over 60 bird species from 9AM until 230PM. Most numerous were the dark geese of the north, and their honking or cackling was often louder even than the cranes.

I have added a few notes to Mike Unger’s detailed checklists. What we surmised could be unusual buteo was–not a Ferrugy nor Roughie, a Harlan’s Hawk. Here is Roxie Eavns’ pic of the passing buteo:

Here iks a hawkk experts exact comment on this Harlan’s: “Correct. Heavy duty Buteo with very broad secondaries. White marbled tail. Dark trailing edge bordering wings = adult. The banded outer primary mark is used to separate darker Harlan’s juveniles from darker Western or Northern juveniles, so doesn’t say much for an adult…”

Photos below reveal much (both by Paul Evans). The bird went past us at Raccoon Point in good afternoon light.

Here is typical family of three–yiungster has white dot above his head which does yet have the red face shield of a mature crane:

Two of our land birds: tiny Pacific Wren, Red-breasted Sapsucker:

See how naturalists struggle to put the crane’s c omplexity and elegance into words, click here for of the best crane-graphs I could find.

Sauvie Island, first half hour:

Cackling Goose  500
Common Merganser  1
Mourning Dove  2
Sandhill Crane  20–across from the store near the access bridge
Double-crested Cormorant  30
Bald Eagle  1
California Scrub-Jay  1
American Crow  2
European Starling  7

Wapato Access Greenway SP, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021-pond dry and overgrown by plants
16 species

Cackling Goose  500
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Bald Eagle  1
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5
Brown Creeper  1
Pacific Wren  5
Bewick’s Wren  2
Varied Thrush  2
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  10
Fox Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  2

Sauvie Island (Multnomah Co.), Multnomah, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021 10:11 AM – 11:01 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.54 mile(s)
20 species

Cackling Goose  2020
Canada Goose  20
Mourning Dove  12
Sandhill Crane  350
Ring-billed Gull  21
Double-crested Cormorant  10
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  4
Northern Flicker  5
American Kestrel  6
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  7
European Starling  125
American Robin  31
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  2
Red-winged Blackbird  150
Brewer’s Blackbird  100

Sauvie Island–Multnomah Channel, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021 11:06 AM – 11:23 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.793 mile(s)
12 species

Cackling Goose  500
Canada Goose  2
Sandhill Crane  100
Ring-billed Gull  1
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Belted Kingfisher  1
American Kestrel  1
California Scrub-Jay  1
European Starling  1100
Golden-crowned Sparrow  3
Western Meadowlark  6
Red-winged Blackbird  220

Sauvie Island–Multnomah Channel (Columbia Co.), Columbia, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021 11:25 AM – 12:01 PM
Protocol: Traveling
8.049 mile(s)
22 species

Cackling Goose  7500
Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  25
Gadwall  2
American Wigeon  110
Mallard  4
Green-winged Teal  20
Common Merganser  9
Ring-billed Gull  73
Glaucous-winged Gull  1
Double-crested Cormorant  21
Great Blue Heron  3
Great Egret  1
Northern Harrier  1
Cooper’s Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  2
California Scrub-Jay  5
Common Raven  14–sharing a repast of ripened beef carcass
European Starling  1250
Fox Sparrow  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  1
Brewer’s Blackbird  200

Sauvie Island–Wildlife Area Headquarters, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021 12:02 PM – 12:08 PM
Protocol: Stationary
9 species

Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Sandhill Crane  2
Northern Flicker  1
House Sparrow  1
House Finch  2
Lesser Goldfinch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  11
Golden-crowned Sparrow  6
Spotted Towhee  1

Sauvie Island–Raccoon Point, Multnomah, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021 12:26 PM – 12:43 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.058 mile(s); This was over-looking Sturgeon Lake south end, the lake was less than half its full surface area and cranes were landing behund trees along the shoreline.
20 species

Gadwall  4
American Wigeon  200
Mallard  2
Green-winged Teal  12
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  8
Eurasian Collared-Dove  1
Sandhill Crane  78
Glaucous-winged Gull  1
Great Egret  4
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ferruginous Hawk  1     A large hawk with an all white tail.  It appeared to be a dark morph.  It could be a Rough-legged Hawk but it did not have a dark terminal band on tail and was larger than a RLHA. We ruled out a 4th year subadult Bald Eagle as it did not seem nearly large enough to be an eagle.  Ruled out Red-tailed Hawk based on no red tail, no visible belly band, no patagial bars and no pale “V” on back.  Photo to come.
American Kestrel  2
California Scrub-Jay  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
European Starling  50
House Finch  1
Fox Sparrow  2
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2

Sauvie Island–Reeder Rd. Observation Shelter, Columbia, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021 12:55 PM – 1:16 PM
Protocol: Stationary; the klake was low but had enough depth for diving ducks. Most other seasonal ponds, inc. Wapato were dry.
15 species

Wood Duck  3
Northern Shoveler  30
American Wigeon  4
Northern Pintail  25
Green-winged Teal  150
Canvasback  5
Ring-necked Duck  100
Lesser Scaup  3
Common Goldeneye  1
Ring-necked Pheasant  1     Male
American Coot  40
Ring-billed Gull  1
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1

Sauvie Island–Rentenaar Rd., Columbia, Oregon, US
Oct 29, 2021 1:26 PM – 2:03 PM
Protocol: Traveling–we walked the road to get the sparrows.
0.613 mile(s)
21 species

Gadwall  1
Northern Pintail  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove  3
American Coot  8
Sandhill Crane  6
Killdeer  3
Ring-billed Gull  6
Northern Harrier  2
Bald Eagle  2
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Red-breasted Sapsucker  1
Northern Flicker  3
American Kestrel  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
House Finch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  14
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  10
Song Sparrow  5
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  6

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