Friday, January 11, 2013

Portland Parks and a Barn Owl

This past weekend we had a few days in Portland area, so we decided to rent a car and head off to some parks around Portland. We went to Mt. Tabor Park, Laurelhurst Park, and Wapato State Access Area at Sauvie Island.

Mt. Tabor Park was very beautiful but not too many birds there. We heard birds but couldn't see them high up in the trees. We did see some Red Crossbills and on the way out we spotted a Varied Thrush (Lifer), and Hermit Thrush. Just past the parking lot there was a viewing of a pond. There was some gulls and some ducks in the pond and decided to walk down the about 50 stairs! Once down there we saw a flock of American Robins and Glaucous-winged Gull.
Fox Sparrow

Down the path we saw a group of people looking into the trees. We headed down there and saw a flock of Cedar Waxwing in the trees eating berries. They were doing a Christmas Bird Count. Then we caught sight of a Red-breasted Sapsucker (Lifer). It's always so exciting when we see a new bird, but sadly we did not get a very good shot of it. One of the ladies with that group of birders told us about the next park we went to and also Sauvie Island.

Once up the stairs again we were met with a cute little Fox Sparrow.

Cedar Waxwing

After that we headed for Laurelhurst Park..more my exercise in that day! Another beautiful park with Titmice(I can never seem to get a good shot of those). We headed over to the pond only to find some Muscovy Ducks, Mallards, and Buffleheads. The Bufflheads are so fun to watch as they dive under for food and come back up. I was unsuccessfully at getting any good photos of them diving.

After checking out the ducks Simon spotted a Cooper's Hawk high in the tree. We got some bad pictures and then it flew off after some prey. It flew over the pond and was flying low to the ground. We headed over there to see if we could get some shots of it, but on the way there we heard a chickadee chirping. Simon spotted our next LIFER, Chestnut-backed Chickadee. We took a bunch of shots and never before have I seen a chickadee sit in one spot of such a long time. 

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Next we headed to Sauvie Island and found Wapato State Access Area and nothing new there just Hooded Meransers, Canada Geese, Ring-necked Ducks, Pintails, and some chickadees. We got three lifers that day; Varied Thrush, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and Red-breasted Sapsucker. Sunday we headed to the coastline of Portland and that will be my next blog post. 

When we got back to our truck Simon took the dogs out and spotted a Barn Owl flying off as it was startled my the dogs! Simon rushed back to get the camera and me, we looked in the freezing cold for the owl for about 30 minutes. We found nothing. Later on that evening we went out again and saw the Barn Owl!! We took some shots of it and came back to upload them and nothing! The SDCard failed and the pictures were gone...needless to say I'm not using that card anymore! Simon went back out in search for the Owl but nothing. 

Sunday after returning from the coast we went back out there and spotted the owl again and got some shots but not too good, but we could tell without a doubt it was a Barn Owl. Another lifer!! 


  1. Congrats on all your lifers! That is impressive. I only ever get one or two a year any more because we can't leave the farm, but your score is impressive.

  2. Thank you! It's so awesome to see new birds!!