IDAHO - OREGON - CALIFORNIA
July / August 2014
From Utah we passed through Idaho with a couple of quick stops. The first was at Heyburn where we stayed at a wonderful campground right on the Snake River. From the campground we saw some very cool hydroplane races. See our travel pages for more.
Despite the ruckus we also saw some nice birds there and at Lake Lowell NWR. Belted Kingfisher, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, first-of-year Black-billed Magpie, Franklin's Gull, Osprey, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Cedar Waxwing, Bullock's Oriole, Common Nighthawk, Northern Harrier, and American White Pelicans were some of the nicer specimens.
Western Scrub Jay
From Boardman we moved west along the Columbia River stopping first near The Dalles at Memaloose St. Pk. We had a wonderful hike along the Riverwalk Trail in The Dalles where we spied this nest.
Next we moved onto Salem, Oregon where we stayed with our good college buddy, Dave Donofrio. From his waterfront home on the Willamette River we took a fabulous ride on "Frio's" river boat several miles up river until we started bouncing off the bottom. Along the way we saw Great Blue Herons, Western Wood Pewee, Osprey, Steller's Jay, and these nice birds too.
Frio's amazing White Pigeons
Dave had a most interesting hobby taking care of his pure white flock of around 30 Homing Pigeons. At first his neighbors weren't so sure but they now fully embrace the beautiful birds as they circle about their homes.
From Salem we ventured further west to the Pacific Ocean Coast where we stayed in Yachats, Oregon right on the ocean. Did I mention that we are water people? We constantly seem to be drawn to the sea.
In Yachats we began to see many new shore and sea birds for the year. Whimbrel, Pigeon Guillemot, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper, Brown Pelican, Black Scoter and the following birds were among them.
Common Murre in flight
Common Murre nest site
The streaks on the belly threw me a bit but finally became convinced this is a young White-crowned Sparrow
The United States National Bird.
Working our way south along the Pacific we utilized the Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide for help on where to go. Generally we had mixed results following the guide but it did take us to several beautiful places.
From Coos Bay we ventured to the John Dellenback Dunes Trail where we had good looks at Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Olive Sided Flycatcher, Wrentit, Marsh Wren, Orange-crowned Warbler, Black Oystercatcher and more.
Next we entered Oregon...our main objective for the Summer.
Despite living in Western Washington for 27 years we had never properly explored the Columbia River and Oregon Coast well so this was our chance.
First up was a Campground on the Columbia River in Boardman. From there we visited Umatilla NWR where I managed to add my 5th lifer of the year... a Grasshopper Sparrow.
The dominant Gull of the northwest coast... Western Gull
On a day trip from Yachats to the adorable town of Florence, OR we "captured" the following shots....
Further South we birded Port Orford Heads St. Pk.
From the rocky bluffs we perused an active shoreline.
Just inland we found other nice birds such as Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Cedar Waxwing and the assortment shown below...
White Crowned Sparrow
Red Crossbill male and female
Continuing south along the Pacific we entered CALIFORNIA on the first of August. On a gloomy wet day we visited the Humbolt Bay NWR.
Black Phoebe, Wilson's Warbler, Downey Woodpecker, Perigrine Falcon, and a wonderful White-tailed Kite were among the highlights we discovered.
A soggy Song Sparrow
In early August I joined my family for the 2014 "Chapmen" camping trip at Juniper Lake in Mt. Lassen National PK. Focused mostly on brotherhood with a lot of frisbee golf and hiking thrown in I didn't have my camera out much. However we did see Clark's Nutcracker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Band Tailed Pigeon, Bushtit and last-but-not-least another lifer for the trip. Sooty Grouse.
From Lassen I rejoined Deborah and we arrived at Lake Tahoe, CA on 8/14/14. I spent many of my formative winters and summers around this still pristine lake. See travel pages for more.
After a week at Zion NP where son J.C. and grandson Carter joined us we headed back home to for the winter.
Coming up... the last entry for 2014 will be a few shots from Deborah's and my back yard in Mesa.