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Saturday, January 22, 2011

K5 Sighting

This morning after breakfast I did my last birding in the Portland area for the month, since tomorrow I'll be heading back up to San Juan Island. We birded in north Portland, starting out near the Expo Center where we found a great horned owl (97) sitting in a nest in some cottonwood trees. You couldn't see the whole owl, but through the scope you could see one of the eyes (looking right at you!) and both ear tufts. It was pretty amazing.

Along the Columbia River we had a sighting of K5. No, not K5 Sealth, the orca member of K-Pod that was last seen 1991, but K5, the banded red-tailed hawk:

This red-tailed hawk was caught in September 2010 at the Portland Airport and relocated south to near Eugene, Oregon, with the hopes that it could find a home elsewhere and thus avoid potentially flying into an airplane. Despite being moved more than 100 miles away, K5 found its way right back to PDX and has been seen there regularly since then. They ask that you report sightings of this bird, or any hawks with orange wing bands, to

While we didn't see any of the short-eared owls that others have seen near Broughton Beach occasionally, I did find a California gull (98) in with a small flock of glaucous-winged and ring-billed gulls:

Despite scanning raft after raft of scaup, we also didn't find the tufted duck, though the fact that many of them were greater scaup (99) helped make up for that fact:

I wasn't quite able to turn up that 100th species today, but I'm poised to do so on the drive up tomorrow with a slight detour to hopefully find some snow geese and trumpeter swans, plus the birding from the ferry should turn up a species or two as well. My next report will be coming from San Juan Island again for the first time in more than a month!


Kate said...

BEautiful pictures. It really is good to see you...have a great trip to San Juan Island.

Dave Wenning said...

Monica, there have been several trumpeter swans along Best Road in Skagit County, between the La Conner turn and Christianson's Nursery. I think you know where that is. Take Fir Island Road and continue onto Best Road. They're either Trumpeters or Tundra Swans, hard to tell driving by.

Monika said...

Dave - Thank you! Fir Island was my birding detour on my way up here today, and I got the trumpeter swan, as well as a northern shrike at the end of Rawlins Road.

Monika said...

PS From the places I stopped they seemed like mostly trumpeters - strange about the lack of snow geese though!

Dave Wenning said...

I haven't seen the snow geese lately either. There were huge numbers of them around New Year's. They may have moved up to the Fraser delta for a while. After all the rain we've had the Fir Island fields are very wet and they may not like that.