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Friday, December 23, 2011

Three Snowy Mountains and a Snow Bunting

We made it down to Portland for the upcoming holidays, and yesterday we got out to Sauvie Island to go birding. In addition to the thousands and thousands of Canada and cackling geese, another thousand snow geese, and lots of mallards and coot, some other highlights included four redheads, three canvasback, more than a hundred sandhill cranes, and a flock of about 50 western meadowlarks. In the crisp, cool weather, the views were also awesome, with all three nearby mountains visible.

Mt. Adams with some sandhill cranes in the foreground (click to see a larger view)
Mt. Hood with a flock of cackling geese in the foreground
Mt. Saint Helens, famous for its eruption in May 1980
Then, after visiting with my niece and nephew for a while today, I had time to check out nearby Broughton Beach where a snow bunting has been hanging out. Sure enough, there he was! It didn't seem like a very nice place to be hanging out - essentially a gravel parking lot right by the airport runway - but then again I don't know much about what pleases a snow bunting (year bird 203).

I had borrowed my dad's scope and also hoped to relocate the tufted duck in the Columbia River just across the street from where the snow bunting was hanging out. 204 would put me in a tie with Dave in our year list competition, but the big flock of hundreds of scaup was on the other side of the river with their head's tucked in, leaving no chance of picking out a tuft on the back of one's head. There's still a week left to go in 2011 - surely that will be enough time for me to pick up one or two more species? Only time will tell!


Christian Bastiaansen said...

Hey Monica
It are very nice Photo`s
Whe hope you andjoy your trip
And a very nice christmas
Greetings From Chris from the Netherlands!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Nice snow bunting, not had had one yet. Do you think you'll get the tufty? - look for the very dark back and contrasting white flank should pick-out-able even if asleep.

Can't believe it's 31 years since I was watching Mt St Helens on the telly!!!! Crikey where does time go???

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year


PS still a week to go!

Andy said...

Merry Christmas

eileeninmd said...

Pretty scenes and I just love the Snow Bunting! MERRY Christmas to you and your family!!

Patricia Lichen said...

Is it just me or does "Three snowy mountains and a snow bunting" sound like it should be part of The 12 days of Christmas song?

Happy holidays & happy end of the year sightings!