First Day of Summer ~A Hike Through My Forest
June 21, 2014
I woke to a gorgeous Summer Solstice in the Columbia River Gorge & decided to stay close to home today with a hike out my back door. As I grabbed my gear I saw a Pileated Woodpecker in the snag across from my deck – a good omen!
There’s a bird magnet in the form of a crippled old tree at the top of Burdoin Mountain that I like to watch. The first birds I saw there this morning – a baby Rufous-sided Towhee and it’s parent screeching at him to take cover.
When the babe was safely tucked away the parent came back out to keep his eye on me. I decided to take better cover & crept behind a wild rose bush. I am loving my new Tamron 150 – 600 mm lens and how much closer I can zoom in on birds and wildlife!
Near the old tree I kept seeing a flash of brilliant yellow. A baby Evening grosbeak!
Then this little Lark Sparrow showed up, a bird I’ve only seen a couple of times! Instead of hauling my tripod with me I decided to convert it into a monopod since I hadn’t done that yet. My camera with a long lens gets quite heavy & it’s easier for me to rest it on my tripod when a bird actually ‘poses’ for me. The monopod worked out great once I got used to it!
I noticed this cocoon with emerging caterpillar type bugs on the rose bush I was using for a blind. Anyone know what it is?
Decided I didn’t want those bugs to land on me, so I headed back into the forest & found this little guy looking like he was napping. With his eyes open.
I love this section of Burdoin Mtn – I’m surrounded by tall trees that I can stand next to and watch for birds. This is the area where wood-pecking birds hang out. A hairy woodpecker flew from tree to tree, then landed on this snag & posed for a fraction of a second!
I love these colorful Red-breasted Sapsuckers – they’re quieter than the woodpeckers but easier to spot because of their red heads. He came by later with a beak filled with bugs and I thought I heard the sounds of babies nearby, but did not see a nest.
This little bird was a first sighting for me – my best guess is Yellow-rumped ‘Audubon’s’ Warbler. I don’t remember hearing his song, just that he swooped in on the snag where the woodpecker had just been.
I thought it fitting as I left the forest & headed up my path home, a Pileated Woodpecker appeared again! He was halfway up the tree before I could get my camera ready. I need to practice my ‘quick draw’ more!!
Yesterday I went to Conboy National Wildlife Refuge and posted my photos from that adventure on my Facebook Page if you’d like to take a look.
Monday I have a date with Columbia River birds and Tuesday I’ll be back up at Conboy. I LOVE summer!!