Sunday Birding on the Deschutes River
November 10, 2015
Another wonderful day with the Columbia Gorge birding group ~ this month we went to the mouth of the Deschutes River. We decided to walk along the west bank starting at the Heritage Boat landing, but failed to get that message to some of our people, so had to wave at each other across the river. It turned out good though, because collectively we were able to see both the west and east sides of the river. Yes, I like a positive spin!!
One of the first sightings was an American Kestrel on a utility pole wire stretching its wings.
We saw plenty of waterfowl swimming and fishing, including this Bufflehead pair. Light rain and clouds made lighting along the river not as optimum as I’d like.
Much discussion whether this was a Barrow’s or Common Goldeneye. I believe it was settled as a Barrow’s.
We saw Common Mergansers in several spots – lucky us the sun came out for a bit.
I always love finding a Great Blue Heron. Instead of a close up, I want to share his gorgeous environment.
A Spotted Sandpiper was discovered, apparently staying a little longer than usual in our area.
The Downey Woodpecker in this mullein flew off JUST as I focused! He really was there. Really. I saw him.
We saw several Northern Flickers frolicking in the shrubs…or perhaps working for food.
Here’s an American Kestrel in flight. He was really too far away for a good shot but I have to try!
A Bewick’s Wren came in and out of view in thick brush as we traveled a path heading upriver.
Several little birds were seen in the same thicket area including Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets; Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows and this Yellow Bird that I think is a Goldfinch but it could be a Warbler.
We saw several American Robins in trees, and large groups of them flying overhead.
A Song Sparrow munching his way through sage and thistle seed heads.
We all thought this large tree trunk lying near the path was fascinating. Color, texture, size ~ it was impressive.
Several in our group watched 3 Otters playing in the river for a few minutes. I had a shrub blocking most of my view, so vignetted this image a bit to showcase the one otter that I saw a little better. See him? Gray critter against a gray rock in the gray river (towards the bottom right side).
I think I caught another Song Sparrow, but I can always use help naming my sparrows!
Back at Heritage Boat Landing, I spotted a Western Grebe fishing. What is that on his neck?!! He was in a fight, or potential prey or maybe a fish bigger than him gave him a run for his money!
I also saw a Green-winged Teal swimming with Mallards. Why do they never swim toward me?
As we stood in the parking lot, saying goodbye we watched a Black-billed Magpie in the tree across from us.
The Deschutes River always has something of interest, it’s a favorite place of mine. If I have wrong identification on any of these birds, I’d appreciate your correction. Next month, we’ll head to Drano Lake!