Counting Raptors in Klickitat County
November 25, 2015
I signed on for a route in Audubon’s Winter Raptor Survey. My route is basically along Hwy 14 between Bingen and Dallesport along the Columbia River. The first run yielded my first ever sighting of a Prairie Falcon!!
I expected to find Red-tailed Hawks, and did find six of them.
Non resident Eagles are returning to the Gorge ~ I found these four in one snag and six more along the river.
I also counted three American Kestrels, but not close enough for a good shot. This shot is from Sauvie Island in January.
The following day broke with a beautiful clear blue sky so I followed my route hoping to recreate my photos with better light and composition. Alas I saw no eagles, but the Klickitat River was gorgeous.
And on a little side trip I found a Northern Shrike across the road from the entrance to Balfour Park! Told this is a rare sighting, I ‘penned’ my first entry into ebird.org. He is a hatch-year (1st winter ~ thanks to my friend Cathy for that info!)
I love these little birds and couldn’t believe how close they allowed me to get. This is a male Lesser Goldfinch.
The day before my route I’d gone looking for eagles with my friend Carolyn. Although we didn’t see eagles that day, we found tons of Lewis’s Woodpeckers, one of my favorites!!
We watched a heron fishing on ‘golden pond’ from afar.
A Cormorant flew by pretty close!
And we saw a lot of Ruby-crowned Kinglets! See his Ruby Crown?!!
He’s a bit blurred, too fast for me to keep up with his movement, but I wanted to show you his front too!
In spite of only finding Bald eagles on my official ‘Raptor Count Day’, we saw many beautiful birds including a Kingfisher, Wood Ducks, Robins, and Meadowlarks. It’s always a good day driving through the Gorge.