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I Saw a Black Bear!

July 29, 2015

Steider Studios.Flicker

I’ve had several fun adventures lately, but today I have to share how fun my own ‘back yard’ is.  I knew I was going to have a great hike when a Northern Flicker landed right in front of me as I headed out!

Steider Studios.Pileated Woodpecker

Meandering along the path I noted it was fairly quiet ~ yesterday the forest was filled with the sound of woodpeckers…..

Steider Studios.American Tree Sparrow

….and little Tree Sparrows chatting to each other,

Steider Studios.Tree Sparrow feeding.7.29.15

parents still bringing food to babes.

Steider Studios.Clarks Nutcracker

I was also thrilled when a Clark’s Nutcracker flew into a pine tree on the bluff ~ I watched him as long as he let me.

Steider Studios.Lazuli Bunting.7.29.15

Today when I arrived at my destination I watched a flock of Lazuli Buntings!

Steider Studios.Lazuli Bunting female.7.29.15

It was amazing to see them here.  Staying in the shadows, I crept closer hoping to get a better shot.

Steider Studios.I Saw A Bear

My dog, usually passive by my side while I photograph suddenly alerted.  She didn’t bark but was insistent, so I tried to see what she was so intent on.  Suddenly a black bear slowly ran behind the trees about 25 feet away.  I froze, my heart pounding with a bit of fear, but I was thrilled and awe-struck.  The sun made his fur glisten and I thought about lifting my camera, but I didn’t want to miss a second of watching him.  If I had, the above is what it would probably look like!

Steider Studios.Bee on Dandelion.7.28.15

I have NEVER been more alert on my way home from a hike.  Yesterday I leisurely hiked home stopping for this bee, but not today…..

Steider Studios.Goldfinch Babes in Bath

Back home an abundance of sweet little fledglings take advantage of my bird bath.  American Goldfinch siblings above.

Steider Studios.Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak just out of the bath.

Sweet, serene, and fun to watch.  Did I say I saw A BEAR today?  I DID!!  I am giddy with excitement that I saw him!!


Steider Studios.Pileated Woodpecker in Snag.6.21.14

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!

Steider Studios.Rufous Sided Towhee with Baby

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.

Steider Studios.Rufous Sided Towhee from Back

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!

Steider Studios.Baby Evening Grosbeak.6.21.14

Near the old tree I kept seeing a flash of brilliant yellow.  A baby Evening grosbeak!

Steider Studios.Lark Sparrow.6.21.14

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!

Steider Studios.What is this caterpillar

I noticed this cocoon with emerging caterpillar type bugs on the rose bush I was using for a blind.   Anyone know what it is?

Steider Studios.Sleepy Squirrel

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.

Steider Studios.Hairy Woodpecker.6.21.14

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!

Steider Studios.Red-breasted Sapsucker on Snag.6.21.14

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.

Steider Studios.Yellow-rumped 'Audubon's' Warbler

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.

Steider Studios.Pileated Woodpecker on Snag.6.21.14

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!!

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