Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fifteenmile Creek, Mt Hood Nat Forest

On Sunday Sep 13, 2015,  I went out to Fifteenmile Creek to see what migrants I could find.  I have been to this area earlier in the year.  I was curious to see what birds would still be there.  Below is a map showing how to get to the lower portion of the creek.  The gravel road to the trailhead is passable in any small SUV type car.  A car with low ground clearance might not make it over a few bumps.  This is a beautiful area of open oak woods that merge into a mixed fir forest as you climb in elevation.

Here is my bird list from earlier this summer (June 7th).

Lower Fifteenmile Ck from 4421 up to trail interchange., Wasco, Oregon, US
Jun 7, 2015 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
6.0 mile(s)
Comments:     first .8 mi is oak woodland, then mixed evergreen forest
33 species

Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Williamson's Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  3
Western Wood-Pewee  11
Hammond's Flycatcher  3
Cassin's Vireo  1
Warbling Vireo  7
Gray Jay  2
Steller's Jay  2
Common Raven  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  11
Red-breasted Nuthatch  9
House Wren  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  5
Hermit Thrush  6
American Robin  6
Nashville Warbler  5
MacGillivray's Warbler  3
Common Yellowthroat  4
Yellow Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3
Black-throated Gray Warbler  2
Hermit Warbler  7
Wilson's Warbler  1
Dark-eyed Junco  7
Song Sparrow  3
Spotted Towhee  4
Western Tanager  4
Black-headed Grosbeak  2
Cassin's Finch  1

Here is what I found on Sunday.  I was bummed I did not see more migrant warblers.  There are a few springs along the trail.  Fox Sparrows were the only  migrant at these spots.

Lower Fifteenmile Ck from 4421 up to trail interchange., Wasco, Oregon, US
Sep 13, 2015 9:15 AM - 2:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
7.0 mile(s)
Comments:     75 degrees, slight breeze in canyon, partly cloudy
18 species

Turkey Vulture  1
Bald Eagle  1
Northern Flicker  7
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Steller's Jay  4
Common Raven  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  9
Red-breasted Nuthatch  17
Golden-crowned Kinglet  34
Swainson's Thrush  1
Hermit Thrush  3
American Robin  6
Black-throated Gray Warbler  1
Fox Sparrow  10
Dark-eyed Junco  12
Golden-crowned Sparrow  4
Song Sparrow  2
House Finch  3

I have been to this are before,  Here is link for a report on the upper portion of creek from the campground down to the trail interchange.  Fifteenmile Creek Hikes

The view along the final stretch of road to the trailhead.  A very pleasant day. I was hoping for some migrants here as well, all quiet on this day.

The main wildlife seen.  Lots of lizards in the oak woods.  
Numerous deer in canyon as well.

These stretches of the trail were where the Fox Sparrows were hanging out.

Fox Sparrow

I thought this was a Swainson's Thrush when I first saw it, no bright tail. But after I looked at it with binoculars I thought it was a first-year Hermit Thrush.  It looked very two-toned, with gray upperparts and brown wings, very gray flanks, lacking a strong facial pattern.  Breast lacks a buffy background, black spots and black throat stripe.  Base of bill looked more pinkish than yellow as an adult would show.

That pale spot in the lores is what made me think Swainson's.  But note it is not continuous with the eyering. 

I wonder if these photos show the emarginated primaries mentioned here: Thrushes

The emargination proves it to be Swainson's or Hermit.  The P6 emargination is on Hermit not Swainson's.  I could see this with my binoculars. Would love to know if these are numbered correctly.

Any comments welcomed.

The bridge where the trails meet, about 3.2 miles from parking spot on lower trail.  It is about 5 miles from here to the Fifteenmile Ck Campground (all up hill, some steep areas).

The beautiful Fifteenmile Creek, it drains off the east side of Lookout Mt.

With the lack of birds, I decided to start trying to document all the non bird calls that can have you scratching your head in Mt Hood Nat Forest..  When I first started documenting areas of Mt Hood, this beast had me wondering what bird I was hearing. When these are calling slowly, they can be tricky. 

Thanks for visiting.

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