Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Warrior Rock Trail at Sauvie Is

With most of Sauvie Island being shut down for the winter, on the 4th of October I went out to my favorite hike on the island, the always open Warrior Rock Lighthouse Trail.  They did some work on a few of the ponds near the trail.  Not sure what they were trying to do, but the result is a few marshy areas to check for shorebirds.

From the parking lot at the very end of Reeder Rd, walk out along the trail, You will see the ponds through the trees.  I take one of the short roads over to the ponds edge.

Mudflats with a few Killdeer and a Northern Flicker.

This Savannah Sparrow refused to turn its head towards me, nice flocks of sparrows were working the small newly planted trees in between the ponds.

I thought this was a Lesser Yellowlegs when I first saw it, but decided bill was too long and head too big.  Seemed in between as to bill length.  Breast was streakier rather than plain, size was hard to judge. More obvious eye-ring. So Greater Yellowlegs.

Wilson's Snipe. As far as I can tell, the best way to tell this bird from a Common Snipe is that Wilson's have darker underwings and a narrower white trailing edge to the secondaries.  Wilson's Snipe have two narrow outer tail feathers and Common Snipe have two fewer tail feathers and the outer feathers are broader, so its winnowing sound is lower. Pin-tailed Snipe are more round, paler, less obvious back streaks with a smaller bill.  Jack Snipe have streaks on the side rather than bars and are smaller with shorter bill.

Sandhill Crane mate for life and the young follow the parents south.  Sandhills take 2.5 years to gain full adult plumage aspect and may not breed until 7 years old.  They live well into their twenties.   So, it is kind of fun to see this new family of Sandhill Cranes arrive on their wintering grounds (or will they keep going south?).

The red on a Sandhill Crane are not feathers but a skin patch.  This is a parent standing next to its feeding non-redheaded  youngsters.  The brown on adult is from mud they use to clean the feathers.  I am not sure if the youngsters are brown from mud or plumage.

The trail has numerous trees with these webs in them.  Are these spiders or moths?  Always hoping to find a cuckoo spot.

Thanks for the visit.

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