Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sandy River Winter Passerines

On Wednesday and then again today (11/14/15) Huck and  I went out to hunt through my favorite patch of winter passerine habitat in the Portland area.  It is a patch of weeds, trees, and blackberries along the Columbia River at the Sandy River Delta.

Here is a map I created a few years ago for the area. A link is available on the Birding Oregon web site under Multnomah County, Sandy River Delta.

The area I like for winter passerines is the orange rectangle on the east side of meadows.

If you go to the Sandy River, be sure to go all the way out to the east side.

 I spotted a nice Merlin flying over the open meadows.

From a distance, Merlin might be confused with Sharp-shinned Hawks, but note the long wings coming down almost to the tail. Simply noting the short wings of an accipiter will eliminate most other raptors.

They have been redesigning the wetlands out on the east side of the delta.  They also planted trees in some areas.  This ditch was enlarged to provide better drainage.

This is the upriver end of my passerine hunt, I walk back down through this brush on an old trail, heading down river to the observation deck area.  I cut out to the river across from Gary Island where I can to check for ducks and if any birds are in the willows.

This little ditch was packed with Song Sparrows, Lincoln Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and Golden-crowned Sparrows.

It is easy to pish out a few Fox Sparrows, actually I do not pish them I give a little click like their contact call and that brings them right out to the top of the brush.

A small flock of Lesser Goldfinch were in the area. I had some flyover American as well.

A noisy flock of Pine Siskins were feasting on the same seeds as the goldfinch.

First-winter White-crowned Sparrow (pugetensis)

Lots of Golden-crowned in area.

Hairy Woodpecker

Red-winged  Blackbird

Very tough getting a shot of a Golden-crowned Kinglet out in the open.

This is the Red-tailed Hawk  that posed for Sibley's book cover.

I'll find a good bird along this area sometime soon.

Birds seen on Wednesday:

Cackling Goose  15
Canada Goose  5
Mallard  3
Hooded Merganser  3
Double-crested Cormorant  3
Great Blue Heron  1
Greater Yellowlegs  2
gull sp.  25     seen on bar far out in river, probably mix of Cals and Mews
Belted Kingfisher  2
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
Merlin  1
Black-capped Chickadee  6
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  3
Bushtit  8
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Pacific Wren  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3
Varied Thrush  1
European Starling  1000
Fox Sparrow  5
Dark-eyed Junco  25
White-crowned Sparrow  8
Golden-crowned Sparrow  8
Savannah Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  9
Lincoln's Sparrow  3
Spotted Towhee  4
Red-winged Blackbird  3
Western Meadowlark  20
House Finch  7

Birds seen on Saturday:

Cackling/Canada Goose  30
Green-winged Teal  3
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Horned Grebe  2
Double-crested Cormorant  50
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  1
California Gull  3
Belted Kingfisher  2
Downy Woodpecker  3
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2

Merlin 1
Black-capped Chickadee  30
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  5
Bushtit  25
White-breasted Nuthatch  3
Brown Creeper  10
Pacific Wren  3
Golden-crowned Kinglet  14
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  7
Varied Thrush  2
European Starling  25
Fox Sparrow  4
Dark-eyed Junco  35
White-crowned Sparrow  5
Golden-crowned Sparrow  29
Song Sparrow  20
Lincoln's Sparrow  5
Spotted Towhee  7
Red-winged Blackbird  4
House Finch  6
Pine Siskin  40
Lesser Goldfinch  20

Thanks for visiting and Vive la France.

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