Monday, May 25, 2009

Wood Ducks on Memorial Day

We witnessed the most amazing thing this morning!!! Right from our own backyard!
We saw the female woodduck going in and out of the nest box Chuck built for her in February.
We had seen her flying in the box at the end of April for the first time.
Here she is flying into the box.
Now she is on her way back out of the box.
She was doing this over and over so we knew something was up. From what I have read - when she is on the eggs she will only come out a couple times a day to feed.
She is in the pond calling to her chicks to come out of the nest box.

The chick is peeking out of the box.

Another one.

At one day old - they take that flying leap to their mother.


We saw about ten of them jump.

They were swimming in the pond afterwards, but we decided to leave them alone as not to scare them away.
And Chuck thought the box was just to make me happy - boy did it ever!!!!!

A video of the female going into the nest box one last time before coming out and calling the young ducklings to join her.

A video capturing the last one coming out.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend in the Gorge

We took a couple days in the Columbia Gorge this weekend. The weather was beautiful and we saw quite a few birds. We were hiking up a hill at the mouth of Cascade Locks and an osprey flew right over us with his dinner in his talons. He has the fish positioned for the least wind resistance. I located the Western Tanager at Memaloose Overlook on the way to Rowena Crest.

We saw the female in town at The Dallas.

This was one of the many beautiful flowers that were in full bloom.

We ended up seeing so many birds that I really don't recall seeing before. In the past I didn't stop to identify the birds like we do today. So we might have seen them before, but just didn't know it. Some of the highlights are: Western bluebird, Bullock's Oriole, Black Headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, and cliff swallows.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

American Goldfinch

I have a movie of the goldfinches in our yard. The quality is not as good as the movie I have on my computer, but you can see the quantity of birds.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Critter on the back deck today!

I saw a new critter this morning by the hot tub. He saw me while he was probably hunting a rabbit or other small mammal. In the last picture you can see the long tail which leads me to believe that he is a long-tailed weasel. When I spotted him I had to decide between grabbing the camera or finding Chuck out in the garage. You can see the route I choose...Here he is ready to pounce.
This was the first encounter!