Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Christmas Bird Chase and a Christmas Bird Count

Portland did not see a White Christmas this year, but Sarah and I compensated by finding a snow bunting on Christmas Day.

After brunching at her grandparents' house, we drove to the north side of the Portland Airport.

We pulled into a small parking area, rolled down our windows, and watched the Snow Bunting (possibly a Snow x McKay's Bunting hybrid) eat weed seeds for several minutes. Easiest bird chase ever! The bunting is in the lower right corner of the photo.

Two days later, we woke at 5:30 am and drove to the Willamette Valley town of Dallas, Oregon to assist their Christmas Bird Count.

With the help of a semi-local birder, Sarah and I drove our Subaru around our assigned sectors, which consisted of upland fields,

foggy hilltops,

and a few streams with nice bridges.

We found a friendly donkey and 53 species of birds. Of these species, two-thirds were songbirds.

Our songbird success pushed the overall count total above 100 species, a nice feat considering the stormy weather and relatively low number of participants.

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