Thanksgiving week birds

Sarah and I have a lot to be thankful for, including a great week of Oregon birding.

On Tuesday we took what will probably be our last trip to eastern Oregon this year. We drove from Portland to La Grande and back to see a Red-bellied Woodpecker, the first confirmed record of this species in the state.

It took about two minutes of searching to find her working her way up a large cottonwood trunk.

We then checked out the small town of Cove to look for another typically eastern bird, a Blue Jay, that had been hanging around. We failed to find the jay, but on our way out of town Sarah spotted a bump on a willow branch and we pulled over to get it in the scope.

 A Great Horned Owl! Sarah won the eagle-eye award for the day.

We had also hoped to see American Tree Sparrows, so we drove along Peach Road to the Ladd Marsh Wildlife area.
We were able to spend  several minutes watching a pair pick through the gravel of a parking area. A great way to end a successful day of birding!

After two days of cooking and eating, we resumed birding on Friday. We didn't need to leave our house to find the first cool bird.

An immature Cooper's Hawk perched near our feeder, keeping it free from songbirds and squirrels.

After watching the hawk, we took a trip to Dawson Creek Park before watching the Oregon vs.Oregon State football game with Sarah's family.

We finally saw the Rusty Blackbird that has been there for nearly a month.

 Also at the park: a Hooded Merganser drake swam with his blurry-headed hen,

a pair of Wood Ducks perched on a rail,

a Great Blue Heron slept in a Doug-fir,

and an Acorn Woodpecker investigated a cavity in a birch tree.

It was nice to spend some time outside before the rain returns.

Go Ducks!


  1. Hahaha that last photo/caption is hilarious... Nice eastern OR finds! I was tempted by the woodpecker, but have fought the urge so far.


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