Sunday, March 16, 2014

Motorless March

A few months ago, our blogging friend Jen inspired us to start a motorless birding list for 2014. This is list will include all of the bird species we see while traveling from our house without the aid of an internal combustion engine. These lists have been the rage of eco-minded birders for several years, but we'd resisted the idea because of the geography of our neighborhood. We have plenty of trees and songbirds, but there is not much water or wetlands around here to attract waterfowl and fish-eating birds. We have only one bike between the two of us, so we figured that building a good motorless list would require some long hikes.

We took our first big motorless hike on Tuesday afternoon. We left Multnomah Village and headed west down Vermont Road, crossed Oleson Blvd, and continued on to the Oregon Episcopal School Wetlands in Beaverton.

 
This pond, two miles from us as the Merlin flies, is the closest that we know of and it did not disappoint.

 
We found dabbling and diving ducks, a kingfisher, a heron, and the first Turkey Vulture and Tree Swallows of the year. The biggest surprise was a White-breasted Nuthatch, a species we usually only see near large oak trees.

We added 17 species to our motorless list, so the hike was a big success. Next, we'll see if we can find the Willamette River.

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