Nice Pecs

Last weekend we headed to the coast and the birding and air quality were so bad that we took only a single photo.
 The "view" from Cascade Head

This weekend we stuck closer to home and went looking for shorebirds at Tualatin River NWR. The nice thing about birding somewhere that isn't tidally influenced is that you can eat coffeecake for breakfast first and take your time getting there.

The ponds had much more water in them than we'd seen in recent years, but with a nice ring of mud at the edges.

We scanned the ponds, finding lots of waterfowl, phalaropes, and a few peeps, before finally setting eyes on our target bird: Pectoral Sandpiper. These shorebirds look like a bigger, chunkier Least Sandpiper, but move more like a yellowlegs, covering a lot of ground while actively feeding. They favor the drier mud up into the vegetation, which is exactly where we found this one and its buddy.

Photo taken with Celestron scope and iPhone adapter.

The refuge was surprisingly birdy for late August, and before we left we had great fly-bys from both an American Bittern and a Peregrine Falcon. As we walked the dike back to the Visitor Center, I gazed wistfully into a duckweedy canal and said to Max: "Looks a great place for a Green Heron." Then I turned to look at the other side of the canal and saw this little guy scrambling down the culvert.
                           Green Heron photo taken with iPhone

Once we got a better look, we realized this was a juvenile Green Heron, which might be why it tucked up a foot and chilled out instead of flying away. The spotting on the wings is a good fieldmark for telling the ages apart.

Green Heron photo taken with Celestron scope and iPhone adapter

You can see why I'm happier with our new photography setup every time we go out. You can even make out the duckweed on its stubby little leg! Hoping for more photos of this quality in the future.


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