Young birds everywhere

Last Saturday was forecast to be the coolest day in a long time, and it delivered with fresh breezes and our first chance to use the windshield wipers in months. We took advantage and headed down to check out late summer birds at a few refuges. We found a lot of young birds of all kinds.

 We brought along both our old scope and our shiny new Celestron one. (Thanks again, Celestron!) After some initial sibling rivalry, they're getting along quite well.

At Ankeny NWR, Eagle Marsh was full of Canada Geese and brown ducks. A few distant shorebirds were puttering around, but the backlighting was awful.

 Some stripy, young Pied-billed Grebes were diving in the marsh. I still get excited to have breeding grebes in northwestern Oregon, since most of them are on the east side of the state.

 This splotchy, immature Bald Eagle sat in this tree the whole time we were there, but the other birds just ignored it.

 Wood Ducks, living up to their name.

Swallows were everywhere! These young tree swallows seemed to enjoy constantly displacing each other from their perches.

We headed north to Baskett Slough in search of closer birds. Along the way we drove through rain showers and stopped in Independence, OR for snacks at the Ovenbird Bakery

Black-necked Stilts are regular breeders at Baskett Slough, and they were all over the place. This one must have a very strong core. It seemed to defy gravity on one impossibly skinny leg.

This stilt hunkered down on its ankles for awhile before lowering down to the mud for a short rest. More stilts kept flying in and riling everyone up, so no one stayed in one place for long.

The young bird party continued with a busy pair of Wilson's Phalaropes. This shot can't really capture their nonstop motion.

The last bird to show up was a little Semipalmated Plover. It posed cooperatively for a plover comparison shot with a Killdeer.

The cloudy coolness was a nice break from the broiler-like weather we've been having, but the dark skies didn't make for great phone-scope photography, at least that's my excuse. Can't wait to bring our Celestron gear out for more "fall" shorebirding.


  1. wasn't the cool and rain wonderful? Glad you got to take advantage!!

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