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birdwatching day at Smith and Bybee Lakes, Jan 28, 2012

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It was 33 degrees this morning when I left to go out to Smith and Bybee Lakes. It was 41 by the time I got home, so it warmed up considerably while I was there. It was a nice day, partly hazy, partly clear. There was absolutely no wind. Completely still. It was very quite out there today.

We’ve recently had a light snow, then the snow melted, followed by days of downpour. So Portland has a lot of water in it right now. Our rivers are really high. Smith and Bybee Lakes were totally overflowing. There was so much water there.

I like to take pictures from the same spots each time I visit, in order to really document the changes that happen over the year. I could not even get out to Smith Lake. The path was so flooded over. So I got some pictures of the flooded out path, but was not able to take pictures of Smith Lake like previous.

As I was standing there gaping at all the water, two Bald Eagles flew overhead. They soared by, then separated, then both disappeared behind trees.  As I walked down the road towards the path to Bybee, I spied a Red Tailed Hawk up in a tree. So I stopped and watched him awhile. He then took flight over to another tree, and there was one of the Bald Eagles sitting in that tree.  The Hawk and the Eagle “cacked” and wing-flapped at each other a bit. The Eagle stayed put, and the Hawk ended up perching on the a branch on the other side of the same tree. Their backs were to each other, about 10-15 feet apart. Each looking out in the opposite direction.

Most of the waterfowl out there today were mallards, coots, and wood ducks. I saw a totally strange duck in a group of mallards. It looked like a mallard, except that it had a huge, uneven white patch on its front chest, up its neck a bit, partially on its face. I don’t know if that was some sort of albino-ism, or birth-mark type of anomoly.  I saw quite a few duck pairs flying overhead, but I can’t identify them like that.

I also saw a large flock of what looked like house finches. Except that none of them had any red on them. I thought the males always had some red, even during non-mating season. I found it odd none of them had red. Unless the females tend to flock together without males at this time of year. ?? I have no idea. If anyone knows please let me know. Or maybe it wasn’t a house finch at all, and something else that I’ve never seen. I’ve gone thru my bird books and don’t know what else it could be.

Bird list for today:

  • coot
  • bald eagle
  • red tailed hawk
  • golden crowned sparrow
  • canada goose
  • mallard plus weird mallard
  • gadwall
  • american wigeon
  • scrub jay
  • song sparrow
  • red winged blackbird
  • towhee
  • cedar waxwing
  • chickadee
  • heard a kingfisher constantly. kept looking for it but never saw it.
  • great blue heron
  • wood duck
  • ruby crowned kinglet
  • gull
  • cormorant
  • bewicks wren
  • marsh wren
  • brown creeper
  • robin
  • hairy woodpecker
  • hermit thrush
  • maybe house finch or something else
  • also a lot of ducks far off in the distance that I couldn’t see well. I didn’t have my scope with me and they were too far away.
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Author: Kay-Kay's Bird Club

Hat-maker, Bird lover, Star gazer, Scooter rider, and Running fool.

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