BOGS Perkins Peninsula,
Mar 10, 2016, Trip Report
Bird list for birding at Perkins Peninsula, Cantrell Rd. and Fisher Butte area. The weather was mostly sunny with a cool wind.
--- bird list compiled by Doris Wimber
1. White pelican
2. Double-crested cormorant
3. Canada goose
4. Cackling goose
7. Northern harrier
8. Bald eagle
9. Red-shouldered hawk
10. Red-tailed hawk
12. Tree swallow
13. Red-breasted sapsucker
14. Mourning dove
15. Northern flicker
16. Scrub jay
17. American crow
18. Common raven
19. American robin
20. European starling
21. Yellow-rumped warbler
22. Spotted towhee
23. Song sparrow (heard)
24. Savannah sparrow
25. Dark-eyed junco
27. Red-winged blackbird
As we gathered at the parking lot of Perkins Peninsula, we talked about how nice the weather was. In retrospect, it might be that it was the sunshine we were mostly appreciating, because there was a little too much wind which felt a little too cold. So I don't think we meant the temperature. We seemed to all be in good spirits.
Our birding got off to a pretty good start. Both an adult and two immature Bald Eagles presented themselves as we walked over the top of the rise on our way towards the northeast trail down to the waters edge.
We enjoyed watching the two immature Eagles scrapping with each other.
Little did we know that this was foreshadowing of something soon to happen.
I saw a Red-breasted Sapsucker in a tree up ahead. This bird was very cooperative, shifting around to vaious positions and seeming to pay no attention to the crowd of human admireres standing nearby. Both Don and I got some pretty good photos of this bird.
My photos are the 2nd and third ones below. (I do not always annotate my photos with my name, but Don always does so there is never really any doubt who took which).
This next photo must be what our group looked like out there that day.
Unfortunately, most of the group was no longer paying attention to the two immature Eagles, which had again taken flight, as we walked onwards, perhaps rather too goal-oriented, because only a few of us saw one of the Eagles flip upside down and clasp talons with the other. This is the famous courtship "death-spiral".
I know I pointed and tried to get some words out of my mouth to draw the attention of others
to the two Eagles spiraling downwards towards the water surface, but it was over before anything coherent was said by anyone; other than "LOOK!".
It was the first time I had seen Eagles do this live, "in-the-feathers" so to speak, and it was the highlight of the trip for me. I had only seen it in videos, and even there it was only a few years ago that I first learned about it, at a BOGS DVD showing.
Several things got our attention once we got down to the water's edge. One was an Eagles nest with an adult Bald Eagle's head showing rather plainly.
A second sighting of interest, also in the distance, were some White Pelicans in the water.
Someone spied a Cormorant way out in the distance. It was of interest because it was trying to dispatch a fish which was somewhat large and was finding the fish to be quite a challenge.
Watch this animation of the Cormorant trying to negotiate the fish and tell me if you think the bird is making any progress!
After leaving Perkins Peninsula, we did our usual drive south on Central Rd, then east on Cantrell Rd, then north on K.R. Knielsen Rd, arriving finally at the parking area for the "East Coyote Unit" of Fern Ridge.
Flocks of Cacklers flew over, but neither Don nor I photographed anything else here. Looking at my list of species photographed compared to Doris's list of birds seen or heard that day, this must be where some of the 17 species we didn't photograph were seen.
In my four years with BOGS, we have never managed to do more after Perkins Peninsula and East Coyote Unit, but this time we drove on to the Fisher Butte access parking lot on W.11th Ave. and walked a quarter mile to the tall observation tower. Lots of Green-winged Teal and other waterfowl could be seen from up there, though they were some distance away. From back down on Earth, Jody and I saw a flock of Meadowlarks take flight and recognized them by their white outer tail coverts, short tail and rapid wing beat. I tried to photograph them and got some blurs, which I've circled so you can find them, in the last photo for this outing.
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