If you visit this blog on any kind of regular basis you know that I enjoy hiking through my neighborhood and down to the Willamette River below our house. We live on the edge of a woodland that borders this major Oregonian river, so even though we live in an urban area we get to see a great variety of wildlife. I took the following photos (and a movie) during one trip I took last Friday. Every trip is a bit different, and that’s what keeps it interesting.
I walked out the door and this little one was chirping up a storm in my cherry tree. This Anna’s Hummingbird spends a lot of time in our yard. We don’t have a feeder but I’ve seen it eating on a lot of our plants throughout the year, including some flowers that were a bit wilted.
Next door was this Steller’s Jay. I love watching them jump from the tree tops and glide towards another tree all while cackling at the top of their lungs.
One more house down I found this Northern Flicker at the top of an old oak tree. I see these birds all the time, but it is hard to get tired of their interesting, elaborate coloring.
A bit further along I found this Song Sparrow atop a large blackberry thicket. Again, a very common bird, and again I still can’t help but photograph them whenever I see them. I usually find them facing me, so I really like the view of its back in this photo.
From this point I started climbing down through the woods to the river. Then things got a bit more interesting…
Well, still a common bird- the Red-tailed Hawk. But it was still a thrill to get close to it and hear it shrieking at close range- check out the movie below.
Did you notice it lighten its load before it flew away?
Turning my head, I noticed this Downy Woodpecker. And below it…
…was a White-breasted Nuthatch. This wasn’t my best photo, but on a cloudy day sometimes it’s hard to get a good shot of the birds that won’t stop moving. The next photo is a better example of this.
It’s a very blurry photo of a Winter Wren. It is a striking bird, but it stayed in the shadows and wouldn’t sit still!
Further along the river is my favorite spot- the Great Blue Heron rookery. As I’ve been posting, the herons have recently returned. This is also a great spot to find Belted Kingfishers (they love the tree in the foreground hanging over the river), mergansers, cormorants, geese, Bald Eagles, etc.
But this time of year the herons dominate this setting. In a couple of months we’ll hear the loud roar of the hatchlings as they scream for more food from their parents.
From here it is a walk straight up through the woods to my backyard. It’s become my weekly routine, but it never gets boring.