Big ol’ Birdin’ by Bike day

Wow, I am tired.

I rode my bike 24 miles today. I did a big loop on the northern half of my five mile radius. I saw 56 species of birds! 25 of which were new birds.
Hurray me!

I haven’t ridden my bike this much since I was 17!

This pace of one new bird per mile ridden is unfortunately not sustainable.
Soon, I fear, it will be one bird per 10 or even 20 miles. Hopefully I will be stronger by then.

Such a relief to see these guys this year. Weird that the best bird I might find this year was found on day 4…

My first stop of the morning, was the Eastern Bluebirds I have missed before/after work for the last 3 days. They are lazy little dudes. I could have slept in. I arrived at 8:45, and Just as I was about to leave at 10, like a little present from the heavens, they flew almost directly to me. They modeled for me, and I got the best photos of them that I can reasonably expect. I saw them choke down huge berries, and hunt for big wormy insects in the tall grass.

Gettin’ messed up on fermented berries (maybe).

After success with the bluebirds (and Lincoln’s sparrow, and cedar waxwings), I decided I wanted to be the first one this year to see a Black Phoebe in my county. It had been reported last year, so it is not an incredible feat or anything, but I was first to re-find it this year. And it is a good bird, and I am happy to have found it in my 5mr. Yay!

Photos are terrible, but if you wanna look at my ebird checklist… go for it.

I was two for two. Next priority was the recently re-found rarity: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Apparently, it is only the third ever January record of seeing one in the pacific NW.

It took about an hour of searching. I had a fleeting glance, and then nothing for about thirty minutes. rode my bike down and back on this trail, stopped where I saw it the first time… and it graciously popped up and perched for a solid 4 seconds.

I FOUND IT!

I was able to successfully relocate the two best lost birds in the county, and they were just a moderate bike ride away. Wowsers!

Really great news is that this trail was very birdy, easy to get to, and fun to bird by bike. I will definitely be back soon.

hey that’s not a bird

The biggest surprise about birding by bike, is that it is fun.
I thought it would just be hard. But, I get to feel fast, stop wherever I want, whenever I want. If I hear something exciting or interesting I can zoom over to it, and I can cover way more ground than just walking, while being able to scan for interesting and exciting birds and animals.

Unexpected picnic break

The only bad thing about birding by bike, I have noticed thus far, is that getting a flat tire is a thing. Today I had two. This may be from inexperience, or just bad luck.

Bike path is just a warm spot, but this goose could have been hiding whatever popped my tire.

Today was incredibly fun. I rode my bike a bunch, I got up to 62 birds for my 5mr, I got more exercise than I have had in 3 months, and I had a delicious beer! I wish I could do this every weekend!

Cheers to bird beers!

I’m Back and I’m Still Taking Bird Photos

Great news everybody!
I am still taking bird photos!
I am also trying to pump as much content as I possibly can out on the internet.
So far so good.
Right?

On our third sunny day of 2017
I was fortunate enough to not have to work, and I went to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
So, expect lots of duck photos.

But first, a Varied Thrush!

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This was the most cooperative of about six Varied Thrushes in a little grassy area.
He really tolerated me for longer than I thought,
But nowhere near as cooperative as a Robin might be.

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On the exact opposite end of the human toleration spectrum
This Canada Goose sat with me and watched ducks in the pond
I think he wanted chin scratches, but I didn’t want to get bit.
We just enjoyed each others company.

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This little Song Sparrow was singing from the bushes
There were three that were fighting in the same zone
but Sparrow fights are notoriously difficult to capture on camera
I will work on it.

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My original reason for going to Crystal Springs
Besides enjoying the sun
Was to try to get photos of birds in flight
This Goose is making a big jump
They were having canon ball contests.

They seemed to be having a good time either way.
Bathing geese making rainbows in the sunshine

It really is surprising how many photos of geese I take.
I am surprised, at least.
Maybe it is because of their cute little white cheeks
Or maybe I am fascinated by how vicious they can be
They are so loud.

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I though This goose was going to hit me in the head.
I saw two geese flying at me from a distance and was really excited
I started taking their photos
But it seemed like we were on a collision course.
I did not waver in this game of chicken
I did not duck, duck this goose.
He passed about a foot over my head|
And I was rewarded with some out of focus photos.

Probably the most scared I have been getting bird photos though.

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Humans aren’t the only ones that love ducks and geese.
Bald Eagles also love them
Well, they love eating them
Or doing whatever they want.
They’re Bald Eagles!

C’mon!

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Another Bird I am strangely fascinated with.
American coot.
AKA Mud Hens.
They hang out with ducks, but aren’t ducks.
Maybe that is the reason for my fascination?
It is hard to pin down.

They are a type of rail, which is cool
They have giant feet, also cool
They run on the water, yep also cool.

Things they don’t have:
Cute size or shape or coloration
Maybe it is their head:body:feet ratio.
I will do more research.

This is a Wood Duck
Wood Ducks do not have the same problems as coots
They are probably our most glamorous duck.
I used to think they were too pretty for me to take their photo
But I have grown as a bird photographer
I am no longer afraid to approach beautiful duck models

Or as decoy as can be?

Sorry.

Ducks are weird

Just walking to the market on his one day off
Got to pick up a fresh loaf of French Bread, a nice cheese, and a bottle of wine.
Tonight is going to be special.

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It feels good to be blogging again.
I plan on doing more of it soon.

I am surprised how inspiring it is to create content when people are actually paying you to do it. I am a little more than 33% of my way to my first goal of $300 a month on Patreon.com

I am sending out postcards as tokens of thanks to all patrons, regardless of how little they pledge a month.

If you would like to support me, and in turn encourage me to take and post more photos, make more blog posts, and even do videos, please go to: patreon.com/portlandbirder

Thanks, and see you soon!