Cooper Mountain

I went to Cooper Mountain Nature Park in Beaverton primarily to look for herps, but the birds were a lot more cooperative. White-crowned Sparrows were singing everywhere.

Chipping Sparrows nest at higher elevations, but a few can be found in the Willamette Valley during migration.

Most of the Western Trilliums are past their peak, but this one was still in good condition.

This Northwestern Fence Lizard was catching some rays. This lizard and one baby Northwestern Garter Snake were the only reptiles of the trip.

This pond was swarming with tadpoles and salamander larvae. I think the salamanders (the light green critters on right half of the photo) are Northwestern Salamanders. I don’t know who the tadpoles are.

Happy Spring

Ash Canyon, AZ

The Ash Canyon Bed and Breakfast is one of the must-visit sites in southeastern Arizona. It is hardly hard-core birding, as you are sitting around in Mary Jo Ballator’s back yard watching the feeders, but the diversity of birds is great. I shared some of the hummingbird species in an earlier post. Here are a few other species seen in the yard.

white-winged doveOne White-winged Dove is gorgeous and wonderful. Dozens and dozens of White-winged Doves are loud and obnoxious.

scott's oriole1Scott’s Orioles were attracted to oranges and grape jelly.


mexican jayMexican Jay

Lark SparrowLark Sparrow, with a Chipping Sparrow in the background

chipping sparrowChipping Sparrow

Gila WoodpeckerGila Woodpecker

acorn woodpeckerAcorn Woodpecker

curve-billed thrasher 2Curve-billed Thrasher

rock squirrelSeveral rodents were enjoying the bounty along with the birds. This is a Rock Squirrel.

arizona gray squirrelArizona Gray Squirrels have huge tails, which they use as parasols in the hot sun.

cotton ratThe cutest critter of the trip was this Cotton Rat.

red-faced warblerThis Red-faced Warbler was seen in nearby Miller Canyon. Of course, before I got my camera out, he was on a low perch singing his little heart out. Once the camera came out, he felt the need to fly to this high back-lit perch.

BLM Wilderness Study Area, Adel

Near the town of Adel, the BLM Wilderness Study Area is probably the best place in Oregon to find a Juniper Titmouse. While this species was the main goal of my hike in this area, there were many other species to enjoy, along with the great views. To reach this site, park in the wide pullout off the westbound lane of Hwy 140 near milepost 25. Just a few yards west of the pullout, a dirt road leads up the hill toward the top of Fish Creek Rim. Walk up this road to its terminus at the communication towers at the top of the rim. (Because of these towers, you actually have good cell phone reception throughout the hike, an unusual occurrence in this part of Oregon.)

This blurry Chipping Sparrow was part of a small flock of sparrows near the start of the hike. A Black-throated Sparrow was a nice surprise.

Rock Wrens were common on the way up the hill, perching in junipers, sage, and occasionally on rocks.

The view from about half-way up the hill, looking down toward the highway and Deep Creek

Farther up the hill

The view from the top, looking down on the Warner Valley. The wetlands in the valley are the source of the Ring-billed Gulls and American White Pelicans which can be seen soaring over the juniper woodlands.

The top of the rim is more tundra-like, with a few trees and short grasses. Mountain Bluebirds and Western Meadowlarks are common in this area.

Variable Checkerspots were clinging to the road to avoid the strong winds.

Mountain Lion tracks

Mountain Cottontail

On the way back down the hill, three and a half hours into the four-hour hike, I did find a Juniper Titmouse. I try not to put too much emphasis on “target birds,” but it is nice when you actually find them.