Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, 13 November 2013

The weather has entered its dark and dreary pattern, typical for Portland in late autumn. This makes for dark grainy photos, but here are a few shots from Crystal Springs in southeast Portland.

steller's jaySteller’s Jay, looking all artsy among the architecture of the boardwalk

coot backThis American Coot appears to be concerned with modesty while preening.

coot front 2Here is the same individual feeding on land. I always appreciate the chance to see this species’ lobed feet.

canadaWestern Canada Goose

wigeonAmerican Wigeon, with Bufflehead in the background

wood duck frontWood Duck
wood duck female

wood duck maleI don’t know what this Wood Duck was carrying. They eat acorns, but this appears to be something different.

I am hoping for some sunshine for my next outing.

Crystal Springs in the Spring

I visited Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (Birding Oregon p. 69) on May 28. This site is best known as a good spot for wintering waterfowl. This late in the spring, most of the ducks and geese have moved on, leaving just a few resident species. But even with the lower diversity, it is still nice to be able to get such close looks at birds that are normally much more “wild” in other locations.

wood duck female
Wood Ducks are always a treat.

wood duck male
This male Wood Duck was in a tree, providing a view of the white throat.

American Crows in the bright sun showed some interesting feather patterns.

Two Cackling Geese (Branta hutchinsii minima) were still present. This is a very late date for this species to still be in Portland. This species nests on the Arctic tundra, so most have left by mid-April. Perhaps these two thought that a summer on the duck pond would be nicer than flying all that way.

cackling 1
Here is another view of the Cackling Goose. Notice how far the wing tips extend beyond the tail. Long wings are typical for species that migrate long distances.