Most of my recent outings have been while leading trips or in dreary conditions, both of which limit any photo opportunities. So here are some dribs and drabs from recent weeks.
This Black-tailed Deer and her fawn were at Cooper Mountain Nature Park in Beaverton. There was a second fawn present out of frame.
This Long-billed Dowitcher was blending in well with the rocks at Parking Lot C at Fort Stevens State Park. I often find shorebirds, usually Least Sandpipers or Dunlin, in this little patch of rocks.
I saw this Pied-billed Grebe on a cloudy morning at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
Crystal Springs is thick with Wood Ducks.
Eastern Gray Squirrel at Crystal Springs
Sandhill Cranes have arrived in good numbers at Sauvie Island.
A young Bald Eagle flying by on Sauvie
This White-crowned Sparrow posed nicely in filtered sunlight along Rentenaar Road on Sauvie Island. This is a first winter bird, but he was singing from this perch for a while.
Most shorebird migration is long past, but this mixed flock of Dunlin and Long-billed Dowitchers were hanging out at the small ponds near the parking lot at Fernhill Wetlands.
Long-billed Dowitcher at Fernhill. This intense sunlight is certainly not the norm for mid-November, but the rains will return soon enough.
Here are some photos from recent encounters with non-native rodents.
Two Nutria (Myocastor coypus) munching on grass. This species is native to South America. They were brought to the U.S. in the 1930s to be raised for fur. When the “raise Nutria for fun and profit” dreams proved to be unprofitable, many animals were simply released into the wild. In areas that don’t receive severe winter weather, such as western Oregon, the animals thrived. Nutrias are considered an invasive species, as their appetite for marsh vegetation alters local ecosystems and threatens some native species.
Eastern Fox Squirrel. I don’t know when or why this species was introduced to Oregon. In their native range, they prefer oak savannah and forest edge.
Eastern Gray Squirrel, another species introduced from the eastern U.S. While quite at home in Portland, in their native range they prefer extensive deciduous forests.