Fernhill Wetlands 1/28/10

I enjoyed a quiet walk around the main lake at Fernhill Wetlands (Birding Oregon p. 61). By mid-morning, most of the geese that roost at this site are off feeding elsewhere.

Double-crested Cormorants are commonly seen perched on dead trees and utility poles when they are not fishing. The light breast, neck, and head identify this individual as a young bird. The orange gular pouch is diagnostic in differentiating this species from the other two cormorants found along the Oregon coast.

Several Tundra Swans were lounging in the marsh, always a delight to see. To get an idea of the size of these birds, compare the Cackling Geese and Mallard at the far right of the photo.

Golden-crowned Sparrows are common in the brushy areas. I was pleased that Nala, the Birding Dog, sat still long enough for me to capture this image.


I am revving up for my Little Brown Birds class next month, so I spent some time with the sparrow flocks on Sauvie Island (Birding Oregon p.57). A walk down Rentenaar Road revealed five species, three of which sat still long enough to be photographed.

White-crowned Sparrows stand out with their bold head pattern.

Immature White-crowned Sparrows have the same pattern as the adults, but in brown and buff instead of black and white.

Two Golden-crowned Sparrows, immature on the left, adult on the right
This Song Sparrow was feeding right at my feet, but insisted on staying in my shadow, thus messing up the lighting in the photo.

This Peregrine Falcon wasn’t much of a threat to the sparrows, but he did make the shorebirds and waterfowl nervous.