Our brutal summer continues. When the weather is this hot and dry, the best bird diversity is usually found around wetlands, so I spent a little time at Fernhill Wetlands and Jackson Bottom.
The first record of Black Phoebe in Washington County was in 2006 (by yours truly). Now they are rare but regular at both Jackson Bottom and Fernhill.
Shorebird migration is in full swing. Numbers are better at the coast, but some birds are finding the small patches of mud at inland locations. This Least Sandpiper was feeding on some newly exposed mud at Jackson Bottom.
Here is the underside of a Lorquin’s Admiral. Those red eyes are intense.
Green Heron at Fernhill
American White Pelican is another species that has become more common in the Portland area is recent years. They don’t nest here, but summer brings large numbers of young birds and post-breeding adults.
While I am usually looking specifically for birds, I enjoy whatever wildlife I encounter along the way.
I don’t spend a lot of effort looking for butterflies, but I do appreciate it when one poses for me. This is a Lorquin’s Admiral.
This Northwestern Garter was hiding under a piece of bark near a stump. The cloudy eyes indicate that the snake is about to shed. Snakes in this condition cannot see well, so I generally avoid handling them.
I am having trouble distinguishing Brush Rabbits from the introduced Eastern Cottontail. I have recently learned that the two species will hybridize, making identification even harder. The rusty nape on this individual makes me think it is an Eastern Cottontail.
One of the highlights of my most recent outing was the opportunity to watch a Long-tailed Weasel hunting. This is the first time I have seen this species for more than a few seconds. The weasel’s hunt was successful, so don’t go any farther if you find images of predation disturbing.
I first saw this Long-tailed Weasel chasing a Brush Rabbit down the trail and into the vegetation. After a brief tussle, the rabbit was subdued.
The weasel then dragged the rabbit across the trail and into the brush, despite the fact that the rabbit was significantly heavier than the weasel. These are impressive little predators.