Our freakishly nice spring weather continued this week, so I took Nala to the Sandy River Delta to check for spring migrants. Actually, Nala could not care less about spring migrants, but found the cool waters of the Sandy River just right for ball fetching. Nesting species have not arrived in any numbers yet, but spring is definitely taking off.
Savannah Sparrows were the most obvious singers in the grassland habitats.
catching his breath before the next number
A pair of Belted Kingfishers is nesting along the channel that runs between the Sandy and the Columbia. They kept to the far bank, so these distant grainy images will have to do. This is the female.
And here is the male.
This is a hole. Not terribly interesting on its own, but very cool when it has a Belted Kingfisher entering or leaving it.
Northern Rough-winged Swallows also frequent this area.
The next couple of weeks should bring the delta’s specialties; Lazuli Bunting, Yellow-breasted Chat, Willow Flycatcher, and perhaps Eastern Kingbird. Happy Spring.
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is still a fairly new addition to the Willamette Valley refuge complex, but it offers a nice variety of habitats very close to Portland. I don’t know if the resident Bald Eagles had a successful nesting this year, but this individual was hanging out by the nest during my recent visit.
Cinnamon Teal were conspicuous, but Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal were also present.
Killdeer and Spotted Sandpipers are both common nesters on the refuge.
The air above the wetlands is filled with various species of swallows. This Northern Rough-winged Swallow was the only one that sat for a distant photo.
This Willow Flycatcher was giving his distinctive “FITZ-bew” call.
Western Wood-Pewees were calling from the edges of the woods.
The grassy areas are home to Savannah Sparrows.
This White-crowned Sparrow was singing from the roof of the refuge office.