A Whale of a Weekend

Last September, on a whim to buy tuna fresh on the dock, we found ourselves in Charleston, Oregon. It had been a long time since I had been in Charleston and I realized that it was a place that deserved more time and attention. So earlier this month we created a 4-day weekend and explored Charleston, the Coos Bay area, and down into Bandon. There is something special about the Oregon coast which speaks to me, and I know it does to many others as well. For four days we put aside work and other … [Read more...]

Western Snowy Plover: Share the Shore

Last summer, while canoeing the Stiltcoos Trail we floated through Western Snowy Plover habitat.  From our seats in the canoe, we saw several plovers along both banks of the river. The plovers on the north side, which consisted of hard-packed sand, I later identified as the Semipalmated Plover. However, the plovers on the south side, which was banked and dune like, are harder to identify. Until told otherwise, I am going to hope they were Western Snowy Plovers. We floated quietly past so as not … [Read more...]

Spring Has Sprung, part II

Last weekend we discovered that the spring wildflowers have begun their annual show out at Bake Stewart Park. This weekend, we discovered that the goslings at Row River Nature Park have begun to hatch. Check out these cute geese babies! Fellow blogger "the Cascade Rambler" was also at the Nature Park Sunday morning. The Rambler makes his home in the Salem area and writes a lot about birds and his favorite birding trails, not just in Salem but around the valley, on the coast, and sometimes … [Read more...]

Woodpecker Loop: Finley National Wildlife Refuge

We made our first visit to Finley National Wildlife Refuge last winter and at that time, I resolved to go back often. The refuge -- and more precisely the incredible number of birds -- fascinated me and I wanted to explore throughout the year to see how it changed with the seasons. Well, that was the goal anyway; in reality it took us a whole year to get back. The Refuge was established in 1964 to provide vital wintering habitat for Dusky Canada Geese. The Dusky has a limited range, spending … [Read more...]

Backyard Birds

My backyard has been alive with birds lately. Every time I fill my seed feeders, they get swamped with finches and, sometimes, there are so many juncos feeding on the ground that at a quick glance the earth appears to be moving. Generally, I don't "dead head" my gardens in the fall, instead I let the spent flower heads go to seed. Over the winter, these natural seeds have been feasted on by the birds and with spring quickly approaching, the seeds are now gone. It is probably one reason why my … [Read more...]