May 13, 2012

From the Valley to the Foothills of the Cascades

On my way to visit my parents today I stopped at Stayton's Pioneer Park. The Jordan Bridge is a rebuilt historic covered bridge. The orginal burned down, so they rebuilt.

A non-cooperative Black-headed Grosbeak

I didn't have a map of the trails, but knew there were various streams in the park. I just started walking and came to a canal area with lots of bird activity and a pretty trail.
Blending in- Common Yellowthroat

I tried to find out what this building is, but the park website is very rudimentary and has no info. Maybe an old mill?

At one point I heard a bird I couldn't recognize and was looking for it. Then I saw it fly(Red-breasted Sapsucker) and tried to get a photo (blurry) and turned and saw a Lazuli Bunting and tried to get a photo (blurry). Why does it all have to happen at once??!

After leaving the park, I headed to my parents' house. On the way is Kingston Prairie Preserve. Basically it's a stretch of meadows along a road that I travelled my childhood. Only recently has it been taken over and reclaimed for native habitat. I had not planned to stop here, but when I saw the flowering meadows I pulled onto the side of the road.

 The blue ones are Camas Lily and the pink are Shooting Stars.

I kept hearing a particular bird singing and I couldn't for the life of me find it or see it. It was driving me nuts. I kept thinking it was Western Meadowlark and after reading the website it confirmed it. It seems this is one of the few remaining nesting sites in the Willamette Valley. I must make more time to explore this area in the future.

At my parent's house we walked around the garden and looked for swallows. They put up lots of nesting boxes for them.
My mom got a bag of feathers from an old pillow and my dad got out the leaf blower.
Swallows love feathers for nesting and they fly in to get them.

This is what hillbillies do for entertainment.
Since I have no ability to get photos of swallows in flight,
I tried to get some picking feathers off the ground.
I think they are only beginning to nest and weren't as interested
 in the feathers as they will be in another week or two.

Rufous Hummingbirds were everywhere.

This Purple Finch was chirping up a storm, fluffing his head feathers, and putting on a show for the females.

A Junco nest in the barn. A very sloppy looking nest.
I took the back roads to I-5, through Scio and Jefferson.


  1. I love the feather blowing! I would do that, too! That Purple Finch is a hoot, with his droopy wings and come hither look. Nice travelogue of the day.

  2. Wonderful collection of photos from your day. I love all the birds and the field of flowers. Gorgeous post. Have a Happy Monday!

  3. Wow so much good stuff I don't know where to start. First off it makes me insane to hear a bird and not be able to find it. Insane! The feather blowing is hilarious, I bet my dad do that too. Love all the buildings, that third from the bottom looks familiar... Oh and jealous of your Rufous hummer- with all the awesome hummingbirds I saw in AZ I still have managed not to see a Rufous yet this year.

  4. What a great selection of photographs. What a pleasure to see them!


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