Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Good Start to This West Coast Swing

My plane arrived in Seattle yesterday without incident, and I was on the road by 2 PM. I wanted to get past Portland, OR before rush hour set in, so I bombed down I-5. Once in Portland, I did stop briefly to check out a piece of "street art" that my son created a few years ago. It is three 20' X 20' graphics of city images and people that can be seen from the street as you drive/walk/bike by the Providence Medical Center on N. Interstate St. in Portland. I had only seen small versions of the art, so I was very happy to see it finally in person.

I got out of town in time to not get slowed down by the traffic, so I made it down to Roseburg, OR for the nite. This allowed me to be up and out before 5 this morning. I drove about an hour down to a section of the Siskiyou NF near Grant's Pass, OR. I drove along the Rogue River valley for a bit and then turned on FS road 25 in search of mountain quail. Within a couple of miles I had a single one flash across the road. In another 3 miles I flushed a large group of adults. Finally a bit further up the mountain I flushed 2 separate family groups--mom and many chicks.

Unfortunately, I find that this quail is always very skittish and once flushed, you get no chance at a photo. So instead the photo above is of 2 stellar's jays. I also found and watched a pair of cassin's vireos singing and eating their breakfast. I had been a bit concerned about tracking down the vireo because it is getting late in the breeding season and most birds do not sing as much.

Total birds seen this week is up to 57, and the quail and vireo bring the YTD up to 645. I am now in southern CA near Bakersfield. Tomorrow I will be birding in the Mt. Pinos area looking for some woodpeckers that I still need for the big year count. Stay tuned!

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