Friday, January 7, 2011

Hitting Two Birds With One Stone

This idiom relates to solving two issues with one answer, because the linear thinking - a stone thrower could hit two birds in a row - seems pretty far fetched. Maybe before there were major impacts on wildlife this could happen, but, at least, in this case, I'm choosing the non-linear answer.

Yesterday, I snowshoed the Edison Shelter loop from the Edison Sno-Park in the Deschutes National Forest. This was a scouting trip for an upcoming snowshoeing class through the Central Oregon Community College's Continuing Learning program. Beautiful and brilliant day with enough snow pack to cover the lava tubes and rocky outcrops along the trail. In addition to the snowshoeing, I searched for some woodland species to keep this County Big Year alive.

Edison Shelter
There were several pockets of activity, mostly where there was a mix of ponderosa, mountain hemlock and lodgepole pine. I found common species such as the brown creeper, red-breasted nuthatch and mountain chickadees. The creepers are like mini woodpeckers with their curved bills and long tails used for stability while climbing up the tree. The nuthatches were vocal with their "ank, ank" calls, and the chickadees were just as active.

The score for the morning outing was a northern pygmy owl calling from a grove of trees, but didn't show itself. The single spaced notes were very clear on the calm morning. My other species for the walk was a hairy woodpecker that flew in to the Edison Shelter and started hammering away on one of the porch posts.

So four new birds with one outing - now if they all will be so productive.

County Year total: 51 species.

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