Friday, December 28, 2012

Birding Bend

Four days before the New Year starts, I'm gearing up for another year of birding here in Bend. I've moved my office into the living room for a better view of the backyard feeders. With my Nikon Monarchs nearby, I can scan the feeders, fences and trees for feathered visitors. Plus, I can keep an eye on the backyard chickens should one of those visitors be looking for a meal other than seed or suet.

This morning's list of visitors includes:
house finches galore
dark-eyed juncos
western scrub-jays
mourning doves
mountain chickadees
California quail
song sparrow
spotted towhee
red-breasted nuthatch
pygmy nuthatch

Flocks of red crossbills have been circling the home, but not coming down to the feeders.

On the morning dog walk around the Mountain View subdivision we saw a hermit's thrush, varied thrush, Townsend's solitaire, American robin, and more chickadees. A fairly nice start to the day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Todd Lake 'Shoe

Snowshoed to Todd Lake today from the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center, down the Common Corridor, then out to the lake. Light snow the whole day and about 18" of new snow. The going, at times, was a bit taxing, especially when I crashed into a couple of unseen tree wells. But, hey, who's complaining? Beautiful conditions, great day, you gotta figure on augering in every now and then.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rambling on a Winter's Day

Fresh snow, blue skies, clouds on the distant horizon. Another winter day here in Central Oregon - but lovin' it.

The feeders are full of house finches and a couple lesser goldfinches, scrub and Steller's jays, mourning doves, dark-eyed juncos, and some pine siskins. Still trying to lure the evening grosbeaks and red crossbills down for a treat. Mountain chickadees and both pygmy and red-breasted nuthatches are working over the ponderosa cones. Nice view from my office window.

However, the real gist of today's post is freeing pets caught in snares or traps. Although I don't support trapping, I realize it is a legal activity here in Oregon. This post is more a focus on freeing a dog caught in a trap, something I had to do once with our dog Jessie when she was caught in a leg-hold trap.

I've provided a link to a Pet Owners pdf from a Nova Scotia wildlife agency's site. It has some good photographs and steps to freeing a pet from different traps. A solid pair of wire cutters in your pack is a good idea.

OK, back to looking at the birds...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nordeen Shelter trip

Beautiful day up to the Nordeen Shelter today. Swampy Lakes received about 2-3 inches of new snow last night making conditions on the trail fairly nice. Total distance from the Swampy trailhead out and back to the shelter was about 5.0 miles.

Sets of Douglas squirrel tracks, mountain cottontails and a few unknowns dotted the new snow. Mountain chickadees, red crossbills, a common raven, gray jay and dark morph rough-legged hawk were the few feathered wildlife observed.