This past weekend we spent a lot of time outside exploring some of our favorite places. First on Saturday we headed East to look at wildflowers and birds and the amazing landscape that is the Washington scrub land.
We make this trip at least once a year and a must for me is to stop at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park to see the ever faithful Say’s Phoebe that nests there. I love these birds but they usually stay on the east side of the mountains so I don’t get to see them that often. I’m happy to report that a nest was being sat upon!
I had the rare treat of adding a couple life birds on this trip as well when both Horned Lark and Sage Thrasher decided to cooperate. Great birds!!! Other feathered highlights were all the Osprey, Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Swallows, Loons (calling), Magpies, and Ravens. We even came across a raven nest high up on a rock face, with squawking baby ravens and adults flying into feed them!
Raven’s nest can be seen in the crack at about the midpoint of the photo.
Mammals seen included both a native Jackrabbit and the non-native cottontail rabbits, Mule Deer, Elk, Golden-mantled ground squirrel, and a marmot.
The wildflowers were lovely as well, one of these days I hope I get to go over there and spend more time with a field guide and learn more than my dozen or so I can identify in that region.
Oddly enough I spent more time looking at the flowers than taking their pictures!
We spent some time just lazing about the spectacular weather too.
The View from my comfy grassy spot.
Laying back on Mother Earth.
Mark communing with the Great Columbia River.
Us, having a wonderful hike in the Ginkgo Wanapum Recreation Area.
Then Sunday we headed out to a great natural area near the university called The Fill. This is a spectacular place to look for birds. We visit often. Here’s a few photos for highlights:
A turtle with attitude!
While we were watching a red-winged blackbird it got irritated with a heron poking around to close to its nesting area. The next scene happened too fast to get a shot of, but the Red-winged Blackbird landed on the Heron’s back and was pulling at its feathers – Ouch! The Heron landed in front of us, shook the blackbird off and tried to walk nonchalantly away. But that blackbird stood ankle high next to it and scolded and scolded! Bold little fellla!
The Heron went about hunting, and quite successfully, too!
One last picture, love this “bloomin’ time of year!”