In the last three weeks, I haven’t been to the ocean, or the South Jetty or the Cannon Beach lagoons, but I have been to the Pelton Regulating Dam in Warm Springs, the Mid-Columbia River shores and the orchards of Hood River. And I have 11 FOYs (first of year) and included in that number, three life birds. I have had an unexpectedly longer stay in the Hood River area due to arranging hospice care for my father and supporting my mother.

I saw one of these life birds during my yearly Mother’s Day bird walk; or was it my weekly Sunday morning bird walk or was it my daily bird walk? I was enjoying the stretch on the Indian Creek Trail I had left to explore. I walked and saw many species of birds during my three hour walk. And then, in the last 15 minutes I saw a lark sparrow gathering nesting material in the short grass next to the forest. It was an amazing bird to see, with its very defined head markings. I spied it hopping around first on the ground and then in the low branches of the brush nearby. This is the millionth time I saw an amazing bird on the way just before I reached my car.

The other 10 birds were black-billed magpie, Say’s phoebe, house wren, western kingbird, western tanager, calliope hummingbird, MacGillivary’s warbler, mourning warbler, black-headed grosbeak and Bullock’s oriole. Each with a story to tell, but that will have to wait for another time.

Note: For those of you who follow my column, I have a new car, the UBM (ultimate birding machine), which is a Prius that I justified as being better at sneaking up on birds under electric power.

Susan has taken up birding as a passion, to the mixed emotions of her husband Scott. The Boacs reside on the Neawanna Creek in Seaside where their backyard is a birder’s paradise.#

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