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Hiking Year-end wrap up

2022 Wildlife Gallery Part 1 – Feathered Friends

We thought we’d do something different this year and split our 2022 wildlife gallery into two posts to keep them a little shorter. It made the most sense to us to do a post with the different birds we saw during 2022 and then one of the other wildlife. As with our wildflower post any corrections or additions to our attempts at identifying what we’ve photographed is greatly appreciated. One last note, while we really enjoy taking pictures as a way to record what we see on our hikes, we are by no means photographers. We use our phones and a point and shoot camera on the auto setting, so the pictures are far from professional, but we hope you enjoy them.

We’ll start small which, aside from some of the raptors, is where we have the most difficulty identifying the various species (ducks and sea birds can be tricky too).
HummingbirdHummingbird at Memaloose Hills in May.

HummingbirdHummingbird at Upper Table Rock in May.

Black capped chickadeeBlack capped chickadee at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Yellow-rumped warbler (Audubon's)Yellow-rumped warbler (Audubon’s) at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Marsh wrenWren (marsh?) at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

White-capped sparrowWhite-crowned sparrow at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

SparrowSparrow? at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Common yellow throatCommon yellow throat at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Yellow-rumped warbler (Myrtle)Yellow-rumped warbler (Myrtle) at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Tree swallowsTree swallows at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Wren and white-crowned sparrowWhite-crowned sparrow and a wren at Miller Woods in May.

American goldfinchAmerican goldfinch pair at Miller Woods in May.

Song sparrowAnother sparrow at Miller Woods in May.

Hermit warblerHermit warbler? near Kings Mountain in May.

House finchHouse finch? at Upper Table Rock in May.

Rock wrenRock wren? at Upper Table Rock in May.

Ash-throated flycatcherAsh-throated flycatcher at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

Small bird at Ken Denman Wildlife RefugeUnknown at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

SwallowSwallow at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

WarblerSome sort of warbler? at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

Purple MartinsPurple martins at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

WrenAnother wren at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

SongbirdUnknown at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

SparrowSparrow? at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

WarblerWarbler? at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

Black phoebeBlack phoebe? at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

IMG_1694Mountain bluebird near Union Peak in September.

IMG_1985Red-breasted nuthatch (best I could get) at Crater Lake in September.

IMG_2015Red crossbilss at Crater Lake in September.

IMG_4818Wren on the Eagle Creek Trail in November.

IMG_5040Dark eyed junco at Waverly Lake in December.

Going up a bit in size now (and a little easier to identify).
Grey jayCanada jay (grey jay) along the Crown Zellerbach Trail in March.

Scrub jayCalifornia scrub jay along the Balfour-Klickitat Trail in April.

Stellar's jayStellar’s jay along the Hood River Pipeline Trail in May.

Female red-winged blackbirdFemale red-winged blackbird at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Red-winged blackbirdRed-winged blackbird at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Spotted towheeSpotted towhee at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

StarlingsStarlings along the Hood River Pipeline Trail in May.

Brownheaded cowbirdBrownheaded cowbird at Upper Table Rock in May.

RobinAmerican robin at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Tropical kingbirdTropical kingbird? at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

Black-headed grosbeakBlack-headed grosbeak (also all I could get) at Applegate Lake in May.

Lazuli buntingLazuli bunting at Roxy Ann Peak in May.

Cedar waxwingCedar waxwing at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

IMG_6214Western tanagers, Siskiyou Wilderness in July.

IMG_1094American dipper (Ouzel) near South Umpqua Falls in September.

IMG_2047Townsends solitaire at Crater Lake National Park in September.

IMG_2249Clark’s nutcracker at Crater Lake National Park in September.

IMG_4556Varied thrush along the Eagle Creek Trail in November.

IMG_2981Unknown at Cascade Head in October.

We also struggle with a few of the woodpeckers.
WoodpeckerForest Park in January.

Northern flickerNorthern flicker at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April. We seem to see flickers on nearly every hike, but they don’t often sit still long enough for us to get a decent picture.

Pileated woodpeckerPileated woodpecker at Chehalem Ridge Nature Park in May. We rarely see these but like the flickers, when we do they are very difficult to get a photo of.

Acorn woodpeckerAcorn woodpecker at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

WoodpeckerHairy? woodpecker near Twin Lakes in the Umpqua National Forst in June.

IMG_8655Red breasted sapsucker at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area in July.

IMG_4737Either a hairy or downy woodpecker along the Eagle Creek Trail in November.

IMG_2764Unknown, Sky Lakes Wilderness in late September.

Next up are scavengers and birds of prey including those pesky hawks.
CrowCrow along the Crown Zellerbach Trail in March.

RavenRaven at Upper Table Rock in May.

Turkey vultureTurkey Vulture at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

American kestralAmerican kestral along the Crown Zellerbach Trail in March.

OspreyOsprey along the Hood River Pipeline Trail in May.

OspreyAnother osprey at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

Bald eagleBald eagle at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

IMG_2517Eagle in the Sky Lakes Wilderness in September. Not sure if it is a bald or golden.

Immature bald eagle and a hawkA bald eagle and hawk at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

HawksPair of hawks at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

Hawk at Ken Denman Wildlife RefugeHawk at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

HawkHawk at Julia Hansen Butler Wildlife Refuge in June.

IMG_0907Hawk along the Pacific Crest Trail near Carter Meadows Summit in August.

IMG_2056Hawk at Crater Lake National Park in September.

Barred owlBarred owl at Noble Woods in May.

Great horned owl at Ken Denman Wildlife RefugeGreat horned owl at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

Great horned owlYoung great horned owl at Roxy Ann Peak in May.

Moving on to game birds, a few of the species we saw this year were at the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area at their breeding facility in June.
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IMG_8640Ring-necked pheasant

IMG_8634Silver pheasant

IMG_8649Near the breeding facility at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area.

DoveMourning dove at Roxy Ann Peak a in May.

IMG_6290Grouse? in the Siskiyou Wilderness in July.

IMG_9295Grouse in the Mt. Adams Wilderness in August.

IMG_1783Grouse in the Sky Lakes Wilderness in September.

Bodies of water attract a lot of birds and provide us with a less obstructed view vs the forest.
Long billed dowitchers?Long billed dowitchers? at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

KilldeerKilldeer at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

SandpiperSandpiper? at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Great blue heronGreat blue heron at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

KingfisherKingfisher at Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge in June.

American bitternAmerican bittern at Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge in June.

White pelicansWhite pelicans at Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge in June.

Hooded mergansersHooded mergansers at Yakona Nature Preserve in February.

Common mergansersCommon mergansers along the Klickitat Trail in April.

American cootAmerican coot at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Cinnamon tealCinnamon teal at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Ring necked ducks and an American cootRing-necked ducks (and an American coot) at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

Nothern shovelerNorthern shoveler at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

White -fronted geeseWhite-fronted geese at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in April.

MallardMallard along the Hood River Pipeline Trail in May.

Wood duckWood duck at Denman Wildlife Area in May.

IMG_4906Not sure if this is a ruddy duck at Waverly Lake in December.

IMG_4967Mostly American widgeons with a green winged teal and a female bufflehead or two mixed in at Talking Water Gardens in December.

IMG_5016Bufflehead at Talking Water Gardens in December.

Family of geese on Applegate LakeCanada geese at Applegate Lake in May.

GeeseDomestic geese near the Klickitat Trail in April.

IMG_4914Domestic or hybrid? ducks at Waverly Lake in December.

Categories
Coastal Range Corvallis Hiking Oregon Trip report Willamette Valley

Alsea Falls and E.E. Wilson Interpretive Trail

The Central Cascade Wilderness Permit system has been in place for 2 years now and for the second year in a row we gambled early and secured permits in April for a weekend backpacking trip. For the second year in a row weather prompted us to leave the purchased permits unused. Last September it was an early snow storm and this year it was a heat wave accompanied by the threat of thunderstorms. We had planned on hiking around Three Fingered Jack but after checking the forecast the morning of our departure we went to Plan B. The combination of nearly 90 degree temperatures (with an overnight low pushing 70) on trails that are 95% exposed due to passing through the 2008 B & B fire scar and the possibility of thunderstorms throughout the entire weekend just didn’t sound appealing.

We had gotten up at 4am and most of our packing already done but we needed somewhere to go. It needed to be nearby so we could get onto the trail early and short enough that we wouldn’t be out as the day warmed up. As I was trying to come up with ideas Alsea Falls came to mind. We had hiked to the falls in December 2011 (post) and had wanted to see them again when there was less water as the volume in December had been too much to see. With 3.5 miles round trip to visit both Alsea and Green Peak Falls this fit the criteria nicely and it would give us time to make a quick stop at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area if we felt like it on the way back home.

We were the first car at the Alsea Falls Day-Use/Picnic Area and after paying the $5 fee (In 2012 we avoided this fee by parking along Miller Road which lengthened the hike.) we set off following pointers for Alsea Falls.
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IMG_8545We stayed left here following the pointer. We later crossed the bridge on the way to Green Peak Falls.

A quarter mile from the trailhead we came to the top of Alsea Falls. The trail continued downhill providing a few different vantage points of the falls.
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IMG_8559Heather in front of the falls.

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Alsea FallsDecember 2012

After checking out the falls from several spots we headed back up to the bridge and crossed the river.
IMG_8575Looking down river from the bridge.

On the far side of the bridge we turned left following the pointer for McBee Park and Green Peak Falls.
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We followed trail pointers to stay on the correct path which brought us to a road near McBee Park (Privately owned by Hull-Oaks Lumber Company).
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IMG_8594Fireweed

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We turned off the main gravel road at another sign for Green Peak Falls. Here a spur road led through a large campsite to a trail.
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IMG_8601Green Peak Falls

Green Peak FallsGreen Peak falls in December 2012.

It was interesting to see how differently the lower water levels affected the visuals of the two falls. For Alsea Falls less water allowed us to see more of the bedrock and gave the falls a little more definition and character. Green Peak on the other hand just had less water, it was still a nice waterfall but it wasn’t the thundering cascade that we’d experienced in 2012.

On the way back we crossed the river at McBee Park and explored one of the empty sites there.
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IMG_8616Covered picnic table.

IMG_8618The table is one solid plank.

Instead of back tracking through the park to the trail and returning the way we’d come we decided to road walk back to the Alsea Falls Picnic Area.
IMG_8619Sign for McBee Park along South Fork Road.

IMG_8621Trail down to the picnic area along South Fork Road.

This wound up being a 3.3 mile hike which was just what we were looking for. It had been warm when we started at 6:15am and it was already noticeably warmer when we got back to the car at 8am. It was still early enough though that we did decide to stop on our way home and finally check out the E. E. Wilson Wildlife Area.

The area, located just north of Corvallis, is one of several Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife managed areas that requires a $10/day parking perming ($30 for an annual permit). Hiking options are limited here with just a 1.5 mile Interpretive Trail to a fishing pond and a 1.7 mile out-and-back to Coffin Butte. The $10 price tag for such sort hikes had kept us away but we had come into possession of an annual permit (They come with certain hunting and/or fishing licenses.) which eliminated that obstacle.

We parked at the Camp Adair Trailhead and promptly forgot to put the permit on the dashboard. Instead we got out, threw our packs on (we looked crazy for a 1.5 interpretive loop but we wanted the water that was in them), and started checking out the pheasants being raised in nearby cages.
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IMG_8634Silver pheasant

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After looking at the birds we walked through the Camp Adair Memorial Garden. Camp Adair was established approximately 6 months after Pearl Harbor and housed up to 40,000 personnel at a time comprising four infantry divisions.
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IMG_8655Red-breasted sapsucker

Parking for the fishing pond is located on the opposite side of the memorial and at that parking lot we turned left on a road passing through a gate to a signboard.
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We followed this road 0.2 miles to a “T” where we turned left.
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Less than 100 yards later we came to a sign for the Fishing Pond on our right at another road junction.
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We made it about a tenth of a mile up this road before I thought to ask Heather if she had put the permit on the dashboard since I’d completely forgotten about it. She had forgotten too so I left my pack with her at a bench and jogged back to the car, put the permit in the window, and (mostly) jogged back to her. We then continued on to the Fishing Pond.
IMG_8675Bunnies in the grass near one of the benches.

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IMG_8676Coffin Butte on the other side of Highway 99.

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IMG_8680Turkey vulture

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IMG_8686Wetlands on the other side of the pond.

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IMG_8692Great blue heron

After walking a little way up along the western side of the pond we backtracked and started around the southern end where we picked up the continuation of the Interpretive Loop.
IMG_8699The loop trail to the right.

IMG_8702Skipper

The loop passed through some wetlands before entering a series of fields and finally arriving back at the road.
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IMG_8711Tadpole

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IMG_8717We stayed left at any junction like this.

IMG_8716Dragon fly

IMG_8719Bindweed

IMG_8721Arriving back at the road.

We took a left on the road and retraced our steps to the memorial and then back to our car. Between our wandering and my return trip to the car to put the permit out I managed to turn this into a 2.8 mile outing but it should have been closer to 1.5. We still managed to be done just after 10am which was a good thing because it was already pushing 80 degrees. These two short hikes turned out to be a great option given the circumstances. Unfortunately as I write this several fires are burning in Northern California and the Oregon Cascades with more red flag warnings for lighting through Monday. Hopefully things won’t get too bad and we pray for the firefighters as they do their best to keep things in check. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Alsea Falls and E.E. Wilson Loop