Category: clackamas, or

Select Photos From Winter 2014

Clackamas County Field Guide

Above is an annotated map of the locations that i have birded in Clackamas County.  Click on any of the pin markers for the annotations. I’m not much of a County List birder.  I’m much more interested in patch totals which is more habitat specific and of keener interest to me.  But many in the birding community are interested in building County level lists, so this is offered in that format.  One advantage to the County concept is that it is bounded by imaginary lines and that constrains the data to a digestible amount of information.  The map is an ongoing effort and will be updated as new places are added and more specie specific data is added.

I chose Clackamas County in this first Field Guide because not many people bird the region extensively. I happen to work in the County and have the privilege to be able to take an hour or two on the way home to check out the birds in the area.  Hence, the pins concentrate on this route along the Willamette, Pudding, Molalla, and Clackamas Rivers.  But i do range east in the snow free months.

Whereas i live in Multnomah County, i rarely bird there because it is so well covered, as is Washington County.  90% of my lists from Multnomah come from my yard, and most of my birding in Washington County is during the Forest Grove Christmas  Bird Count.  I tend to spend my limited field time in areas that do not get covered very much, and are an hour or two from home.  This expands the eBird database and increases our knowledge of avian distribution.  Another checklist from Mt. Tabor in the spring doesn’t add very much.  But if i was invested in that patch -i’d visit it much more often, but i’m not.  I’d rather see a new bird on Clackamette Cove than a life bird on Mt. Tabor.

Some of the sites on the map are not mentioned in the two existing Oregon birding guides for the area, but many are.  So, i think it is additive in the main, which is my intention.

ECAS Birding Oregon – County Specific
Oregon Birding Trails – not County specific.

Sub-Alpine Bog Meadow Survey

Hiked into Black Wolf and Cottonwood Meadows on a sunny August day.  Best birding was early morning at Black Wolf.  The hike down to Anvil Lake and an unsuccessful attempt at Dinger Lake (too much of a scramble for the dog) yielded a few of the expected montane birds.  On the return trip back through Black Wolf there was a trio of Lewis’ Woodpeckers, a first for the ecoregion.   By mid-day at Cottonwood most birds had hunkered down against the heat.  A couple of Common Nighthawks cruised overhead.

Level IV (4c) Cascade Crest Montane Forest

The alternate naming of species reflects differing common names.

Mt. Hood at Timberline


Level IV: 4d Cascades Subalpine/Alpine

Clackamas Cascades, Photo Essay

Faraday Reservoir to Little Crater Lake.

Level IV: 4a Western Cascades Lowlands and Valleys
Level IV: 4b Western Cascades Montane Highlands
Level IV: 4c Cascade Crest Montane Forest

Early May at Camassia Photo Essay

Level IV: (3c) Prairie Terraces

All native species:

Following the Bloom at Camassia

Dropped into Camassia today to check on the progression of the wild flower phenology.  The Fawn Lilies are just about bloomed out, Trillium ovatum is gone except for a few wilting stragglers, while albidium is still found in fine shape.  Rooting around in the duff i found Wild Ginger in bloom.  Fringe Cups are coming out and the first False Solomon’s Seal is unfolding.  Blue-eyed Mary, Early Saxifrage, and Rosy Plectritis are still in their prime.

The best find of the day: California Darner!  Not a record early flight (15 April) but my earliest by 6 days.  The eyes are still grey so it is recently emerged, just past teneral.

As an update: earlier i identified a geranium as Dove’s Foot Geranium.  Well, when i was checking on it today the population had been eradicated.  I talked to one of the naturalists there and she said it was actually Shiny Geranium, an invasive.  In my defense — none of the floras i consult (see references page) has Shiny Geranium listed — oy vey!