Thursday, June 05, 2008

Mt. Hood Birding - Part 1

Last Tuesday we took a drive from Portland east towards Mount Hood through the Columbia River Gorge essentially making a big 150-or-so mile loop. With my trusty Oregon birding book by my side, I had a planned a few stops along the way. We started just east of Portland in an area called Larch Mountain (although I didn't see a single Larch tree). The road up to Larch Mountain was relatively quiet bird-wise, but boy was it pretty. It was a rainy, overcast day but the moss and lichen-covered trees of this old-growth forest were beautiful in the misty light.

Winter Wrens were the most numerous bird by far - singing their bubbly song every 100 yards or so. We stopped at a gated logging road and walked up to look for a clear-cut that the book said might have birds.

We heard the distant fluting of a Varied Thrush here which got my heart racing. Unfortunately, this denizen of the moist woods was not to be seen this day. We did find a Gray Jay, Stellar's Jay, and a Common Raven along this road. This road also had two gastropods for us to photograph. See below, but be sure to keep reading.

The second one is a Banana Slug, but I've got no clue on the first. Any takers? Trilliums were also plentiful all along the road up Larch Mountain. Here's a nice picture that Beth took of one.

Bird-wise, Larch Mountain was a disappointment. I found the clearcut written about in the book, but it was pretty overgrown, tough to walk through, and VERY wet. I had hopes of finding Northern Pygmy-Owl and MacGillivray's Warbler, but I was unsuccessful. Look for my next Mt. Hood post in which we visit the Columbia River Gorge and all of its waterfalls!


Alan said...

Very interesting & enjoyable blog with great images



Patrick Belardo said...

Many thanks Alan!

dguzman said...

Cool snail and banana slug.

mon@rch said...

finding birds are not always going to happen . . . its the other things you find when you have days like that! I am assuming we will have many other parts to this trip . . . can't wait!