Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gray Jay & Clark's Nutcracker

I took a couple of days off from work since my daughter is home from college for Spring Break. We had planned to make a trip to Mount Hood's Timberline Lodge during Christmas break, but never made it, so we decided to go today.
The idea was to go snowshoeing to take in the sights and see if I could see any interesting birds. The sights were spectacular, even if it snowed most of the time, but the birds were scarce. That didn't surprise me, but I thought there would be more than three species. That's it, only three species. But I'm not going to complain as two were new life birds. In addition to seeing a few crows, we saw a single Gray Jay and three or four Clark's Nutcrackers.
The Gray Jay was first and I saw it very near the beginning of our snowshoeing adventure. It didn't stay around for very long, but I managed to get one reasonably good shot. Then that was it, no more birds until we were getting ready to leave. As were walked to the car some Crows flew over. Then one of the lodge's employees walked by and told us that there had been an accident on the road leading up to the lodge and that they weren't letting anyone use the road until it was cleared.
It was about then that I saw a bird swoop across the parking lot and land at the top of one of the pines. It turned out that there were a few Clark's Nutcrackers flying around the lot in what looked like an effort to scrounge for droppings around the cars. They are supposedly pine nut eaters, but they sure did look like they were scavenging. They would sit at the top of some pines then swoop down between the cars, sometimes perching on top of one as seen above.

The brave adventurers:


  1. Great shots! I love those mountain birds. Snowshoeing looks like fun!

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