I have been working in the Vernonia area for the past two days. There are already quite a few Evening Grosbeaks around here. It always seems a bit counter-intuitive that this species arrives earlier and in greater numbers at upslope Coast Range foothill locations than it does in the Willamette Valley lowlands. It was this way when I lived in Eugene, with large numbers showing up in the Veneta/Elmira area 2-3 weeks before they descended on Eugene.
Yesterday I enjoyed a ridiculously cooperative (in daylight) Barred Owl along Keasey Rd about five miles out of Vernonia. I first saw it flush out of some deep grass then land in a sapling about 30 yds off the road. I came back down the road 45 minutes later (about 7:30pm) and the owl was still sitting in the same little tree.
At another stop along Keasey Rd. I had a calling Northern Pygmy-Owl.
This morning in my patch (the area around the Oregon Episcopal School wetlands) I saw my first CHIPPING SPARROW and heard my first EVENING GROSBEAK of the season. ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS arrived on March 27th. OSPREYS arrived on March 18th. A neighbor told me they have been nesting in a snag at the Portland Golf Club for years. I had no idea.
Ahh the joys of patch birding (except for the leafblowers),