I spent the last two days exploring Finley, scouting on Friday and leading a day trip for Portland Audubon yesterday. Besides a lingering fog that greatly hampered our visibility yesterday morning, we had a great trip.
At Mcfadden Marsh were the usual scads of swans and mallards, along with four SNOW GEESE. Limited visibility prevented us from refinding the Eurasian Wigeon drake seen there last week. Continuing along to the Bruce Road overlook we enjoyed listening to a very vocal RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. But the highlight of the day was when a participant spotted a BOBCAT sauntering down Bruce Road without a care in the world, until a truck drove by and flushed it from the road, never to be seen again.
Soon after, also on Bruce Road, we encountered a first-year NORTHERN SHRIKE, so brown in the fog that I had to check its tail color to make sure it wasn't something else. A little further along, past the Christams tree farms, we were treated to an eye-level mixed flock that contained stunning male and female TOWNSEND'S WARBLERs.
HQ had all the standard stuff, but us Portlanders were delighted to watch the antics of ACORN WOODPECKERS and WESTERN BLUEBIRDS, as well as another very vocal red-shoulder.
At the Fiechter House we had decent views of WRENTIT, which were very vocal both days. While watching this bird, a thrush flew past at mach 2, followed in close pursuit by a Cooper's Hawk mere feet in front of us, which was a unique experience. DUNLIN and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER gave good lessons in feeding style at Cabell Marsh.
Prairie Overlook continues to have a nice herd of Elk, but the highlights were two more NORTHERN SHRIKE, uncharacterisitcally in the same scope view, and a beautiful dark morph ROUGH-LEGGED, comedically perching atop the smallest, flimsiest branch it could find as it hunted the field just north of the refuge.