We spent a pleasant few hours at the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday. I hadn’t been since they opened up the back trail on May 1st.
The first bird that greeted us was a Lazuli Bunting but it was not a cooperative photo subject. I hadn’t seen one since leaving the Malheur area about a month ago.
The long grassy path was lined with more Savannah Sparrows than I had ever seen in one place. I think they could hear our shoes crunching along the path and would rise up out of the grasses for a look and then settle back down again. One of them flew into a tree on the opposite side of the path and escorted us down the trail, flying from tree to tree until it determined we were safely out of its personal territory.
A silent fly-catcher (why, yes, I do think it may be another Western Wood Pewee) was busy at the end of the path as well as a Rufous Hummingbird working the blackberry blossoms and Brewer’s Blackbirds called from their posts.
I am familiar with the very recognizable call of the Common Yellowthroat but we heard an alarm call I didn’t recognize and stopped long enough to see if we could pinpoint the sound. It was a Common Yellowthroat that appeared to be nesting nearby and seemed a bit worried about how close we were.
I loved the tall grasses with the purply pink grassheads along this path. Foxgloves and native roses were in bloom as well.
Flocks of Cedar Waxwings moved from tree to tree. When we reached the overlook at the refuge, we observed them flycatching, something I had never seen them do before. They would fly up to catch an insect, make a quick circle around the tree and back down to where they had been perched a moment before.
Back at home, we had a visit from a bullfrog who decided he liked the puddle that had formed in the tarp covering the barkdust and soil in our driveway. The neighbor kids enjoyed a close-up view of this guy. So did we.
We grilled for dinner with our kids and their significant others, including sweet Charlie the Dog who made himself quite comfy.