Birding Portland

My brother got married Thursday in Portland.  The morning of the wedding we had a couple hours to kill, so when it finally quit raining we decided to go wander around in the little park by the riverside at our hotel.  This netted me a lifer of a Spotted Towhee.



We had decided to add an extra day to the trip just for birding.  I didn’t want to drive around too far so we didn’t go to the mountains or the coast.  We just stayed around the Portland area’s beautiful parks and kept it low-key. 

The Audubon Society has a beautiful sanctuary that borders on Forest Park, both of which are just outside of downtown Portland.  We decided to go here first to try to see some woodland birds.  We had heard there were bird feeders set up and were hoping to see some of the birds up close, but we never did find them.  Thus the birds were a bit more difficult to find.  The forest is beautiful in and of itself so we enjoyed our very slow hike through it.  The trails were a bit muddy and the morning was dreary but it wasn’t raining and we enjoyed the walk.  I was happy to get a lifer of a Chestnut-backed Chickadee.


We also saw Towhees, robins, juncos, sparrows, and warblers.  This Wilson’s Warbler was displaying and singing his heart out, completely ignoring us, even when we walked right under him. 


After the Audubon Sanctuary we decided to head out Jackson Bottom Wetland.  The weather had turned sunny but it was still cool so it was a beautiful day.  We headed down to the marshy area.  We were looking for a Kingfisher for Jonathan to photograph as those are his favorites, but we also checked out everything that moved.  There were many swallows making use of the boxes they had put up there.  They seemed to be mostly Tree Swallows but we also saw Barn Swallows.  I never managed to identify any Violet-Green Swallows, which would have been a lifer.


There were loads of birds there and we took our time watching them all.  Wood Ducks greeted us upon our arrival to the marshy ponds but they were pretty shy.


The Cinnamon Teals were a little less shy so we got better pictures of them. They were my first lifer at the marsh but were quickly followed by several more.


This Yellow-throat was also a lifer.  I know it is weird that I have such common birds as lifers but keep in mind that I was never more than a backyard birder while in the States.  All my birding prior to this was done in Africa. 


Speaking of Africa, although I have no current plans to go back, I do hope to start posting some of my back photos from there soon.  I don’t know if people are bored with American birds and the African ones are more interesting.  I guess for me I just want to post some of the nicer photos that we have, whether African, Costa Rican, or American.

I’ll end here for now and finish my Portland birding next time.


For more great bird blogs try Wild Bird Wednesday or I’d Rather B’ Birdin’.



This post was written in March of 2014.  Life got in the way and I am just now getting around to posting it.  More posts coming soon.

I was so excited to find a lifer here in Ohio that I decided I should try to figure out what “number” he was.  I had never been a lister here in the States.  I kept track of new birds that I had seen on vacations but I never counted them or put them into any kind of a list.  That only changed when I moved to Africa, when every bird I saw was a new bird, it made sense to start keeping track.  And so a lister was born.

At that point, I did not really have a life list number because most of my previous lists were left in various notes and field guides that we left back in Ohio when we moved to Zambia.  Now that we were back I was finally able to compile them all, remove repeats and actually get some sort of count.  Prior to now, I only had a count for Zambia.  That number is 361.  In addition I saw 45 more lifers in Zimbabwe and South Africa combined.  My recent trip to Costa Rica had added a bunch more to my list so I had to count those up as well.  My subtotals looked like this:

Continental U.S.: 76

Hawaii: 15

Zambia: 361

Southern Africa: 45

Costa Rica 2014: 93

Costa Rica Previously: 31.

I suppose my totals are not all that impressive but they are what they are. 

Total life birds as of March 15, 2014 = 621.