Wildlife Sightings

Hostajunkie

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This weekend was a real treat for me! On Saturday morning I watched a mature bald eagle swoop down and snatch up a dead rabbit from the middle of the road, then carry it toward the ponds near my house. And yesterday morning I was loading things into my car when I heard a sort of "whoop whoop whoop" sound. I looked over and saw THREE pileated woodpeckers running around whooping in my neighbor's tree. :) Unfortunately, I couldn't get out my camera fast enough in either case. :p
 

Triduana

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It's been a good day for wildlife for me today. I start every year with a blank bird / plant list, so everything is exciting the first time I see it.

On the drive to work today I saw my first swallow, sand martins and a red kite.

When I was at work, I saw my first brown hares (one of them did the trick of hiding in the grass until I almost stood on it!) and I also found this, out in the open on top of some grass:

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It will be a skylark or meadow pipit nest that's been dug out by something. So pretty.
 

Hostajunkie

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Very pretty nest!

Years ago I put a grapevine wreath on the windows of my front covered porch. Almost immediately, a robin built a nest in the wreath. The next year a robin reused that nest. The 3rd year a mourning dove showed up and rebuilt the nest to be much higher. lol! Last year a robin took it over again, and I haven't seen any birds in the nest yet this year, but here's a pic of the dove. She was SO SWEET! She never minded me being around her. She'd just watch me. :) I'll take a mourning dove over a robin any day. ;^)
wreath_dove_IMG_5497.JPG
 

laika

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1,132
I heard a pileated woodpecker yesterday; no other woodpecker hammers that loudly. Also heard: a raucous bunch of coyotes under my window one recent night. They started howling and yipping when an ambulance siren went by.
As for creatures seen, I finally got a good look at one of the barred owls that I often hear. One landed in our magnolia and tolerated my presence below the tree for quite a while, long enough to get a good look. I also recently saw a possum crossing the road in that awkward shambling way of their kind.
 

Hostajunkie

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162
Another relatively new thing to my gardens is the Eastern Red-Backed Salamander! I saw my first one last autumn and I couldn't figure out whether I was seeing a strange snake or a strange worm. I saw another one the other day and after searching on-line I know what it is. They are only around 4" long and their legs are so small that I didn't see them. lol! This site has info and photos:
Eastern Red-Backed Salamander
 
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ntl

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Indianapolis About 7AM, I had just fed and put Trip, the cat, out the back door and happened to look up. Swooping across the sky, slightly above, and between the tall tree and me, was a Bald Eagle! He soared lower towards the north, still between trees and houses, then up over trees and pond, made a
U-turn to fly back past me. Another U-turn and as he flew almost from ground level across the pond, climbing slowly. Now, the trees were between us. It appeared he was carrying something. It could have been a fish or possibly a duck. I don't recall ever seeing a bald eagle, and he was a wonderful surprise. The bright head, the immense size. Wow. Just wow.
(pretty sure it wasn't the cat, but he won't be home for a few hours.)
 

Triduana

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I thought I'd already posted this, not sure who I told now! I had a brilliant wildlife experience a couple of months ago. I was working in Shetland (islands to the far north of Scotland) and I took the 10:30pm ferry to the island of Mousa.

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The reason I was there is because Mousa Broch (the 2000+ year old building in the picture) is famous for its colony of storm petrels. They're sparrow-sized seabirds that nest in the walls and return from sea when it gets dark. There are thousands of them and they swarm like bats, it's amazing. I didn't attempt to photograph the birds, they're much too quick.

Photo taken at midnight:

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Grizabella

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What a wonderful thread! Thank you for directing me to it Triduana!

I just posted a game camera photo of the cougar who shares our woods in another forum. Triduana invited me to post any more wildlife sightings or stories I might have from here where I am. I'm the English descendant of a family named Easton that I've traced back to Fairlight, England in the 1600's. My Easton ancestors came here to Oregon in the US as pioneers in 1880 from Fairlight, East Sussex. I noticed Triduana making a post about being British so that touched a chord with me and I feel right at home.

We have a nest of ospreys right across the creek from us and I've gotten some molted feathers from them that are nice. I'll probably use them for something eventually. I do a lot of beadwork of various kinds including Native American style so maybe for something like that. Something I find really surprising and puzzling is that the ospreys have their nest in an old snag that's not shaded or protected by other trees. It's right out in a snag that's taller than all the other trees around where the rain beats down and the snow piles up. I'd have thought they'd want some sort of protection from the elements but not so----

We have a large herd of elk here. I just painted some small elk pictures to use for Christmas cards. One of my neighbors told me that one day awhile before I moved here, a herd of them came strolling up the creek into the park. I hope they do that again someday so I can see it.

We have a mama bear and cubs close by. We see where she digs for grubs right next to our path out into the forest. My son caught her and her cubs on game camera a few years ago but it was my first year here and I didn't get to see her. My neighbor has garbage cans that still have bear claw marks on them. We're careful to keep all the garbage tightly under wraps so as not to attract any hungry bears or other critters, but we still have skunks rambling around at night. We don't go outside much at night. I especially don't. I have utmost respect for cougars, since I was raised in an area where there were lots more of them than there are here. They're probably my favorite wild animal but I don't have any illusions about what they're capable of. I don't fear them but I do respect them.

We have lots and lots of Stellar's Jays here. They sit and scold me in the summer and fall and just obviously consider themselves to be the bosses here.

My first year here I was surprised one morning by looking out the window and seeing what looked like a black chicken walking up the driveway. It was kind of dragging one wing. One of the neighbors had rescued a raven from an attack by one of the ospreys and it had gotten out of the little shed the neighbor had had it recuperating in. Soon a cat came along following the raven, stalking it. I don't know what the outcome was but I hope it was a good outcome for the raven and not the cat.

I probably mentioned it in other posts, but I live in the Willamette National Forest which is almost 2 million acres of old growth forest. The park I live in was started in 1926 as a place where men who worked in the logging industry camped on nights and weekends so they wouldn't have to travel the 50 miles down to the valley to town every day. Some of their families would come up and stay to do the cooking and bring supplies, etc., too. Then in the 40's it became a formal paid park and in 2018 my grandson bought it. My oldest son manages the park and my grandson and my youngest son do whatever electrical and maintenance type of heavy stuff or hire it done, like taking out trees nearby that might threaten any of our homes as happened in February of 2019 when we had a big snow. This park is the only privately owned land in the midst of the national forest for many miles around and we were cut off from our power and from the valley for a week or so. There were so many trees down out on the road that the guard rails looked like zippers, they were so dented down from fallen trees. My youngest son and grandson finally got up to us with some generators and other necessities to get us through the "adventure".

Our exciting adventures for the past two summers have been forest fires. We had to go on alert at level 2 last year but this year we had a level 3 extreme that sent me to the valley to sleep on my grand-daughter's couch for a few days. Thank goodness we're back to a normal weather pattern right now and I'm back settled down at home again.
 

Triduana

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I enjoyed reading your post Grizabella, thanks for sharing some of your stories 🙂
I am envious of your osprey nest! Yes they always seem to choose a really open place to nest. I've heard of special platforms being built for them to nest on. I've only seen one osprey this year, but watched it catching fish a few times.

Our garden is usually very quiet at this time of year. In summer it gets busy, mainly with sparrows, then they all vanish and come back when we start putting out food for them when it starts getting colder.
 
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