Hotspots Field Trip (Dec. 28, 2009) Highlights
This was a little different Hotspots trip in that we went to Martyn & Roo Stewart's three acre property east of Redmond. That attraction plus it being still part of the holiday weekend resulted in an amazing 25 people showing up on this cloudy to partly sunny morning.
The Stewart's have three acres of mostly woods with a small stream. There are many feeders set up that not only attract birds but also birds, squirrels, bears and other mammals. So they use a lot of bird seed. The birder that came the farthest was John Farren from Belfast, Northern Ireland who was visiting a brother in Redmond. Our EAS member Derek Mahaffey, a Belfast transplant, had a good time talking with him. What with the large number of people all of us were not able to see all 19 species. We started out with a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree near the P&R where eight of us met to carpool. The rest all drove directly to the Stewart's place. In the woods and among the feeders there were Band-tailed Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Hairy Woodpecker, Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Brown Creepers. Steller's Jays were all over the place complaining about something, maybe it was because all of us interlopers. Other corvids, were American Crows and Common Ravens. Both House and Purple Finches were in the trees. Feeding on the ground were Song Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, American Robin and Dark-eyed Juncos. After going thru the woods we went across the street into an extensive logged off area that had been logged off years ago. A couple of people startled a Ruffed Grouse which flew a short distance away before anyone else could see it. After we left, the Oliver's stayed around and walked the area where it was seen, but had no luck finding the grouse. We all appreciated the Stewart's allowing us to visit their bird habitats.