Steigerwald and Warblers!
A week ago, my boyfriend Tomas joined me on one of my best birding trips yet.
I was hesitant to try out Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge before the seasonal trails open (May-Nov), but it was totally worth going. The park is a picturesque 1,049 acre setting of pastures, woodlands, and wetlands along the Columbia River with plenty to see and explore without the seasonal spur.
Upon entering the trail system, we got a great look at a Northern Harrier. Who can resist that charming flat owl-like face?
Following the trail, we came across a flash of feathers near the water’s edge. I investigated further to find an American Bittern!
Moving slowly and steadily, the bittern was on the prowl for a tasty bite of breakfast.
Not long after this, I saw my first migratory warbler! A Common Yellowthroat!
And after that, I saw a bunch more!
So dang cute. They were up, down, flying all around, singing, and “warbling” adorably. It took patience to get photos, but I even managed a single shot of a female.
Later, a passerby alerted me to this handsome fella dabbling in the pond.
A Cinnamon Teal, what a treat!
Stigerwald turned up plentiful wildlife for us to see.
One of my favorite pictures of the day is of this Ring-necked Pheasant. He has a beautiful sunset-colored chest. A much better view than my first encounter on Sauvie Island. This bird was cackling loudly and making a fuss.
Perhaps he was displaying for his nearby lady friend.
We left Steigerwald grateful for such a fulfilling visit. Even so, on the drive home I yelled for Tomas to pull over so we could get a look at Osprey nesting aside Highway 14, because why not?
Later, this same day, my dad emailed me a picture of an Osprey he saw in his hometown of Largo, Florida. While seen only in summer in Oregon, these fierce beauties frequent his neighborhood ponds year-round. What a charismatic shot!
April birding is off to a great start!
Tweets and chirps,
I am so happy you got to Steigerwald! The extra trail makes only the teensiest difference – as you saw, the harriers hang at the parking lot and the bitterns aren’t far behind, so who needs an extra trail? I have yet to see my first yellowthroat of the year, but I bet it’ll happen tomorrow on Sauvie Island. I love yellowthroats.
Steigerwald is awesome! Hope you see yellowthroats today. Their call is so cute, “witchy, witchy, witchy, witch.” ♪