Sauvie Island Summer
I met the coolest bird on this trip.
I arose early. Before sunrise, I went to Oak Road on Sauvie Island in the hopes of finding summer birds. I also wanted to take advantage of “the golden hour.”
It was more like “the golden hour of the cow.”
Savannah Sparrows showed me their good sides.
And I came across a few other sweet birds, including a pair of California Quail on the trail that hopped into the nearby trees for cover.
Just before this, I had probably the geekiest conversation I’ve ever had. Returning from the end of the Oak Road trail, I saw another birder walking towards me. Binoculars in hand, beige safari outfit, I can spot a fellow tribe member from a mile away. He asks, “Have you seen a Vesper Sparrow?” “No, I’m sorry I haven’t,” I replied. “I’m looking for the Yellow-breasted Chat,” I told him.
He then proceeded to give me directions to the chat, as he’d heard it singing on his way toward Oak Road. “Good luck with the sparrow!” I told him. He said that it probably hadn’t arrived yet, and I made a mental note to revisit the site in the future to look for vespers.
I followed his directions and voilà, that is how I met the coolest bird ever, the Yellow-breasted Chat. Its “song” sounds more like monkey chatter. I would love to be in a forest surrounded by a chorus of chats and I hope to spend more time with them in the field.
Here’s a pretty decent video of just the bird’s song. And below is a video of the bird singing from a tree while the wind whips the branches around. An American Robin tries to steal the show in the background. Not the easiest environment to take a presentable video, but worth sharing.
Coolest bird I’ve met to date.
Tweets and chirps,
What a happy post! Chats are such cool birds. I finally did hear and see one (instead of only hear) at Sandy River…wait….weren’t you with me? But your encounter was much more personal. ….no highway, dogs, or other birders hassling you. Just cows. And I think I like the savannah sparrow’s Blue Steel look best….it’s a classic. I only recently found out that vesper sparrow occur there….I’ve seen them at Malheur but I doubt I could pick one out of a lineup. I hope you find one later!
I love chats. <3 I miiiight have taken the day off from work yesterday to re-visit Sandy River and hung out with two (!!) of them.
I won’t tell. Good call.