Ever since we announced our move to Oregon, it seemed like everyone we told who was even slightly familiar with the state told us, “Ohhh, it rains a lot!” We don’t mind the rain much, as we faced plenty of rain before in Florida, albeit a much different type of rain. We were told that it was the dreariness that might get us. However, I can’t say we faced much typical “Oregon weather” until just recently in December. The end of spring was an absolute delight, summer was warm but with no humidity (a foreign thing to me), and fall was nice and crisp, and even sometimes downright freezing. Winter has given us a bit of that typical rain and dreariness – including a full day of rain during the Salem Christmas Bird Count. Yikes.
|Northern Harrier over the Marsh|
But who wants to think about that right now? I want to think about those lovely, sunny and crisp fall days, particularly at Finley National Wildlife Refuge. You may recall that Finley NWR was where we had our first encounters with my beloved Acorn Woodpecker. Knowing that there is a resident family there makes me very happy, and the sight of these fastidious woodpeckers always tickles me.
We were able to visit Finley before most of the trails closed for the winter for the birds’ protection. Geese and ducks were starting to gather in the lake, but not yet in big numbers during the peak of winter. Nonetheless, we were treated by a few American White Pelicans that swam by – bold splashes of white in a sea of greens, grays, and browns.
|American White Pelicans|
|The colors of fall Lungwort lichen|
|Can you spot the moth?|
We’re always thrilled to see these relatively new birds, but the surprise of the day was a ninja-like Wrentit. We spotted him and watched him for about 30 seconds before he flew off never to be seen again. We had only seen one once just barely in a little wooded area just off the coast, and we were surprised to see one this far inland, but I guess it’s not out of the question. In any case, it was fun to catch even a fleeting glance at this Kabuki mask-faced little bird. He was a lovely way to end our last fall trip to Finley.