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so two weeks ago i put up a tower feeder in the bamboo outside my house (no activity) and a suet feeder on our front porch. joel had said he saw a scrub jay pecking at it last week, and then the next day i saw a single squawking jay come down and take a big bite and fly away. i waited for him  to come back for a picture but he didn’t. other than that nothing. i had also just bought some new binoculars last week and just like that it seemed that all the wildlife had left our block entirely.

 

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just missed the scrub jay.

 

so yesterday i am sitting in our front room, with the big window facing south and the afternoon sun shining. i see some shadows flittering on the wall, and i look through the blind and see the feeder SWARMING with little yellow-brown finches bushtits (1/30 – just figured this one out ). 

 

 

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i could open my front door without scaring them and this gives me a great view. 

 

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so psyched!

2009 calender

January 22, 2009

 

should have posted this already, but this year i made a little calender for ’09. ashen ledger official release #2.

it has 3 color drawings and 13 b&w reproductions. animals i have either seen or hope to soon see here in the pacific northwest!

size is 8.5″x11″ (size on wall is 11″x17″)

 

2009 calender cover

my favorite backyard bird around these parts, the mysterious steller jay.

 

bobcats

just two little teaser pics.

black bear

 

available from my website, shawncreedendotcom

 

and here is a video of kim and sully’s cats, oscar (white paws + belly) & rambo (all gray) being cute as always.

 

bathroom window #1

January 9, 2009

squirrel on back porch

 

my bathroom window is my new favorite spot to view the nature around my house. it is on the second floor and faces north. today it was pretty clear, especially to the east. i could see mountains in the distance. to the west forest park was obscured slightly by fog. i noticed a scrub jay and some little sparrows in a neighbor’s tree, and a cat in the window.

i watched this little squirrel dig in thesoft dirt next door that is covered with hideous orange paint flakes from the walls of the house that is being renovated. he found a nut or something and took it up the tree to his perch. after that he hopped in front of the cat at the window and then came over to our porch to sniff around and eat some scraps (i throw food scraps in the “compost heap” that is our backyard. THERE ARE NO RATS HERE IN PORTLAND). while he was doing that i got my camera and came back and took a few pics. then he climbed up the tree to within a meter or two from me and i took this video.

 

 

i also just bought a suet feeder and some seed for an old tower feeder i found. this one is sort of hidden in some bamboo right outside our window, which i think makes a great hidden spot for some little songbirds to come snack, but it will probably take forever for them to find it. the suet is out on our front porch. hopefully i’ll have some birds stopping by soon.

 

bird feeder in bamboo

i visited the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, just north of vancouver, wa with my mother and aunt after thanksgiving.

first up, nutria! mother and baby:

nutria

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not long before we saw an adult bald eagle and several juveniles. these birds are huge!

baldeagle

this one was setting on a tree with a peregrine falcon (down there on the left)

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oh and we also saw this kestrel on our way to the refuge, a first for me in the wild.

kestrel

 

marsh

there were tons of ducks, mallards, a snowy egret and a merlin in this marshy bit, but too far for good pics.

flyinggeese

geese

 

redtailedhawk

so then we are passing through this scraggly forest area where there had been owl sightings of late. we crept along in the car (this refuge is one that you drive through and where for most of it you have to stay in your car) scanning everywhere. tons of hawks, no owls. then near a bend my mom spotted her sitting in a tree at some distance. looking right at us with the most beautiful orange eyes. my first wild great horned owl.

 
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i took a pic through the binoculars

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there was allegedly a small eared owl in a different part of the park, but the stand of trees where it seemed most likely to be was too far away. and we had to be getting on, so we sort of skimmed over the last 1/4 of the refuge. there were lots of great blue herons and more nutria

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highly recommended for people interested in waterfowl and raptors.