Monday, May 18, 2015

The last of the vacation photos

While nothing could be as splendid as the raven-hawk battle at Gingko, my recent visit to Richland did include a few nice birds.  There's a small natural area near a housing development where, every single time I've gone there for the past three years, a Black-chinned Hummingbird has been perched in the very same tree just beyond the houses (one of which has a hummingbird feeder).  I like reliability in a bird.

Magpies are a favorite of mine, and I can predict nearly to within a mile where I'll spot the first one after crossing over the pass (approximately milepost 103 on I-90).  And in the Tri-Cities they are pretty much everywhere you look, though it's hard to get good photos as they are flighty and for a corvid, are unusual in not liking people to get too close.

Speaking of flighty, the hardest birds over that way to get pictures of are the California Quails.  They are also easy to find, but if they are hopping along the path in front of you, and you merely start to raise your camera, they are gone in an instant of fluttering wings, completely hidden under the brush.  And the zoom doesn't help, because they startle at about 200 feet away.  Luckily, while I was at the Reach museum parking lot, I heard the tell-tale whuh HOO hoo of a quail, and spotted it on a pipe overhead, where it seemed oblivious to my presence.  Hurrah!

I did more sketching than birding on this visit, as I've thoroughly birded the area in past years.  And I spent time taking Truman for long walks along the Columbia River, which he enjoyed immensely.

He saw squirrels in the main riverfront park, and completely ignored them, since they were not in his yard.

And we saw the goslings out and about, which Truman also ignored.

This is Howard Amon Park:

We were pleasantly surprised here one day to find the American Empress river cruise ship at dock:

It made me want to go on another cruise.  I thought about sketching it, but goodness, look at all those little doors and windows!  Crazy making, for sure.

I returned home to find that one of the new roses I planted in April had a bloom!  But I shall save the garden update for another day.

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