Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birdcouple Does Oregon

Sweet, huh?

Cute Husband spoke at the Lewis and Clark College's 49th Annual International Affairs Symposium last week in Portland Oregon (Cute Husband is a genius!) and let me tag along for some west coast birding, coffee, Pinot noir and rain...

Gray, cloudy... pretty typical Portland Oregon spring weather. 
But, it was still gorgeous as we spent a day heading East toward the coast.
And, in this turbulent mountain stream, we discovered our first ever American Dipper!  The American Dipper holds the same mystique for me as unicorn or one of those crazy Bowerbirds.  Dippers are plain Jane solid gray birds with a slightly brown head.  Nothing particularly pleasing to gaze upon, although they do have white upper eyelids. 

That said, American Dippers forage in the coolest way!  They jump or dive into frigid water and catch most of their food under water! They walk, heads submerged, holding their little breaths, along river bottoms, moving rocks to find prey underneath.  

If I hadn't been so excited to see this guy, I would have taken a video to share, but check out his technique here.

Terrific cool, huh?

The weather was pretty dreary most of our visit, but spring likes it wet....
We also spent a day driving down the Columbia River Gorge.   See some blue in the sky? 
 The sun made a brief appearance, blinding us with its un-realness....

 We were in search of the Multnomah Falls.  The tallest falls in Oregon!
I have no idea who this person is who jumped in the way of my picture of the waterfall.  Walking along the bridge was a spectacular treat, although a bit noisy for birding..
 Yes, he is still very Cute....
 California gulls!  We're undeniable. Fine, Fresh, Fierce.  We got it on lock.  West Coast represent. Now put your hands up! 
 The trip was also not without dangers...
This along with constant signage reminding us of
Mud Slides!

But, BirdCouple loves a little birding danger to reflect upon later as we enjoy a sampling of excellent Oregon Pinot noir.


FAB said...

Sounds like you guys had fun and a little sunshine to brighten the trip.

Dawn Fine said...

I love Oregon. Glad you had a nice trip. So cool you saw the Dipper!

Sparroweye said...

I loved Oregon. We also drove along the Columbia Gorge and through Idaho. I loved Idaho. Wyoming had some of the best birds to add to my list. Who knew.