Here are some pictures from earlier this year on the Salmon. I guess its silly to call out my “favorite” river at this point, since I love them all. The Salmon is truly amazing, unique, and far away! Due to its remoteness, you wont see very many people out there. All of these pictures I took along the bluffs between the 96 and Nordenhamer.
I got a chance to go up and visit the Meyer’s Flat Graveyard a few weeks ago. Old cemetery plots are always neat to see. This one is pretty over-grown, but I can tell local families pay respect to there ancestors regularly enough. What an honor it would be to be laid to rest in one of these beautiful places.
I have always considered the northern goshawk my favorite forest bird. And apparently its my “big year”. I have never seen this seclusive creature, other than the stuffed specimen at the front desk at the Mad River Ranger Station. They are actually quite common in the US, but rare in our coastal forests here in CA where they live on the fringe of their range. I have done numerous surveying for these birds in the past 15 years and never had found one. Until this summer:
I was conducting a stand search, for any raptor, owl, or important species. I heard it calling at first from a distance but once it realized I was walking in it territory it flew right on top of me and squawked away. Once I saw it I knew it was a goshawk. I followed it until it stopped in this tree.
I stopped to take some notes, and started looking for a nest. After about 20-30 min of searching around I saw it:
Inside the nest was the female and at least one fledgeling. Do to a constant drizzle, it was difficult to get a clear view, and my binoculars where getting drops on the lenses. It was in a 18″ DBH Douglas-fir, which was some what interesting considering all of the fat nesting structure in the larger trees. But thats the thing about the human eye. It obviously doesn’t have the best ability at determining nesting structure.
A perfect way to start the night…This time, me and my co-workers where in for a long night with Murphy’s Law in full effect. Thunder and lightning, unexpected road blockages and sketchy neighbors can make spotted owl surveying tense.
The 4-wheeler lights didn’t work, so we had to strap on flashlights to get to our stations. Can you see the rain? Funny thing was the clouds were hard to see. It was like Hawaii rain, huge drops, but looking up into the sky all you could see was stars…We ended up hearing three owls that night, two spotted owls and one barred owl. A busy night. All kinds of other creatures are lurking around at night too, like this nasty….