Saturday, May 15, 2010

Birding report: Hagg Lake, Washington County, Oregon

Red-breasted SapsuckerRed-breasted Sapsucker, Hagg Lake, Washington Co., Oregon on 15 May 2010 by Greg Gillson.


Next weekend I am leading a birding trip to Hagg Lake in the Coast Range west of Portland, Oregon. Today I did some scouting to make sure trails were open and passable. There are still spaces left on the trip next Saturday, May 22. We'll take a van from Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro, Oregon. If you wish to join, select trip #24783 and call 503-681-5397 to sign up with Hillsboro Parks & Rec. Dept. Other birding field trips are listed on the Jackson Bottom Wetlands web site.

There are 12 miles of trails around the lake and lots of birds. The most common bird today was EVENING GROSBEAK. The second most common bird was ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. Other warblers were quite conspicuous, too--at least in song. WILSON'S WARBLERS, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS, and COMMON YELLOWTHROATS sang from many areas around the lake. I heard, but did not see, 2 YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS. They should become more common next week.

A few flycatchers were in. I heard one WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE and heard many PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, though seeing them was difficult. Equally shy, several SWAINSON'S THRUSHES were heard, but not seen.

At Scoggins Creek about 35 BAND-TAILED PIGEONS were drinking from the spring there. Several SPOTTED SANDPIPERS were bobbing on the rocks. A RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER allowed photos.

All in all, a good morning of bird watching.

Here is the list of birds seen...

Mallard 2
Osprey 1
Red-tailed Hawk 4
Band-tailed Pigeon 35
Mourning Dove 2
Rufous Hummingbird 4
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-breasted Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Western Wood-Pewee 1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 7
Hutton's Vireo 3
Warbling Vireo 3
Steller's Jay 5
Western Scrub-Jay 7
American Crow 8
Violet-green Swallow 12
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 6
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 10
Red-breasted Nuthatch 3
Brown Creeper 2
Bewick's Wren 4
House Wren 8
Winter Wren 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Swainson's Thrush 4
American Robin 8
European Starling 6
Orange-crowned Warbler 40
Black-throated Gray Warbler 7
MacGillivray's Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat 8
Wilson's Warbler 10
Yellow-breasted Chat 2
Western Tanager 7
Spotted Towhee 8
Song Sparrow 6
Dark-eyed Junco 8
Black-headed Grosbeak 20
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 15
Purple Finch 2
Red Crossbill 2
Pine Siskin 3
American Goldfinch 5
Evening Grosbeak 85


  1. Oh I enjoy Sapsuckers so much. Had never seen a Red Breasted species before, what a wonderful looking bird. Love how they make their little rows of holes to sip from, Very nice share~
    Our Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers are so sweet, make a mewing kind of sound.
    The Red-bellied are another story, the worst for pecking holes into a wooden home. Thanks for sharing alwasy~

  2. Greg- has anyone reported to you about a possible hybrid Northern goshawk? I have observed what i call goshawks with "expressed recessive genes", male and female. All sightings were of goshawks in flight and all were mature hawks. Locations- 4 months of observing the same mature female in Rocport, Tx, and another NG in Kemah,(Houston). A male in Goodyear, AZ, male and female in Tucson- for 3 winters running. A female in Anacortes, WA in February 2002, and a male in Anacortes, in April 2005. For 12 years I have been observing the goshawks of Anacortes and also North Whidbey Island, (Deception Pass) and for a 9 mile area, all the way to the Northern city limits of Oak Harbor. The condition- Goshawks with red vermiculation on chest, belly, and under wing coverts. Nelson Briefer- Goshawk Specialist- Anacortes and Tucson.

  3. Nelson,

    I am unaware of this phenomenon. A pair or two of resident Goshawks may be found in the hills above Hagg Lake, occasionally, but they are certainly rare. Views are often fleeting. So I don't really get to study them as do you.

    However, I did find one comment about Cooper's and Goshawk hybrids:

    Gray, A.P. 1958. Bird hybrids. Tech. Comm. no. 13. London: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau.