Yesterday, I left the confines of the apartment to lead a sanctuary tour at the Audubon Society of Portland. There were 13 fourth graders in my group and they were very attentive and energetic. Highlights of the tour include a great view of a singing winter wren in the forests and a pygmy owl being treated in the Wildlife Care Center. It was too cold for newts to be active and visible in the pond, but the kids were thrilled to see three mallards floating around.
Large fungus like this is always a crowd pleaser!
Some of the sanctuary's shrubs, such as this elderberry, are starting to return to life. Indian plum is starting to flower, but the salmonberry is not leafing yet.
After the tour, I chipped away at my Forest Service work at my grandparents- in-law’s house just west of Audubon.
Andie the dog slept on the floor while Clark the cat came to help with my spreadsheets.
The feeders at Fred and Maggie’s always put our apartment bird-viewing deck to shame. While working, I watched a cedar waxwing check out the birdbath alongside some robins.
Rough photo, but the waxwing is the one in the middle.
Other birds on the deck included a male downy woodpecker, red-breasted nuthatches, bushtits, varied thrushes, spotted towhees, dark-eyed juncos, song sparrows, golden-crowned sparrows, American goldfinches, lesser goldfinches, pine siskins, and house finches.