Bird Report from Albion Trip

22 May

Location: Albion River Campground
Observation date: 5/18/08
Number of species: 16

Canada Goose – Branta canadensis
Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
Common Merganser – Mergus merganser
Pelagic Cormorant – Phalacrocorax pelagicus LIFER
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Black Oystercatcher – Haematopus bachmani LIFER
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Steller’s Jay – Cyanocitta stelleri
Common Raven – Corvus corax
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
House Sparrow – Passer domesticus

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2 (

The cut and dried report above doesn’t tell the whole story. Somehow, just a list of birds can’t really convey the experience. The Albion River — where we camped — is a river that dumps into the Pacific Ocean. It is influenced by the tides. We found it to be still salty nearly 5 miles up river. It is utterly beautiful and filled with amazing wildlife. Thankfully, it is remote. We drove for 6 hours to get there. (Of course, all of you should just stay away! If you are reading this . . . don’t go there! Nothing to see! Move along!)

Bald Eagle
Okay, well, you might see this but otherwise just move along!

Early Saturday morning, I got up to walk Ruby. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend said he’d seen some Canada Geese with babies at the river so we walked that way. Didn’t see them but we did some an Osprey flying around. My pictures didn’t turn out but I have clear and crisp memories of the Osprey wheeling around the harbor and landing in a tree on the cliff on the other side of the river. Back at camp, we were talking and getting ready to start the day. “Look! A Bald Eagle,” my step-father called out! I could see the white of his head from the ground. Amazing.

This Osprey was just toying with us — he didn’t intend to dive at anything

Later at the beach with the kids, this Osprey — probably the same one from earlier — buzzed us.

Before lunch, the abalone divers were back and Bob (aforementioned sister-in-law’s boyfriend) took us on a cruise up the river on his boat. Wow! The scenery was spectacular. There were so many fantastic things to see. But, the Ospreys really stole the day. Especially this one who was enjoying his lunch on a branch, low over the river. We cut the motor and drifted in to him. He didn’t like it but he liked his flounder lunch more. The river trip was the highlight for us. Amazing birds and mammals. It was truly lovely!

Osprey with Flounder
Go away! You are too close to my lunch!

Osprey with Floudner
Forget it! I’m eating anyway!

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow posing so prettily

Canada Geese Family
Family Portrait!

And some mammals:

Seals at Seal Rock
Uh! Hello?

Seal at Seal Rock
Excuse us?

Mergansers and Seals
We see you!

Hauling up on Seal Rock
Hauling out of the water!

Canada Geese Family
Heading home as the fog rolls in!

9 Responses to “Bird Report from Albion Trip”

  1. jayne 22 May, 2008 at 2:21 am #

    What a wonderful place, and such a great variety of birds to see! Love that osprey eating dinner, and the sea lions… so funny!

  2. Bobbie 22 May, 2008 at 4:51 am #

    It must have been a wonderful trip! I especially love the family portrait – and the jack-in-the-box.

  3. Liza Lee Miller 22 May, 2008 at 5:31 am #

    Thanks, Jayne. The pinnipeds are actually seals (Harbor Seals) not sea lions. They were so used to humans. I guess when the fisherman are cleaning their fish, they can drop the unwanted bits right into the seals mouths. Amazing!

    Bobbie — those geese were so beautiful! I was surprised how few ducks and geese and water birds we saw — I guess it was because it’s an active fishing harbor too.

  4. Trixie 22 May, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    Amazing osprey pictures, just gorgeous. Glad you had enjoyable weekend.

  5. robin andrea 22 May, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    Love those osprey photos. We saw a few on our trip down the coast between Crescent City and Trinidad. I’m glad to see that there was an eagle for you to photograph. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the eagles sure to be flying around Humboldt county. Mendocino coast looks gorgeous!

  6. Trixie 22 May, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    Hey Liza Lee, e-mail if you get a chance at (if you want!).

  7. Liza Lee Miller 22 May, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    Robin Andrea — that Bald Eagle was like the 3rd I’ve seen in my life. It was so cool to see it soaring over us! The Osprey was fantastic too. I hope you see lots of soaring birds over your new home!

  8. toni 23 May, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    Loved seeing your photos from the trip. Sounds like a wonderful time.


  1. Modulator - 23 May, 2008

    Friday Ark #192…

    We’ll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, beer, coffee cups, and….? Visit all the …

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