I was up before O dark thirty this morning looking forward to a good day birding at elevation in the cascades but ran into a gate across (the) road that serves an area I've been waiting to check for several months. That was bad news for me. It meant an entire day's effort was just scrapped. The good news was a small sign tacked to the trunk of a nearby tree that read, in part, " . . . . . road is closed from March 1st - July 15th to protect resources in the area." Cars are restricted from entry, but foot traffic is permitted. So it's possible get into the area, but the elevation gain is significant from where ever you start, and the choices are to walk six miles one way by road or a mile and a half cross-country through heavily timbered, sometimes very steep terrain. I was not prepared for either so I headed home.
As I was coming back into town I thought I should not waste a perfectly good morning, so swung by the Clackamas River Trail to see what I might find. All the while thinking that I am on the right trail.
I was five minutes or less into my birding walk along the Clackamas River when I was pleasantly surprised by the distinct, nearby, song of a WILLOW FLYCATCHER. During the time I chased the flycatcher from one perch to the next over an area roughly 100 yards in diameter, I enjoyed a bunch of birds in close proximity. Other species found and photographed include, in order of appearance, LAZULI BUNTING, HOUSE FINCH, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, an extraordinary flock of HOUSE FINCH foraging together, BARN SWALLOW, CLIFF SWALLOW and a encore performance of the WILLOW FLYCATCHER.