When we moved to Wenatchee, Washington we knew we’d see a variety of birds that inhabit the eastside of the Cascade mountains. We were excited to see new species. What I didn’t think about (at least not much) was the species we’d leave behind. Some birds that we saw commonly at our Portland house or in the area just don’t seem to make it over the hill and this far north. Or so it seems with the Lesser Goldfinch. In Portland we saw a lot of these birds and fewer of the American Goldfinch. Here in Wenatchee we see a lot of American Goldfinch and I have yet to see a Lesser Goldfinch in the neighborhood. Looking at a range map for the Lesser it may be that we are too far north for the Lesser to show up. That could change as climate change occurs.
This photo was taken about 3 miles from our house in Portland. Commonwealth Lake Park is an urban park that has a 0.75 mile paved trail around it. The pond lays in some the highest density urban areas in the state of Oregon and gets a tremendous amount of use by a wide variety of people. I fell into the group of users that showed up frequently, walked a couple of laps (or more) and carried binoculars and a camera. On this day there was a small flock of Lesser Goldfinch hanging out in a sparse tree at the west end of the park. Busy feeding on catkins they seemed unconcerned about me and the camera. This is as close it comes to automatic photo taking – many birds to look at, all fairly low in the tree, unconcerned and perched in even lighting. Click, click, click. Next?