Nesting herons and osprey and flowers, oh my!

Nesting herons and osprey and flowers, oh my! Urban hiking Alton Baker around sunrise with birds everywhere, even an eagle flew up / down the Mill Race looking for a meal. Sure looked like spring, even though it rained, snowed and the wind blew …

For people who say urban hiking is boring … BS!

Note: all rounded corner photos can be opened for higher resolution


While the clock said “Sunrise”, the sky did not agree. Looking back to Spencer Butte from Gillespie Butte, the fog and snow / ice covered the northeast side of the butte.

Great Blue Herons

The Mill Race nesting tree is getting crowded already. Two nests built and 1 with a pair of birds getting ready.

This was a first for me. I had not seen both adults in a nest, at least in this tree.

Osprey nest building

Coming around Autzen Stadium, big birds flew around through the trees and I was unable to make out what they were. They kept circling around the Mill Race and eventually landed on a nesting platform on the east side of the stadium. This was a bare, empty platform; the osprey had nested on the west side previous years (but the geese stole them!).

I was amazed at catching them building a nest, even if the photo is too distant

Neither stayed long on the platform and quickly continued up the Mill Race fishing, i think.

An eagle

On the return trip between the stadium and Alton Baker, a young bald eagle flew around very close to the water hunting. It circled a couple of times while I watched camera in hand (without taking a picture). If this is same eagle, it has taken up residence near Alton Baker as its seen there often.

Flowers in the ‘hood

The last 1 mile coming back home through our neighborhood was rewarded with wonderful spring flowers just popping.

Sadly, coming back on our street I could hear the house builders on Gillespie Butte digging foundation with that backhoe hammer … it’s over 1.5 mile to walk, maybe a mile as crow flies – surprising how far that sound travels.

Hiking stats

For those keeping score at home … 10.6 miles, 3.3 mph avg speed.

One Response

  • Quite a morning! The big birds around the lake are rather quiet now, think the “pairing up” has been accomplished. No flowers yet.

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