Posted by: atowhee | November 17, 2012

WINTER BIRD CLASS

Today was the field trip for my Winter Birds class at North Mountain Park in Ashland. That’s where we began our day at 8AM with predictions for rain before noon. We hit four locations, got 55 species and didn’t get rain until after 130pm as we were wrapping up. Early in the day one of our birders spotted a speeding raptor at North Mountain–it was a Merlin who perched in clear view for all to see. For the hard core birders who completed the whole day we ended at Industry Way near the Medford Airport: a cloud of Wilson’s Snipe and a Short-eared Owl. Siskins were numerous and widespread around North Mountain Park. Here’s a greedy crowd at one nyger feeder. All the other likely winer finches were also in that park including one male black-backed Lesser Goldfinch who was startling in his vivid yellow chest and glossy black topside. Most of our local Lessers are green-backed.
There are two subspecies of Lesser Goldfinch: psaltria (black-backed) and hesperophila (green-backed). In general the black-backed males are found from Colorado to Texas in the eastern portion of the birds’ range.

One of the several adult White-crowned Sparrows we saw today. Vagrant of the day: a White-throated Sparrow at Ashland Pond. Surprises: a flock of White-fronted Geese flying south over Newbry Park and a hybrid American/Eurasian Wigeon at Newbry with a yellowish crown stripe. Also, remarkable was the density of Wilson’s Snipe in the weed field where the Short-eared Owls winter.
North Mountain Park, Jackson, US-OR. Nov 17, 2012 8:00 AM. 30 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 65 fly-overs
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 10
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1 fly-over
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) 10
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 4
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 4
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Merlin (Falco columbarius) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 8
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 25
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 3
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 30
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 15
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 5
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) 1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 8
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 20
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 50
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 8
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) 4
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) 6
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 2
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) 50
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 12
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 4.
Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR. Nov 17, 2012 10:00 AM. 32 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 45 fly over
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) 5
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 3
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
American Coot (Fulica americana) 2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 7
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 30
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 2
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 4
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) 1 heard only
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 6
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 15
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 10
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 12 fly over
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 6
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) 2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 15
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 6
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 10
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) 1
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) 12
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 8 included one black-backed male
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 10.
Bear Creek Greenway–Lynn Newbry Park, Jackson, US-OR. Nov 17, 2012 11:15 AM. 26 species (+1 other taxa)

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) X fly over flock, heading south
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 65
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 15
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 4
American Wigeon (Anas americana) 120
Eurasian x American Wigeon (hybrid) (Anas penelope x americana) 1
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 40
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 24
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 1
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) 1
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) 80
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
American Coot (Fulica americana) 150
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 4
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 6
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 2
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 10
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 1
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) 25
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 6.
Medford Airport, Jackson, US-OR. Nov 17, 2012 12:45 PM. 11 species

White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) 2
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) 1
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) 25
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 40
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) 1
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 40
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) 60
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 8
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 20
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 4.

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