Posted by: atowhee | October 17, 2014

FREEWAY BIRDING TRIP

I left Ashland n early morning with two birders who bought a Freeway Birding expedition I donated to Rogue Valley Audubon for their annual auction. The purchasers had chosen a trip to the Sacramento valley for fall migration. Today we got as far as Anderson, California.BBM-LOUIE RD
The Black-billed Mahgpie was along Louie Road south of Yreka. We saw Yellow-billed later in Anderson River Park.
These two Western Bluebirds were among flock in Siskiyou County:
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The Greater Yellowlegs numbered two in a small farm pond just downslope from the bluebirds.
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The Dipper was in the Sacramento River at Castle Crags State Park.
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CRAG COLOR

This Hermit Thrush was feeding around the spring that feeds the Sacramento River at its source in the town of Mt. Shasta.
HETH BEAUTY

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This Turkey Vulture was at carrion in Anderson.
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White-crowned Sparrow:
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Flicker at Hedge Creek Falls, Dunsmuir:nofl-hedge flls
Siskins feeding on white fir along Pilot Rock Road, Jackson County, OR:
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PISI FIR
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Anderson.
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Other sights of interest included Bald Eagle, Spotted Sandpiper and Sharp-shinned Hawk at Anderson River Park…Savannah Sparrow flock along Louie Road…golden ash trees along the Shasta, Klamath and Sacramento Rivers…and rabbitbrush in bloom in Siskiyou County.

Posted by: atowhee | October 16, 2014

WHALE OF A FIND

RARE CETACEAN CORPSE ON SHORE IN AUSTRALIA, CLICK HERE FOR A LITTLE MORE INFO.

Posted by: atowhee | October 15, 2014

AN OLLI FIELD TRIP…AFTER THE RAIN

There was a cold, rainy night. Followed by a calm but cool morning with scattered sunshine between cloud banks. The little birds had been dampened and chilled all night. With daylight they needed to eat and replace the lost calories. Yellow-rumped Warblers and Golden-crowned Sparrows were especially evident and busy feeding.
This was a field trip for my OLLI (Osher Lifetime Learning) birding class. Only the hardier souls dared come along in the cold and damp but we were rewarded. Two Ravens chasing a Merlin across the sky…bright Lesser Goldfinches eating thistle seed…a Red-breasted Sapsucker and flock of Cedar Waxwings at Ashland Pond…female Common Yellowthroat at North Mountain and an Orange-crowned Warbler at the Pond…singers includes: Bewick’s Wren, Wrentit, Red-winged Blackbird and Golden-crowned Sparrows. Numerous chinnook salmon heading up Bear Creek for the last round-up.

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Thie graound squirrel’s demeanor was the exact opposite of the frantic, desparate Chinook. The squirrel sat calmly in his chosen blackberry bush, eating fruit and staring at us intruders
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A young Double-crested Cormorant, perhaps the most persecuted native bird species in North America.* This cormorant is hated and killed by the fishing induystry from the mouth of the Columbia River to the catfish farms of the Deep South.
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White-breasted Nuthatch, in an oak tree, of course.
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North Mountain Park, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 15, 2014 8:50 AM – 10:10 AM
0.4 mile(s). 24 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 3
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Merlin (Falco columbarius) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 4
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 6
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) X
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 25
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 2
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) 1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 50
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 2
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 15
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1

Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 15, 2014 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM
23 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 2
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
Turkey Vulture 8 in small kettle
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 2
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Black Phoebe 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) 1 singing
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 15
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata) 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 30
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 3
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 40

* Click here for details about a Corps of Engineers’ proposal to slaughter thousands of Double-crested Cormorant in the Columbia River. This is bitterly symbolic, coming in the centennial year of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, driven to extinction by humans slaughtering the species by the millions. Haven’t we learned that short-term financial gain does NOT justify murdering our fellow creatures wantonly and wastefully?
I checked with Portland Audubon and the Corps has made no announcement about its decision. It tries to get ahead with the cormorant crusade, expect lawsuits.

Posted by: atowhee | October 14, 2014

ON WINGS AND A PRAYER

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With folded front legs, this creature is commonly known as “praying mantis.” I believe this is an introduced Chinese mantis, not our one native species. If I am right his proper name is Tenodera aridifolia.
Our daughter, Julie Talcott-Fuller, took his picture in our garden over the weekend.

Posted by: atowhee | October 13, 2014

MONDAY’S BIRDS

Monday’s Merlin. This is the explanation for why there seemed to be no songbirds around Ashland Pond about 430pm today. One Heron, a few passing Starlings. Merlin perched high and obvious, taking no cover and taking no chances. The bird was swiftly turning its head side to side, then silently it dropped off its perch, gave a couple strong wing beats and sped off across the nearby meadow. Bad news for some careless, small bird.

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This was my first Merlin of the season here in Jackson County.
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I saw the Ehite-throated Sparrow again so I know the Merlin hasn’t eaten it.
Two Crows with their heads together must surely be termed a “conference of crows.”
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This young Band-taild Pigeon was as shocked to see me as if I came from another planet. It was lounging in our garden, perhaps I was its first human? The juvenile status confirmed by the lack of a white neck band.
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Posted by: atowhee | October 13, 2014

GRAHAM’S GALLERY

Here are Graham Lewis’s pics from our Sunday Audubon field trip:GRHM1
Savannah Sparrow above, Acorn Woodpecker below. Both at Emigrant Lake.
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Pear-eating Flicker.
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Golden-crowned Sparrow
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Bushtit.
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Flock of birders.
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Posted by: atowhee | October 13, 2014

AN OCTOBER GALLERY

All this images were taken by George Peterson on our Rogue Valley Audubon walk yesterday:
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Purple Finch juvenile, Emigrant Lake. Part of the Bushtit gang at the same location:
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Bewick’s Wren hides in back of oak, for full-screen view, click on the image._IGP4892-2
Nature outdoes Monet, again:
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Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2014

BIRDS OF PANDEMONIUM

Click here for story about a woman who cares for unwanted birds in the Bay Area. These are caged birds being rejected by their original owners or injured birds just found liyng about.

Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2014

PORCH OWL

PENDLETON SCREECH
This Western Screech-Owl has begun roosting under the eave of a friend’s house in the foothills west of Phoenix, Oregon. The same house gets occasional visits from a roosting Barn Owl as well. The area has vineyards and farms and an abundance of rodents obviously.

Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2014

OCTOBER DAY IN THE VALLEY

I led a field trip for Rogue Valley Audubon today. Over 30 people showed up, and we birded three locations, seeing 49 species. Best of all, at the end we went to Ashland Pond: male Western Tanager in full color and a White-throated Sparrow. The latter was at the same location were this uncommon wintering species has been wintering for the past few years.
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W-T-SP-FACE (1280x960)
CHASING LITTLE GRAY SPECKS
Twice today our group was treated to the sight of Bushtits twitering and flitting through the bushes. This is as close as I got to a decent photo. Bushtits won’t pose.
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B-T2 (1280x960)

B-T3
Salmon in Bear Creek, Newbry Park.
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Wasp nest, Newbry Park.
WASP NEST (1280x960)

Emigrant Lake, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 12, 2014 8:25 AM – 10:25 AM
8.0 mile(s). 33 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 4
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) 5
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) 1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 2
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 3
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 8
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1 male
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) X
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 25
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 1
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 15
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 40
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) X
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 50
Junco–many
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) X
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) X
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1
———————
Bear Creek Greenway–Lynn Newbry Park, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 12, 2014 10:30 AM – 11:50 AM
2.0 mile(s). 28 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) X
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 3
American Wigeon (Anas americana) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
American Coot (Fulica americana) X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) X
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 4
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) X
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) X
Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) 2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
Cedar Waxwing 30+
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) X
———————-
Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR
Oct 12, 2014 12:15 PM – 12:50 PM
0.4 mile(s). 21 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) X
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 1
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 20
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) X

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