It is the height of the sunny season here in the Willamette Valley–insect populations are near their annual peak. Good news for our swallowing neighbors. There were three Violet-green Swallows high above the Yamhill Sewer Ponds mid-day. Lower, just above the ponds and over the nearby pastures, Barn Swallows criss-crossed one another’s flights. These swallows left behind an invisible mesh of random transects. A few of them rose to the height of their violet-green cousins.
Out over the ponds were some heavy-bodies birds trying to imitate the swallows. There were slow upward swoops, heavy wing flutters, dropping bodies despite outspread wings. These “flycatchers” turned out to be Cedar Waxwings, getting their share of the insects that had also drawn all the swallows.Kestrel on a metal post. TV soaring lazily through the blue.
Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 25
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) 2
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) 3
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 30
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 2
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 12
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 2
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X