Posted by: atowhee | November 19, 2016


We birders get around to some strange and even isolated spots…and sometimes in very bad weather.  One Christmas Bird Count in a driving rain along the Pacific Coast I saw a fishermen in a complete waterproof outfit including Nor-wester hat.  He looked at me and said, “You must be crazy to be out in this weather.”

Some places I see hikers or joggers.  Others I might encounter hunters or folks fishing.  Loggers, campers, dog walkers, mushroom hunters, wildlflower fans, horseback riders, park or forest rangers, farmers–all these are familiar sights in various birding spots we all frequent.

A couple of my favorite seawatch locations often attract painters.  With a fine overlook above the Pacific they come to try to capture or represent in some way the shifting light and tone of the mercurial moody ocean.

Except for a very occasional worker I never encounter anybody else at any of the sewer ponds I’ve birded from here to Henderson, Nevada…not to mention the infamous Brownsville, Texas, city dump.  No self-respecting hunter of fishermen finds sport in such a place.  Wildflowers: few.  Nobody seems to appreciate the heady organic smells, not even an intrepid painter shows up to reflect on the reflection of light from the turgid waters, or study the glint of sun on the foam surrounding the aeration pumps. Go to beach or lake and the world goes with you.  Go to the sewer pond and you go alone.

Today at Yamhill there were seven lucky snipe in what I now think of as Snipe Marsh at the north end of the property.

Here are Cackling Geese, outstanding in their field, watching me watch them.cacklr1Song Sparrow at our garden feeder:sosp-sitzsosp-leansRed-tail over Yamhill:rth-upppprobinberryRobins and Waxwings, sparrows and Starlings were at the rich hawthorn crop.haws1Nora beneath a November sky:nov-skeyeRainbow over McMinnville:mcm-bowThis time of year must seem like paradise to cows, with no concern for the future.  Like not caring about climate change, or the next war.happy-cowsCrabapples at Yamhill Sewer are loaded with fruit this year, good for Robins and Starling. Most are smaller than a ping-pong ball.crabsOne of the adult wintering White-crowns at Yamhill:wcsp-stumptShovelers joined in the communal whirlpool activity, stirring up goodies from the bottom for a social luncheon special.shov-circles


Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 19, 2016 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM.  23 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  23
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  128
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  125
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  2
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  17
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  7
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  X
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  3
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  60
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  4
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  6
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  14
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  15
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Carlton City Sewer Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 19, 2016 1:25 PM – 1:35 PM. 7 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  18
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  3
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  2
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  35
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  8
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1



  1. Harry, you should put together a book one day of your birdy musings… it could even be a 365 day calendar with a birdy musing for each day.

    • it;s in tghe planning and collecting stages

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