Posted by: atowhee | December 18, 2016

SALEM CHRISTMAS COUNT SUMMARY

One of our first stops in the morning was Geer Park.  It’s economically unfortunate position may have saved it for the Cackling Geese.  Geer is on a small creek between the Oregon National Guard Armory and a state prison…not prime residential real estate thankfully.cac-geer2Up close you can admire the delicate pale outlines on each successive row of back and wing feathers.cac-cuThough these geese nest on the rugged margins of the Bering and North Seas when they come south into towns they become very nonchalant about large upright mammals.  I walked casually within fifteen feet of these birds and they hardly moved out of my reach.cac-geer1cac-geer3cac-geer4cac-geer6This Red-tail was also in Geer Park along with some Kestrels:rth-geer

Mid-day we birded Cascades Gateway Park.  There we found our only gleaner flock of the day: Black-capped Chickadees, both kinglets and this creeper among many foraging juncos:brcr-geerbrcr-geer2In the lake at Cascades Gateway we saw three Bald Eagles and hundreds of American Wigeon but couldn’t find a single Eurasian:wigeon-worldduk-swirl1Headless bird is Canada Goose.  Can you find the lone male Gadwall? duk-swirl2duk-swirl3Unreal ducks occur whenever man impinges on nature’s intentions:faux-dukMale Gadwall, handsome devil in his understated fashionwear.gadw-mailduck-hedThis pole-topper was one of the Herring Gulls at Cascades Gateway:herr-uppSleeping male Common Merganser, one of three at Cascades:come-sleepz

Along Turner Road south of Salem there was a small spring with mud and and an unfrozen pool.  Here we found Green0-winged Teal feeding and a flock of Starling feeding in the grass…and about one-fourth of starlings turned out to be Wilson’s Snipe:gwt-in-springsnipe-n-snosnipe-n-sno2snipe-n-sno3My last sighting of the day was in the Salem Car Pool parking lot.  As I sat in my car a hardy looking coyote trotted past and I got a shot just before he and his finely feathered tail disappeared over a berm:cpoyote-salem

For information on the Barn Swallows we found, click here.

SALEM CBC AREA #1, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 17, 2016 8:40 AM – 3:10 PM
47 species (+2 other taxa)

Domestic goose sp. (Domestic type) (Anser sp. (Domestic type))  X     graylag and Peking geese at Cascades Gateway Park
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Gadwall (Anas strepera)  X
American Wigeon (Anas americana)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Mallard (Domestic type) (Anas platyrhynchos (Domestic type))  X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  X
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  15
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  20
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  8
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  1
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  3
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  X
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  6
Mew Gull (Larus canus)  1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
California Gull (Larus californicus)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  7     7 at Riverbend Gravel ponds on southeast Lancaster, seen by seven birders
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  3
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X

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