Nora and I got to Joe Dancer Park about 1015am as one shower drizzled away and a brief respite of filtered sun greeted us. The flowers of spring are upon us—a trillium glowing white, yellow violets, fawn lilies with buds about to open, the first cherries joining the ebullient plums already in full bloom.
Starlings and robins were harvesting berries from a group of ivy-covered trees along the river. A male and female Spotted Towhee were moving through the underbrush together, perhaps patrolling the territory where they will nest soon. A screaming eagle called from along the river. Distant crows were discussing some social issue in full voice. Two Turkey Vultures circled about fifty feet above the treetops. One Song Sparrow perched twenty feet up in a sapling and then gave out with a version of the species’ song that would not attract a mate. I took the singer for a first-year male who really didn’t have the musicality required to out-sing a mature male. Good luck, buddy, I thought, what a pathetic twitter feed you have. A male flicker rattled off and on while various male robin were singing in the conifers. A Purple Finch sang in the Doug-firs. A pair of Bushtits were feeding together, separate now from their village until the bustitlets are born and fledged.
Later I spotted a kinglet moving through the foliage, fluttering, landing, hovering. Then it stopped and perched with its belly right above me by twenty feet. And it sat there. Suspicious. A still kinglet? I looked more closely, longer wings and heavier beak than a kinglet…turns out it was a Hutton’s Vireo, a bird known for more cautious movement and more deliberate consideration of options. Definitely not a species to be favored by The Go-For-Broke Trump Family.
Best show of the day was a Spotted Towhee bathing in a puddle near the skateboard structure.
Usual suspects: the male Anna’s Hummingbird in his regular spot atop his regular tree…the Red-breasted Sapsucker that I only see close to the clearing through the trees where the electricity wires cross the river.Robin scores.Audubon’s Warbler above, showing why you should never appear in public while molting; Hutton’s Vireo perched, below.Fawn lily above; oh, what a trill, below:TVs above; bath time below. Flanders & Swan wrote that glorious song, “Mud, mud, glorious mud…”
Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Mar 27, 2017. 14 species
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 2
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 1
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Hutton’s Vireo (Vireo huttoni) 1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) X
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 30
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 4 including one mated pair
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) 1 singing male