Posted by: atowhee | May 12, 2017


The dog took us out to Deer Creek County Park for a walk between rain showers at noon.  And almost all the usual creekside birds are back for the breeding season…didn’t see an oriole but the rest of the old gang was busy, busy, busy. Bonus was the dense stands of camas lilies in bloom.  Also buttercups and hawthorn trees.

The swallows and flycatchers weren’t the only birds hawking insects in flight. Gasps and exclamations were quickly heard from both my wife and myself as we walked into a little clearing and beheld a male Western Tanager swoop and land, swoop and land.  Each flight flashed his brilliant black and yellow wing patterns in front of our eyes.  Whatta guy!WETA1WETA2WETA3One of Deer Creek Park’s Pac-slope Flycatchers (the pewees wouldn’t hold still):PSF1PSF2Camas:CLOnce leached of their toxic ingredients, camas roots were eaten by Native Americans as a rich source of starch.  The Lewis & Clark Expedition used the roots to stave off starvation their first winter, taking instruction from local natives about how to process and cook the luily roots.

Deer Creek County Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 12, 2017 11:50 AM – 12:20 PM.  11 species

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  3
Pacific-slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis)  4
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1     singing
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  3
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  6
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  2
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X

Masonville Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 12, 2017.  3 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  6
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)  1–in the foothills, my first of the year in Yamhill County

Muddy Valley Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 12, 20176. 5 species

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  X


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