Posted by: atowhee | May 17, 2017

THE SPRING SING

This morning we had an eventful Wednesday bird walk on the Linfield campus. Almost the first bird of the day was a Swainson’s* Thrush, feeding on open ground at the edge of a lawn area that will soon see the annual commencement ceremony.  Today there was the mundane business of finding grub–robin, Spotted Towhees, a pair of thrushes, even a scrub-jay were feeding on the bare ground beneath conifers.ST ROKSDid I hear somebody mutter, “This bird rocks?”  And it flies:ST FLYWe also saw a Hammond’s Flycatcher hawking bugs among the taller trees.  This bird will end up nesting in a montane conifer forest, either Cast Range or Cascades…just passing through.  Sam can be said of the Black-throated Gray Warbler we heard and probably the pair of Western Tanagers, one male and one female.  The male’s bright yellow and cherry-flavored head-dress brought exclamations of admiration from our group.

Loudest and most persistent singers this morning were Black-headed Grosbeaks, one male even well seen.  Warblers whispered from the trees, Song Sparrows and Spotted Towhees were heard from as well as the starlings.  Near the end of the walk we heard the tanager sing and make his frog-like “crick” calls.  Overhead the swifts were calling to one another. Other birds heard from included scrub-jay and flicker.

“No bird soars too high, if he soars on his own wings.”  –William Blake

The high flying birds this morning, zig-zagging over the treetops, were Vaux’s Swifts, their cycle-shaped wings almost black against gray overcast.  Late in the walk we did see Violet-green Swallows.

KESTREL     Yesterday at Joe Dancer I saw both members of the local kestrel couple.  First the female passed overhead, see sharp-winged against white clouds.  Later the malwe was sitting on top of a utility pole:KEST-AIRKESTSIT3KESTSIT4KESTSIT2KESTSIT

Linfield College campus, Yamhill County, Oregon, US
May 17, 2017 7:50 AM – 9:20 AM. 30 species
Mallard 1, female fly-by;   Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  20
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  X
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  1
Hammond’s Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)  1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  3
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Swainson’s* Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  3
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  X
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  6
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens)  X
Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  2
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  3
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  2
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  4
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  X

*William Swainson (1789-1855) was a prominent British ornithologist and zoological illustrator who helped J. J.  Audubon sell his very expensive elephant folios of American birds.  Swainson took Audubon to Paris and introduced him to all the leading French naturalists and collectors of the era. Swainson was an expert on European birds but never visited the U.S. He did explore eastern Brazil and in 1851 emigrated to New Zealand where he died.  Many of his illustrations were of new birds from Brazil and Mexico.swainson-toucanThis is Swainson’s rendering of the Doubtful Toucan.

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 16, 2017 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM.  16 species

Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  2
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  X
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  2
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  10
Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  1
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  2

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