Posted by: atowhee | June 26, 2017


Last evening one of our neighboring families was out after sunset.  As dusk settled in the eastern sky, the clouds and heavens overhead and unto the west colored brightly.  The far eastern horizon turned a dark teal.  As the eye traveled upward toward the peak of the dome above the rose and orange and golden and pewter tints became bold.  The lower clouds were a silvery pink while the higher fluffs of cloud shown like curls of butter on blue toast.   In the west the orange and gold and saffron tones dominated.  The neighbors outside at that hour evidently were a family of five, their dark arcs moved smoothly across the colored scrim behind them.  Their curved wings fluttered in rapid bursts but the flight path of each moved in smooth curves and rapid swoops.  It was our local Vaux’s Swifts dining before going to hang it up for the night.  As hang they must, being unable to perch.

This morning there was considerable birdsong in the cool air along Yamhill River in Joe Dancer Park.  Most persistent were the grosbeaks, but I could pick up White-breasted Nuthatch, Spotted Towhee, Western Tanager, Warbling Vireo, Purple Finch, Song Sparrow and crows somewhere across the river.  Two of the few birds I saw but did not hear were a Cedar Waxwing, and a secretive Bewick’s Wren creeping through the undergrowth.

A wild mint is blooming in the shaded spots at Dancer Park, its upper stalks crowned with deep purple florets.  The hawthorn and thimbleberries both promise a prodigious fruit crop in late summer this year.

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jun 26, 2017 11:25 AM – 12:25 PM
14 species

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  7
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata/alexandrae)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  9
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  7
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (oregonus Group) (Pipilo maculatus [oregonus Group])  5
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  2
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  8
Purple Finch (Western) (Haemorhous purpureus californicus)  1


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