Posted by: atowhee | July 2, 2017

WHO’S YOUR BEST FRIEND?

During mosquito season I would nominate the local swallow family.  Yesterday my wife and I visited a working farm that has numerous domestic animals and a large colony of swallows, both Barn and Cliff.  Despite goats, llama, cows, geese and chickens there are few insects.  Despite a constant “flow” of fresh manure, there are few insects.  There are swallows, welcomed into and under the roof of the wonderful eighty-year-old wooden barn.bars familyAbove a trio of Barn Swallow nestlings in the farm’s garage.  Below the Cliff Swallow colony under the barn’s eaves…at least two dozen nests.clsw ovrhangclsw ovrhang2

WENNERBERG PARKjayuppBelow: a Western Wood-Pewee, posing on various perches and displaying some of his prominent field marks: no eye ring, dusky chest, medium length wings, heavy beak, slight head crest, perching in the open and not hiding like many Empidonax do.pwee1pwee2pwee3All around me I could hear the “Plink” sound of the Swainson’s Thrushes, like a drop of water falling into an already half-full rain barrel.  This one ventured out into the open, an unexpected occurrence as they tend to be much more secretive than their brash cousin, the American Robin.swain1The Oregon ash in Oregon are loaded with seeds this summer:ashseed

Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jul 2, 2017 10:05 AM – 10:45 AM.  21 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)  1
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  2
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  3
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  1
Barn Swallow (American) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster)  2
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Yellow Warbler (Northern) (Setophaga petechia [aestiva Group])  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  3
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  4
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii)  2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  1

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Responses

  1. Send the swallows to Malheur. I knew mosquitoes would be there June 6- 9, but sure did not like them! The worst of the trip was TWO flat tires on the damn Patrol Road. For God’s sake they put down sharp big stones for a base, but never layered them over with smaller and car friendly stones. Barbara Massey’s group had a flat there the previous week. Really crappy management of the refuge. Duncan finally bought $1,400 tires. Beware as I think you are going in the fall. By the way, you might try introducing Duncan to the modern convenience of cans of paint. The place looks like a deserted nuclear test site.

    The only saving grace is that without the flats we would not have seen the burrowing owl on our TWO trips up to Burns for tires. Did not have my size tire except in a $250 truck tire which I got and then when we got back to the campsite from Burns, the other front tire was hissing away to oblivion. Back to Burns and the owl in the morning. (Good thing I carried the + type of lug wrench or Terrence would never have been able to loosen the lug nuts with the crappy wrench that comes with all cars.) Now $500 into the mess I went to Les Schwab in Ashland (after it took me a week to recover from the stress of the trip…….We went OVER Antelope mountain on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere on the way in which started off my nervous thoughts of being in the middle of G.D. sagebrush nowhere!

    Never, ever again! We did see 70 species, but the Virginia Rails were hiding their chicks. I will send you some pictures. The deer and his bird buddy spent at least an hour browsing the campsite. Some times the bird was on the deer’s back cleaning up bugs for the deer and the bird, and sometimes it was working the ground. Quite a show while I anthropomorphized on friendship among species.

    Never again!

    m a


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