Posted by: atowhee | April 21, 2016


Today I made the drive from Ashland, Oregon, south to Albany, CA.  Some sightings along the way included dozens of White-faced Ibis at the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge, a Peregrine over the Bay Bridge and a mother Wood Duck with her clutch in the weeds at Anderson River Park.  How many ducklings do you see?Wodu family (1280x960)I count thirteen.

Ring-billed Gull looking elegant at Weed Rest Area on I-5.RBG PRETTYThe hard angular architecture of the mountains west of Mt. Shasta.  Too new to have been rounded off by wind, ice and rain. SHTA1Mt. Shasta with its lower flanks of dark green forest seen vaguely through a gauze, the mist lifted off the seasonal glaciers by solar warmth on a mild spring morning. SHTA2 SHTA3Mystery bird: this lone turkey was on the lawn of the agriculture science campus of University of California.  Wild, tame or domestic?  It’s a long way from any significant open space. TURKSpeaking of turkey, Turkey Vultures, Anderson River Park: TV-TWICE  Magpie, Willows Rest Area.YB MAGD-FLY1An immense valley oak in Anderson. OAK IMMENSE

Posted by: atowhee | April 20, 2016


I drove from Salem south along I-5 to Ashland today.  Tomorrow the Bay Area.  My one birding stop was Ankeny NWR, then Ashland Pond  Some images, including those wonderful Lithia Park Dippers in downtown Ashland.

In south Yamhill County the terminus of Lafayette Road before it meets  Hwy 221 was covered with Cackling Geese in migration, having stopped for a snack of grass shoots.  There were at least 5000 geese at table:CACKROWDAnkeny: Greater Yellowlegs, Western Sandpipers, sleeping Shoveler pair.

3BIRDSCacklers at Ankeny: CACKLOSE UP ROSE WOOLDrift of cottonwood cottonwool at Ankeny: CTTNWOOL  Hawthorn at Ashland Pond:haw (1280x960) JAY-POLEOsprey on nest platform at the Wheatland Ferryboat landing, Marion County. OSP-WHETLND

One of two Dippers at Bridge #3 in Lithia Park, wearing leg bands: DIPP-BANDED P2690377 (1280x960) P2690378 (1280x960) P2690379 (1280x960) P2690384 (1280x960) P2690397 (1280x960) P2690403 (1280x960) Chokecherry:CHKCHRRY Wood Duck mama at Ashland Pond:wodu mom (1280x960)

Posted by: atowhee | April 19, 2016


While I lived in London I regularly saw Rock Pigeons risding on my commute trains, ofgten gleaning whatever fell beneath the seats, coming and going through the train doors at each stop, just other the other riders.  Never saw a fox on my bus, however.

Posted by: atowhee | April 19, 2016


Young elephant tries to go after flock of swallows.

Posted by: atowhee | April 19, 2016


YR CLOSE UPyr in tree

This brightly colored male Yellow-rump spent some time with me in our garden yesterday afternoon.  He was attracted by the suet and the water, thirsty in the spring heat. YR DRINX yr fly in yr on bath1 yr on bath2 yr on bath3He is not boldly colorful like the Prothonotary or Cerulean, Black-throated Green, Magnolia or Blacburnian Warblers–those brilliantly feathered warblers of the eastern American forests.  The omnipresent Yellow-rump is not even as colorful as our own westerners, Townsend’s, or MacGullvray’s.  But this bird shows what a sharply defined set of yellow patches can mean on a gray and white springtime suit of feathers. YR THROATA lingering Golden-crowned Sparrow, one of these days he will shove off on his spring migration:GCS ON BATHEI believe this is a fawn lily: P2690134

And today the pair of Dippers nesting along Baker Creek Road at “Dipper Bridge” were together.  One sang briefly while I was there:DPLPROK2 DPPR PARE1 DPPR PARE2 DPPROK

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Apr 18, 2016.  11 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  1

Posted by: atowhee | April 18, 2016


AH-NESTAnna’s Hummingbird female on her nest in my brother-in-law’s garden.AH-NEST2Band-tailed Pigeons in the same garden, waiting for the feeder to be supplied.BTP ON TOPC-POPPflkr-uppMale teal at Arcata Marsh in birght sun.GWT COLORSGWT FACINGA mint in bloom, Arcata Marsh:MENTHAThat Great Egret with great meal, a bull-headed fish…which he pulverized and then swallowed.P2690007 (1280x960)Snowy shows shoes, his golden slippers:SNEG SLIPPERSWREN IN REEDSMarsh Wren and his woven nest.  Arcata Marsh.WRENEST

Posted by: atowhee | April 17, 2016


This past weekend I made the long drive from Northern Oregon to Eureka and back, most of that was along US 101 which parallels the Coast.  I attended the Godwit Days Festival in Arcata.  In many sections the highway’s close to the Pacific.  Handsome little blue and white signs remind drivers that they are in a tsunami flood zone should one occur.  You feel the earth move, head for the hills, quickly.  Many of the low-lying coastal towns will not do well under the next tsunami:  Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport, Reedport, Coos Bay communities, Bandon, Crescent City, Klamath, Arcata, Eureka

In March, 1964, Crescent City was hit by tsunami set off by a huge earthquake in Alaska.  Eleven people are known to have died and the much of the town was leveled, later rebuilt on the same susceptible tsunami

Between the inevitable tsunamis the bays and marshes are alive. Rich habitat for many plants and critters.  Here’s a small gallery:BLOY ON BEACHBlack Oystercatcher taking mole crab at Harris Beach in Curry County, OR.  Below: Double-crested Cormorant at Bandon Harbor. DCC IN WATRFar off eagle at Bandon. EAGL FAROFF GW PAREDGlaucous-winged Gulls above, Pelagic Cormorant below, at Bandon:PELCO CU PELCO-BANDN PELCO-THREEHere you can see the white patches that adorn Pelagics during breeding season, this bird is headed away from camera.PELCO BREEDING WEGU FACE WEGU FACE2 WEGU POSTD1 WEGU POSTD2Above adult Western Gulls looking for the next hand-out at Bandon waterfront.  Westerns are a four-year gull going through numerous molts before attaining their formal dark gray, pure white outfit you see here,

Posted by: atowhee | April 15, 2016


I was here today for Godwit Days and spreading the Great Gray Owl gospel at the Friday night.  Perfect spring day with wind and sun and butterflies in the weeds.  Best of all was a male Marsh Wren carrying cattail fluff into his nest and then singing about it as we watched:marsh songANISE SWALLO-TAIL (1280x960)Anise butterfly above; Avo-set below. avosetts (1280x960)Eared Grebe in breeding plumage: EAREDGreat Egret choking down a bull-headed fish.  He finally swallowed the whole thing after pulverizing the top end. EGRET SWALLOMale Green-winged Teal. gwt (1280x960) GWT PAIRD (1280x960)Snowy Egret.SNEG STANDS TV DOWNTV above. TV UPPLIFT

Posted by: atowhee | April 13, 2016


This is one species I just can’t ignore: American Dipper.  So I was back out baker Creek Road today to the Dipper Bridge:dppr side dppr rok dppr lean dppr  logd

Posted by: atowhee | April 13, 2016


At Wennerberg Park this morning I saw my first Chippinf Sparrow of the year.  he was in the willows along the river where there were numerous other sparrows, Orange-crowned Warbler and chickadees.  In my own garden there was a Chestnut-backed Chickadee, first this month, where we usually have Black-capped.  Meanwhile, it was bath time:ST-BATH1 ST-BATH2 ST-BATH3 ST-BATH4 ST-BATH5 ST-BATH6 ST-BATH8 ST-BATH9 ST-BATH10 ST-BATH11The Starling is an exuberant bather.  In a more secluded bird bath the White-crowned Sparrow is cautious in dealing with the water. WC-BATH1 WC-BATH2 WC-BATH3 WC-BATH4 WC-BATH5 WCS FLTTR (2) (1280x960) WCS FLTTR (1280x960) WCS HED DIP (1280x960) WCS LOOKS UP (1280x960) WCS RUN (1280x960) WCS WADE (1280x960)

Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Apr 13, 2016 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM.   19 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Hutton’s Vireo (Vireo huttoni)  1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  15
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  1
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  1     FIRST OF SEASON
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  2

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
11 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  2
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  1
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  2
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  1


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