Posted by: atowhee | February 14, 2018

BUSY BIRDING SPRING

Here’s what my schedule looks like starting in Mid-March:

March 14th: Presentation to Golden Gate Audubon, open to public, pre-registration required.

San Francisco’s Natural History – A course by Harry Fuller

March 14, 2018 from 7pm-8:30pm

$10 GGAS member, $20 non-member

This fascinating presentation will move across three centuries of observation and change in the wildlife and ecology of San Francisco. Once rattlesnakes ruled Telegraph Hill and a grizzly bear was seen swimming across Mission Creek. Today most creeks are underground and exotic trees fringe the horizon. We will look at the introduced, the invasive, the survivors and the prospects of the future. From nano-plastic pollution to climate change, people now can alter the future of all living organisms in the environment. The banning of DDT in 1974 and the subsequent return of Brown Pelicans and Peregrine can be a road map to where we should go now.

Class will be held at the Google Community Space, Main Event Room, 188 The Embarcadero (enter on Steuart Street, San Francisco CA 94105

Copies of Harry’s new book, San Francisco’s Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars, has just been published and will be available for purchase.  Here is link for registration: https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/goldengateaudubon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=3796

 

March 15th: Presentation to Sacramento Audubon Society.
BIRDING SPOTS ALONG I-5.
7PM.    Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael, CA 95608.

 

March 16th: Presentation at Lindsay Museum, Walnut Creek. Free.  330PM.
GREAT GRAY OWLS IN CALIFORNIA, OREGON AND WASHINGTON.
Also, chance to meet a captive Great Gray Owl, the only one in California.
More info here: https://lindsaywildlife.org/events/great-gray-owls-author-comes-lindsay/

 

March 17 and 18: Golden Gate Audubon Field Trips in San Francisco, pre-registration required.
Guided Field Trip with Harry Fuller
Saturday, March 17 and 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
limited to 20 people ; $50 GGAS members, $75 non-member price

Harry will lead participants to some key places in San Francisco’s Natural History, including Land’s End & Sutro Heights, Tennessee Hollow and El Polin Spring in the Presidio, Crissy Field, and Lake Merced. What would have been here in 1750? How have these places changed over time? Why is each location notable now? What may lie ahead? How can we make a difference in the future of Natural San Francisco?

Trip will happen regardless of the weather.

We will carpool from our first meeting site. Participants will need to bring layered clothing for the ever-changing SF weather; water, lunch and snacks; and, of course, binoculars.
More details and Information about meeting place will be sent to participants a week before the trip.

Register here:
https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/goldengateaudubon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=3804

Guided Field Trip with Harry Fuller
Sunday, March 18 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
limited to 20 people ; $50 GGAS members $75 non-member

Harry will lead participants to some key places in San Francisco’s Natural History, including Land’s End & Sutro Heights, Tennessee Hollow and El Polin Spring in the Presidio, Crissy Field, and Lake Merced. What would have been here in 1750? How have these places changed over time? Why is each location notable now? What may lie ahead? How can we make a difference in the future of Natural San Francisco?

Trip will happen regardless of the weather.

We will carpool from our first meeting site. Participants will need to bring layered clothing for the ever-changing SF weather; water, lunch and snacks; and, of course, binoculars.
More details and Information about meeting place will be sent to participants a week before the trip.  Register here: https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/goldengateaudubon/eventRegistration.jsp?event=3805

 June 1-5  Summer Lake and Malheur NWR in eastern Oregon.  Trip begins and ends in Ashland.  Sponsored by Klamath Bird Observatory.  Email me at atowhee@gmail.com for further information.

June 14 Presentation at Sequoia Audubon Society.
San Francisco’s Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars.
Reception at 630PM, meeting at 7pm.
San Mateo Garden Center, 605 Parkside Way, San Mateo CA 94403

June 15 Presentation at Richmond Branch of San Francisco Public Library.
San Francisco’s Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars.
3-5 PM.  351 9th Avenue, San FranciscoRic351hmond Meeting Room

 

 

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Posted by: atowhee | February 14, 2018

MCMINNVILLE WORKERS

My birding friend Rob Schulman, and I found some hard-working birds yesterday afternoon.  Singing Red-winged Blackbirds, Acorn Woodpeckers doing carpentry and carving.  Then as I sat in Rob’s kitchen a Red-breasted Nuthatch landed about four feet away on the suety feeder, just outside the window…RBN-ROBRBN-ROB2RBN-ROB3AWO-1AWO-2AWO-3

Posted by: atowhee | February 13, 2018

DO SWALLOWS MAKE A SPRING?

“The swallow is a symbol of summer, and by this token we know that we are in the land of perpetual summer, for does not the Tree Swallow ‘winter’ with us?  …In their immaculate garb of dark blue and white, they seem like crystallizations of heaven and its templed clouds, truth and beauty blended, winged fancies, tender tokens of constancy, fragile, yet potent, perennial pledges of the eternal Becoming of Nature.  The Tree Swallow is a lover of water though doubtless for economic–or shall we say gastronomic–rather than aesthetic reasons.”  –William Dawson, Birds of California, 1923.

With climate change we may be able to tell Dawson’s ghost that we now have wintering Tree Swallows here in sub-tropical Oregon.  There were about fifty of them zig-zagging across the surface of Hagg Lake in Washington County around 1130 AM.  The sun was bright and surely there were insects on and just above the lake surface.  These were my first swallows in Oregon this calendar year.  Welcome back, swallows, this promises to be a great season for mosquitoes.

Henry Hagg Lake Park–Eagle Point Recreation Area, Washington, Oregon, US
Feb 13, 2018.10 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  10
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  2
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  2
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  16
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  20
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  50
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  8
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  1DC FLAP-HAGGMergansers on placid lake:HASGG-FEB13MERG-HAGGMERGS-HAGG2On our way home from Hagg Lake my wife spotted elk in pasture in Cove Orchard, south of Gaston.

Hang that squirrel, you say?HUNG SQRL

Posted by: atowhee | February 11, 2018

LOOK UP FOR DANGER?

Death in the Tree-Top

I watched a watcher this morning: a Sharp-shinned Hawk high in a tree just across the street from our garden bird feeders.  I am more likely to see a Coop here in McMinnville than its smaller cousin.ssh-watching

Along the North Yamhill River the alders have hung out their greencicles for the coming spring.alderHawthorns are reknowned among the berry birds for having waxy haws that don’t rot with the first freeze or extended rain…so today: robins on haws.robberies2robeatsroberries820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Feb 11, 2018. 15 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  2
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  20
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) (Setophaga coronata coronata)  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  20
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  X
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Feb 11, 2018. 10 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  8
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata/alexandrae)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  100
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  25

Posted by: atowhee | February 10, 2018

MCMINNVILLE: MY PET PEREGRINE’S PERCH

February 10, Saturday, 2018

Some ice on the bird baths this morning, unusual this winter.  But a clear day and mild by afternoon when Nora and I went to Merlot Marsh and Pinot Noir Street.   My pet peregrine was back on his preferred perch near the top of the tallest dead Doug-fir.  This time Nora, the dog, and I got to see him fly off.  He sped across the sky a few first-downs above treetops. I chased him with my camera lens.  Nora sniffed with indifference at a fellow predator so insignificant, so far beyond sniffing distance.  The falcon made one move toward a passing collared-dove, then swooped back to altitude and hurried off toward the Coast Range to the west of town.pereperchPeregrine as speeding speck:in airA lot easier to photograph this guy, looking down his nose at the golf course:rt in sun

The overnight cold brought a change in the garden bird mix…several Myrtle Warblers came in a flock today, still eschewing the lone Audubon’s.  And there was a lone Song Sparrow for the first time in weeks.myrt-amyrt-bflkr uppFlicker was calling at Joe Dancer.  Bushtits were gobbling down my suet, as ever.bt--gangAt no name pond, a pair of pintails had joined the usual crowd of ducks.

Blooming plants in the neighborhood include Dutch iris, daffodils, heather, croci, candytuft and violets. The first native plant I’ve seen blooming in the wild is the Indian plum, Oemleria cerasiformes. Most of our deciduous natives are just putting on obvious buds at this early stage.

Posted by: atowhee | February 9, 2018

PAIRS AND SINGLES

Both Yellow-rumped Warblers showed up at the same time today–one of each flavor, Audubon’s and Myrtle.  But they are definitely not “together.”  At the same feeding frenzied moment, about 130pm, the two Spotted Towhees showed up as well.  They are NOW a pair, one of each major gender.  Until about a week ago they came randomly.  Now this week they are “together.”  Surely they will nest somewhere nearby as they are local residents.SP DRINKThis is the male having a drink at the local watering hole.SP DRINK2SRL FEBGS FACEGS-ONEGS-TOOIMG_2709Ducks at Yamhill Sewer…Shoveler, Lesser Scaup and Bufflehead.IMG_2717Unlike human politics, when the rot sets it a forest floor can be a beautiful thing. I don;t often  blog a log, but this is the rotten log of the week:IMG_2718IMG_2721

Posted by: atowhee | February 9, 2018

CLIMATE CHANGE IS A TEMPORARY BOON FOR ARCHAEOLOGISTS

Melting mountain glaciers in Norway are uncovering ancient items lost or left behind centuries or millennia ago.

But only certain idiots would see this as unalloyed good news…all that water ends up in the oceans, which will rise and alter climate means more droughts and…it doesn’t end well in any scenario…and the final threat remains extinction.

Posted by: atowhee | February 9, 2018

TOO MANY PEOPLE, NOT ENOUGH WATER

Is Capetown a glimpse at our climate-changed future?

Posted by: atowhee | February 8, 2018

OWL BATH TIME

Video: https://www.facebook.com/pokemyheart/videos/1933379593369653/

 

Posted by: atowhee | February 8, 2018

OF OWL AND MURRELETS

Barred Owl in the “wrong” place.  My friend Dick Ashford took this shot late yesterday as he scouted meadows for Great Gray Owls in the southern Cascades, around 4500 feet in elevation:dick's barredThis is a spot where I have seen both hunting and nesting Great Grays in the past, a meadow rich with small rodents near Howard Prairie Lake east of Ashland.

And the Center for Biological Diversity would like to see Oregon put the Marbled Murrlelet on its endangered list…as Washington State and California have already done:

https://act.biologicaldiversity.org/onlineactions/Dd3pm-HL6k2Kh-kYg_aZtA2

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