Posted by: atowhee | March 3, 2008

Lontra canadensis, and a few good birds


 Male Bufflehead picture by Larry Shushan, note the keen green sheen.

Kate and I walked Bridget along Bear Creek in Lynn Newbry Park mid-day.  It had been below freezing overnight sothe air was still cold.  But the sunlight was mostly visible through thin and scattered clouds and it was getting warmer.  A few days earlier we’d met a couple of hikers, excited about what they’d seen on the pond next to the Isabel Sickels memorial plaque and boulder.  We had been dubious about their claim.  But today they were proven honest AND accurate.

Swimming next to the southern most island in the pond: Lonta canadensisThe northern river otter.  Just to be sure we didn;t mistake him for some lesser mammal, he carried thepo0inted tip of his loooong tail out of the water.  This pond is tightly bordered by cattails and willows so this spot is not likely to yield any great views of otter at play.  But knowing they’re there is reason enough for return visits.  I will attempt a photo….

There was a also a brief view of a turtle in the pond, but it didn’t resurface and mpost of what I saw was claw and back.  First reptile sighting of the year though I’ve heard red-legged frogs (I know, amphibians) singing in a couple different marshes this week.

Ducks on the pond: Ring-neckeds, a lone male Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, a pair of Gadwall, a pair of American Wigeon.

Robin dines, ablutions follow

Yesterday an American Robing dropped down off the hillside, pecked up a four-inch earthworm, slurped it down.  Satisfied, it rested on a perch for a couple minutes.  Burped, I imagine.  Then fluttered back down to our birdbath for a quick shower.  Then sunned off the extra droplets before fluttering back uphill into the forest.

Other birdbits: there are about forty California Quail we see regularly along East Butler Road east of Ashland.  One neighbor there feeds them in the driveway.

The Red-tailed Hawks are being loud and seen often in couples now.  The Canada Geese are now paired up and honking even more than usual.  Another Turkey Vulture passed overhead heading north during our walk.  No more swallows seen. 

Most of our wintering birds still seem to be here: Golden-crowned, Lincoln’s and Fox Sparrows, ducks, Hermit Thrush, Red-breasted Nuthatches that will head to higher ground in spring.  No Waxwings to be seen right now.

Location:     Newbry Park & Greenway, Talent
Observation date:     3/2/08
Notes:     River otter in pond by the Isabel Sickels memorial stone
Number of species:     28

Canada Goose     14
Gadwall     2
American Wigeon     2
Ring-necked Duck     12
Lesser Scaup     1
Bufflehead     4
Turkey Vulture     1
Red-tailed Hawk     2
American Coot     9
Rock Pigeon     45
Northern Flicker     2
Western Scrub-Jay     3
Common Raven     1
Black-capped Chickadee     4
Bushtit     17
Bewick’s Wren     3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     1
Wrentit     1
European Starling     5
Yellow-rumped Warbler     1
Spotted Towhee     2
Fox Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     3
Dark-eyed Junco     6
Red-winged Blackbird     18
Lesser Goldfinch     25
American Goldfinch     4

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

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