Posted by: atowhee | April 14, 2008

You may think of it as Monday, but in some quarters it’s Migrantday

Well, we had two warm days in a row.  Sunshine.  Pear and cherry trees in full bloom.  Broadleaf maple and willows beginning to open their new leaves.  Then this morning it was cold, gray, rainy after some precip overnight.  It never warmed and tonight the forecast promises the snow level will come well down the mountainside.  Right now it’s too gray to see above 2500-feet but there’ll be snow up there tomorrow.

But the spring migration through thre Rogue Valley and over the Siskiyous is in full swing.  So today our feeder-rich garden and the bird water supplies were busy.  Sparrows abounded: Golden-crowned being the most numerous.  Two LIncoln’s were a nice touch.  I had briefly spotted a single LIncoln’s yesterday.  Not named for our 16th Prtedident, BTW.  But for a young Mr. Lincoln who went with Audubon on his expedition to the Canadian Maritime Provinces over 175 years ago.  Lincoln was a crack shot and brought back the first ever-noticed sparrow that was named for him by a grateful Audubon.  Later Lincoln moved to California after the Gold Rush, so he’s actually only one of two men from the Pacific Coast to have an American bird named for him.  The other being Mr. Allen of hummingbird fame.

With the resident Spotted Towhee and the crowd of Juncos there were six species of Emberizids in our garden today.  Next most abudant were the Fringillidae Family members: two goldfrinches and a pair of Siskins who seem to have taken up residence.  It was the first flock of American Godlfinches in our garden since last fall.  The males are now almost entirely yellow on their backs and added considerable color to the hanging feeders most of the day.

As evening rain fell the jays returned for evening tea, and the female Flicker hung to the side of a swinging feeder to pluck out the oil-rich sunflower seeds.  Early today I was not surprised to see a flock of brightly feathered Audubon’s Warblers pass through the yard and continue toward the north, but it was a big smile when I spotted the next warbler.  A bright, curious Nashville Warbler male.  First I’ve seen this year.  Soon they should be hanging around the willows and oaks, whispering, then nesting on the slope above our garden.   But for now: a eureka bird!  So despite the current cold rainfall, it must be spring, huh?

The only lingering winter ducks I’ve seen the past few days: a pair of Bufflehead on the Ashland Creek swimming resevoir.

The Mountain Chickadees have departed our yard for higher woods.  I thought the Chestnut-backed were also gone, saw none yesterday.  But late today, during the drizzly dank of sunset which went unseen: one lone Chestnut-backed swooped in for a sunflower seed.  They must take even the partial seeds I serve off to a branch to hammer away. I have proof the Bushtits are nesting so it was expected when a lone gray speck showed up on the suet feeder today.  In about four weeks I hope to begin seeing Bushtit family gatherings of five or six such specks.

As I write this a lone Siskin holds forth on the squirrel feeder, the most obvious and biggest feeder we have.  The squirrels don’t want to get those fine tails wet, so they’re in hiding.  The tiny Siskins, got gumption?  You bet.  They will hold their ground against much larger birds.

Location:     243 Granite Street, Ashland
Observation date:     4/14/08
Notes:     single Bushtit indicates nesting; sparrows and warblers on the move, but hung around for easy food, same for the flock of American Goldfinches, at the feeders most of the day
Number of species:     21

Mourning Dove     3
Downy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     1
Steller’s Jay     6
Western Scrub-Jay     2
Black-capped Chickadee     2
Bushtit     1
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     2
Nashville Warbler     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)     8
Spotted Towhee     2
Fox Sparrow     2
Lincoln’s Sparrow     2
White-crowned Sparrow     3
Golden-crowned Sparrow     8
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     18
Pine Siskin     2
Lesser Goldfinch     2
American Goldfinch     9

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(


Location:     Glenview Drive–Ashland
Observation date:     4/14/08
Number of species:     7

Bufflehead     2
Turkey Vulture     6
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     4
Steller’s Jay     7
Western Scrub-Jay     2
American Robin     2
Spotted Towhee     1

Location:     Emigrant Lake
Observation date:     4/13/08
Number of species:     23

Mallard     10
Common Merganser     18
Western Grebe     1
Double-crested Cormorant     15
Great Blue Heron     1
Turkey Vulture     6
Osprey     2
American Coot     2
Ring-billed Gull     10
Herring Gull     1
Acorn Woodpecker     4
Downy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     1
Western Scrub-Jay     5
American Crow     7
Tree Swallow     8
Western Bluebird     1
American Robin     4
European Starling     3
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)     12
Spotted Towhee     1
Red-winged Blackbird     11
Brewer’s Blackbird     15

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