Posted by: atowhee | December 4, 2008

A foggy morning’s birds

Edith Lindner and I were scouting the Roxy Ann area of east Medford where we’ll be for the 2008 Christmas Count.  Cold and foggy, as it has been every morning for a couple weeks. 

rtha12-4This Red-tailed Hawk was one of several near Lincoln School and the marshland preserve there.  Also, present were two Northern Harrier and three female Hooded Mergansers on the largest pond.  Otherwise we found mostly what we expected.  Oak land birds included Acorn Woodpecker, Juncos, Golden-crowned Sparrows,  Northern Flickers, Whigte-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Oak Titmouse.  In one suburban yard with a couple feeders we found Waxwings and a California Towhee.  The latter is uncommon here and not often found away from streams and riparian habitat.  We’re near the northern extent of its range.  Our CBC averages fewer than 20 of these towhees each year.  The colorful cousin in the towhee family, Spotted, is abundant and widespread here.  We saw at least ten in two hours birding this morning.

There may be only one Great Egret in the area, but he’s following me around.  Today one was fishing in an irrigation ditch near Foothill.  They breed at a few spots in souther Oregon east of the Cascades here in Oregon but are more likely west of those mountains in this season.  Ashland and Medford lie in a valley between the Cascades to the east and the Siskiyous to the south and west.

Other birds we found this morning included: Song Sparrows galore, Mourning Doves, several Kestrel, the usual corvids, Downy Woodpecker, Western Bluebirds, Robins, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, Brewer’s Blackbirds, Western Meadowlarks. Even with the dim light filtered through gray fog the bright yellow of Meadowlarks atop a bare oak was a pleasing sight.

Back at home in Ashland our backyard was a flutter: legomale12

Male Lesser Goldfinch












Pine Siskins, asttracted by the thistle feeder they share with the Lesser Goldfinches.

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