Posted by: atowhee | April 2, 2009

April showers bring warbler wonderland

This morning I saw my first two Orange-crowned Warblers of the year. They were along Glenview Road above Lithia Park.  Around 5 P.M. the dog and braved the April showers and went for a walk to Ashland Pond.  Flashes of warbler yellow shown through bare branches and sodden berry brambles on all sides.comyell4-2

One of many male Common Yellowthroats feedinfg around thge pond’s edge and along Bear Creek.

yrwamale-4-2One of the brightly colored Yellow-rumped Warblers that have been about the pond for a couple weeks.  And there were numerous Orange-rowned warblers in the underbrush and low in the trees while the Yellow-rumps were higher up.  The first major wave of warblers I;ve noticed passing through Ashland this spring.

Againthere were many Tree Swallows far overhead while two Northern Rough-wings coasted down to feed at the surface of the pond.  The Ashgland Pond has been full of water most of this winter after being largely dry last year due to a leaking gasket.  So the duck life has been more rewarding. These are the first Bufflehead I’ve seen on the pond this year:bufftrio4-2

 

 

 

 

Besides the many warblers and the feeding swallows, there was other evidence of migration.  A Greater Yellowlegs circled as if to land, showing it pale tail, then decided to head further north on falcon-like wings.  Several mature White-crowned Sparrows were in the brambles, where they had NOT been in evidence earlier this year.  The most pleasant surprise of the day; a sinigng Marsh Wren inside a berry tangle on the edge of the pond not far from Ashland Creek.  That’s a bird I suspect that’s a recent arrival as well.  The pond was nearly frozen solid several times over the winter.

It may may interestig if the Marsh stays and finds a mate.  Breeding Marsh Wrens are deadly enemies of nesting Red-winged Balckbirds, often invading the blackbirds’ nests and destorying their eggs. The tweo species rarely share a marsh.  The wren requires open water bordered by dense reeds and brush.

Location:     Ashland Pond
Observation date:     4/2/09
Notes:     Greater Yellowlegs was a fly-by.  My first Common Yellowthroats of the year.
Number of species:     33

Canada Goose     2
Mallard     3
Ring-necked Duck     11
Bufflehead     4
Turkey Vulture     4
Red-tailed Hawk     2
American Coot     5
Greater Yellowlegs     1
Black Phoebe     1
Western Scrub-Jay     3
Common Raven     2
Tree Swallow     75
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     2
Black-capped Chickadee     1
Bushtit     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Marsh Wren     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     4
Wrentit     1
Cedar Waxwing     14
Orange-crowned Warbler     18
Yellow-rumped Warbler     24
Common Yellowthroat     15
Spotted Towhee     4
Fox Sparrow     1

Song Sparrow     1
White-crowned Sparrow     6
Golden-crowned Sparrow     5
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     4
Red-winged Blackbird     6
Purple Finch     4
House Finch     1
Lesser Goldfinch     8


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