Posted by: atowhee | April 24, 2009

Frost on the ground, spring all around

None of the new spring birds I found along Tolman Creek Road would pose for pictures.  And the cold morning air fell from my mind with the hot birding.  There was frost in our garden this morning but spring is insistent.  The thermometer becomes irrelevant as days get longer.

My new birds for the year: some singing Western Tanagers in the treetops.  I began hearing them just past the driveway for 2175 Toman Creek Road.  I birded up to 3530 Tolman Creek Road.  There were at least three Calliope Hummingbvird males.  They prefer areas where pale manzanita dominate the underbrush.  The singing Townsend’s Solitaire was in the canopy just above the driveway marked by the modern metal sculpture (about 3200 I guess, though it is unbmarked). 

Nashville and Yellow-rumped Warblers were evident and singing, often in the same tree or bush.  Two oddest sightings: an Opsrey flying uphill (where was he going?) and a lone Cedar Waxwing unexpected in the manzanita scrub.  There was an Empidonax flycatcher, gone too fast for even a guess at ID.  It was a dry hillside so maybe not a Pac-slope.  We get Willow, Hammond’s and Dusky in breeding season  differing habitats. 

Lower down the first-year male Black-headed Grosbeak was singing and my first Black-throated Gray Warbler was silently de-bugging trees across the road from the gravel quarry.

Mostly the birds refused to stay still.  And the enthroned Callipe male is so small my camera cannot pick him out to focus!calliope-outta-focus



Use your fiath and imganiationand you can jyust make out the peppermint stripes on his throat.


Willing to pose: this blue lupine.lupine-blue










I think this is Lulinus albifrons, white-leafed lupine.



Location:     Tolman Creek Rd.
Observation date:     4/24/09
Notes:     A number of spring firsts for me: TOSO, WETA, Calliope, BH Grosbeak, BT Gray Warbler.  Oddest sighting: Lone Cedar Waxwing.
Number of species:     24

Turkey Vulture     2
Osprey     1
Band-tailed Pigeon     2
Calliope Hummingbird     3
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     2
Empidonax sp.     1
Steller’s Jay     8
Common Raven     1
Black-capped Chickadee     1
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
Townsend’s Solitaire     1
American Robin     2
Cedar Waxwing     1
Nashville Warbler     8
Yellow-rumped Warbler     40
Black-throated Gray Warbler     1
Western Tanager     4
Spotted Towhee     6
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     2
Black-headed Grosbeak     1
Purple Finch     1
Pine Siskin     1
Lesser Goldfinch     6

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