Posted by: atowhee | September 18, 2009

Watching TV in the morning and some aerial combat

I was watching TV this morning.  Turkey Vultures.  They are moving south along Bear Creek, leaving this land where soon the carcasses will be frozen every night.  They go to the land of warmth and easy pickings.  I saw one kettle of eight over Ashland.  Circling slowly as they gained elevation, drifting  ever southward.  With little obvious effort they are moving quickly out o view.  Downtown Ashland stands at less than 2000′ elevation.  Bear Creek here is about 1800′  Migrants, however, must get up to 4500′ to get through the Siskiyou Pass just along the Oregon-California border fifteen miles south of Ashland.  Then it’s easy sailing down to the Sacramento River Valley and the mild winters there.

Other migrants were also on the move: Wilson’s and Yellow Warbler, a young tanager.  A Cooper’s Hawk made a quick aggressive sortie against a nearby Raven, making that larger bird squawk with indignation at the affront.  The Coop also set a flock of Starlings swirling in panic.  But then the neighborhood Crows set out in pursuit and drove the Cooper’s Hawk further south:aerial wars

Flicker flashesA flicker along Ashland Creek flashes a little color.

Location:     Bear Creek Greenway–Ashland
Observation date:     9/18/09
Number of species:     23

Canada Goose     1
Wood Duck     7
Mallard     6
Turkey Vulture     12
Cooper’s Hawk     1
Rock Pigeon     16
Mourning Dove     1
Anna’s Hummingbird     1
Belted Kingfisher     1
Acorn Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     2
Western Scrub-Jay     8
American Crow     10
Common Raven     3,  Starlings   60
Bushtit     15
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Cedar Waxwing     50
Yellow Warbler     1
Wilson’s Warbler     3
Western Tanager     1
Brewer’s Blackbird     13
Lesser Goldfinch     3


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