Posted by: atowhee | March 20, 2010

Wilson, Bewick, Lewis and Co.

It was a Rogue Valley Audubon field trip at Touvelle State Park on the Rogue River.  A forest of mostly oak and some marshland.  On the Agate “Desert” above was flat grassland.  Wilson’s Snipe were hiding in the marsh and circling about, their chunky bodies and long beaks hard to mistake for a sparrow.  A lone Lewis’s Woodpecker was spotted by Jeff Tufts on the west end of Agate Desert.  The Bewick’s Wrens were calling from willow thickets and generally being officious and persnickety about who passed by.  Each of these birds is named in honor of key figures in 19th Century American ornithology.

Two Osprey on nest platform clearly visible from Touvelle parking lot south of the Rogue River bridge.

Part of the Common Merganser flock collected along the edge of the Rogue.  A knowing fisherman with us says they are wise to the impending release of small fish from hatcheries.  They await the small, raw fillets.

The dominant bird of the trip: Acorn Woodpeckers.  They drum, they call, they cackle, they hang out on upper limbs, flutter their semaphore wings in moving from oak to oak.  Dozens of Acorners.  And numerous are their acorn granaries.  The other bird always in sight: Tree Swallows.  Their low-itched buzzy calls and aerial maneuvers constant over forest and river.  Once in a while, they’d stop.  Or perch near a promising nesting hole.

Caption on this image of lone male Tree Swallow: “Ain’t I a glossy fella?”   He was repeatedly in and out of the possible nest hole beneath his perch.

Fawn-lily bloom in front of my hat so the camera would focus.  On the tip of the leaf you can discern the fawn-like speckled markings that gives this wildflower its common name.

Location:     Touvelle SP
Observation date:     3/20/10
Notes:     Osprey on nest platform.  Blue Herons on nests along Rogue River.  Lewis Woodpecker in tree on Agate Desert above the Rogue Valley.
Number of species:     37

Canada Goose     6
Wood Duck     8
Ring-necked Duck     10
Common Merganser     14
California Quail     1
Double-crested Cormorant     1
Great Blue Heron     25
Turkey Vulture     9
Osprey     4
Northern Harrier     1
Red-tailed Hawk     3
Killdeer     1
Wilson’s Snipe     6
Mourning Dove     4
Belted Kingfisher     2
Lewis’s Woodpecker     1
Acorn Woodpecker     75
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     3
Western Scrub-Jay     8
American Crow     2
Common Raven     1
Tree Swallow     120
Black-capped Chickadee     6
Oak Titmouse     5
White-breasted Nuthatch     8
Brown Creeper     3
Bewick’s Wren     5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
American Robin     8
European Starling     35
Spotted Towhee     10
Song Sparrow     10
Golden-crowned Sparrow     15
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     1
Red-winged Blackbird     80
Western Meadowlark     2
Lesser Goldfinch     3

Touvelle bottomland oaks.

View across the Rogue Valley north toward Upper Table Rock.  We were standing on Agate Desert on south side of the Rogue River which here flows more-or-less due west.

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