Posted by: atowhee | April 7, 2010

Birds Were Dense at Denman

It was the monthly first Wednesday Rogue Valley Audubon walk along Touvelle Road and Military Slough.  That’s part of the Denman Wildlife Area north of Medford.  It’s where Little Butte Creek races into the Rogue River.   About 20 birders had three times that many species on a morning’s easy walk.

Osprey squealing.  Three swallow species.  Signing Bewick’s Wren and Wrentit. Golden-crowned Sparrows still around.   A fleeting glance at a retreating Great Horned Owl. A woodpecker round-up: Downys, Flickers, scads of Acorns, a Lewis’s, and this flashy fellow:

But until they really do find the Ivory-billed, North America’s top woodpecker, high on the awesome scale is the Pileated.  We heard this one calling long before somebody finally spotted him.

Perhaps the best bird of the day: pair of Cinnamon Teal on the one of the ponds along Touvelle Road.  Also there was a hunting Merlin, some newly arrived Common Yellowthroats and a quick glimpse of California Quail.  I got a good look at my first Rufous Hummingbird of the year as well.

This glossy headed Spotted Towhee adheres to the spring-time testosterone-driven imperative: if you’ve got it, flaunt it.  And nesting is top of mind for some newly arrived birds, like Tree Swallows.

Twice we saw lone Bushtits.  It’s only when one-half the pair is on the nest that you see a single Bushtit and not at least a pair, or the family of six, or the whole village.  Dan Murphy swears there are 22.3 Bushtits in thre average flock.

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