Posted by: atowhee | December 31, 2010

ASHLAND COUNT WEEK FRIDAY

Add another to the count total.   Ashland birder Marshall Malden and his wife this morning had six Evening Grosbeaks on their feeder.  A first for them and the only ones for the Ashland CBC this year.

The search continues for some phantom birds: the Rough-legged Hawk that may be along Dead Indian Road, the Harris’s Sparrow that may still be out along East Main, the Lazuli Bunting counted but not photographed along Ashland Creek, the Barn Owl near I-5 Exit 14.   And Both Forrest and Frank are hunting Mt. Ashland and Cascade foothills for at least one Mtn. Quail or a grouse of any kind. [CORRECTION; DICK ASHFORD’S TEAM ON DEAD INDIAN HAD SEVEN MTN. QUAIL ON COUNT DAY!  NO PICTURE  😦 ] New Year’s Day is our last chance.  Maybe the Canyon Wren will show up again in the Peterson’s front entryway.

COLD COMFORT

It’s comforting to know that new birds are being spotted.  Best to bird through the window.  It’s cold out there.  Temps below freezing and bitter wind in open areas taking the wind chill down below 20 degrees.  It hit 19 overnight at our house.  Frost remains on the ground where the chilled sunlight doesn’t reach.

Those dangly things over Ashland Creek are ice.  I took this picture while I was failing to relocate the Lazuli Bunting this morning.  Birding through the window was productive.

Here’s the first-ever Acorn Woodpecker we;ve recorded in our garden.  They’re plentiful as couple hundfed yards downhill, nearer the cente rlf town.  Up here we have many more Douglas-fir and Ponderosa pine, so rarely an Acorn lover.  This guy must have been hungry to leave his usual territory.  He certainly befuddled the other birds in our garden, not used to seeing an Acorn here.  Jays stayed away. First, a Junco checked him out.

Then a Mourning Dove whistled in for a look-see.  The Acorn didn’t even flinch at the whistling wings of the newcomer.

ASHLAND PONDERS

At Ashland Pond the lone Great Egret continues, as does the lone Cedar Waxwing contented to fly-catch his way through this bitter weather, eschewing the usual diet of berries and winter-softened fruits.

The cold has not reduced the bird activity.  On Strawberry today, just above Scenic, there was both a Say’s Phoebe and a Red-breasted Sapsucker.  While bucking the wind at Ashland Pond I saw two wind-tossed raptors overhead.  A determined Merlin (that’s redundant, of course) was harrying a relatively gargantuan Red-tailed Hawk.  Yesterday, while John Bullock and I cowered before the wind, a Golden Eagle soared across East Main and headed toward Mt. Ashland, the eind apparently have no effect on this path or speed.

IN our garden the Juncos, both jay species, MODOs, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and lone Fox Sparrow have unlimited capacity.  Now one Starling is hitting our suet, an unusual sight in our neighborhood.  The Downy is daily as is the Flicker.   No Hairy for a few days.


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