Posted by: atowhee | August 25, 2011

AUGUST AT ANKENY

August 25:  It was sun-blasted hot and still at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge.  It is one of the units of the Willamette National Refuge System.  Ankeny’s not far south of Salem, Oregon, north of where the Santiam River flows into the Willamette. It’s just west of I-5 at Exit 243 but doesn’t even warrant a road sign in either direction.  It is a major wintering ground for Cackling Geese and northern races of Canada Goose.  So what’s to see now?  Residents and the first smattering of southbound shorebirds.

Here’s one of the Greater Yellowlegs feeding at Eagle Marsh mid-day.  There were a few LB Dowitchers around as well.

This shot of a mud spit at Eagle Marsh shows the lone White Pelican there, a couple of the Great Egrets, lots of Mallards and a few Cinnamon Teal.

This is the largest of three muskrats that were swimming and feeding in the shallows.  It is a rodent in the mouse family, so not closely related to either beaver or nutria.  They are native across much of North America except California.

This time of year much of Ankeny is still dry pasture and grassland.  So there are more Savannah Sparrows than  geese.  That changes with the seasons.  The NWR’s official checklist says the White Pelican is accidental on the refuge.

Ankeny NWR, Marion County, US-OR.  Aug 25, 2011 11:00 AM.  15 species

Canada Goose  X
Mallard  X
Cinnamon Teal  X
Pied-billed Grebe  X
American White Pelican  X
Great Blue Heron  X
Great Egret  X
Turkey Vulture  X
Greater Yellowlegs  X
Long-billed Dowitcher  X
Vaux’s Swift  X
Western Scrub-Jay  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Savannah Sparrow  X


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