Posted by: atowhee | September 28, 2014


Yesterday at Ashland Pond I met Barbara Massey, a local ornithologist who knows our birds as well as anyone. She said she was disappointed that she’d not yet seen a wave of warblers. I agreed, silently pleased that the waves had not passed through while I was out of state earlier this month. Well, this morning Barbara would have loved being around the pond.

It was the first major influx of Yellow-rumps I’ve encountered, and it was MY highest count of Black-throated Gray Warblers ever on migration. In breeding territories they can sometimes be in overwhelming numbers.
BTG HIDES2 (1280x992)I chased the Black-throated Grays for over half an hour. Got some great shots of tree leaves. Many of my images, even when I “got” the bird, looked the one above. But I kept at it and some open shots were to had after I got into the bird’s flit, land, freeze pattern of foraging in the canopy.
BTG HIDES5 (662x701) (662x701)



BTG LEANS 2 (1280x961)
BTG FLIES (1280x960)

Look very carefully hits next shot. See why they are named “Black-throated?”BLACK THROAT
Here is typical sequence: bird on leaf, bird in flight, bird in brief moment after landing, then foraging begins and the bird disappears behind foliage with only occasional movement being seen.
btg on leaf5
btg fliez

btg lands

The most abundant bird at the pond today: Cedar Waxwings. They were busily consuming insects in the air and downing the fruit on the menu. Haws from the exotic hawthorn trees, blackberries despised by native plants purists and chokecherries.
CWW BACK (1280x960)

CWW CRESTD (1280x960)

CWW IN HAWT (1280x960)

CWW YNBG IN HAW1 (1280x960)

CWW YNG EATS (1280x960)

CWW YNG WITH HAW (1280x960)


The young Waxwings still have their streaked chests which will be replaced by the adult colors in the spring molt.

CWW-YNG-UN (1280x960)

cewa beauty

cewa facer



Also I added my first-of-season Ruby-crowned Kinglet along Bear Creek next to the pond. Earlier reports from local birders mentioned Steller’s Jays in unusual places. There were three at the pond this morning. They only time they venture that far from their beloved conifers in Ashland is this time of year. They never look right among the cottonwoods, willows and ash trees along Bear Creek. Its part of the annual dispersal, like teenagers on their mopeds going into uncertain neighbrhoods. By winter these Steller’s will once again be back among the cedar and pine

Overnight local birders reported on Rogue Valley Birds email group that White-fronted Geese were heard. This morning there were small groups still in the air. Click here for images and words about this mornings geese.

Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR
Sep 28, 2014 10:20 AM – 12:05 PM

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) 45
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) 4
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) 1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 4
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 1
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus) 2
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 2
Warbling Vireo (Western) (Vireo gilvus [swainsoni Group]) 2 on migration
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 3 not usual at the pond, except in September during dispersal
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
Oak Titmouse 1–not known to breed right at the pond, but certainly a year-round resident in the vicinity
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1 first of season at pond
Cedar Waxwings 100+
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) 1
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 10
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) 8

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 4
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 2

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X

I returned to the pond in the late afternoon: no geese, no waxwings. Plenty of warblers still and the Wood Ducks seemed uneasy as darkness approached. Some times as many as three small flocks were winging around the sky, seemingly in search of a safe harbor.


  1. Hi Harry,

    I looked up all on your list from this morning and don’t recognize this bird, shot a Pond 1:50 Saturday afternoon.

    What am I missing?



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