Posted by: atowhee | September 11, 2015


I got to go birding with Paul Sullivan this morning.  He is one of the local birders wh0 really knows Yamhill County where I am almost reaching novice stage.   We went to several places I had never even imagined, much less visited.  This is a smallish, land-locked county with little marsh, no saltwater marshes nor any large natural lakes.  So did we find migratory shorebirds?  Just look:PECT-A (1280x960)We found our first two Pectoral Sandpipers at a large farm pond on Patty Lane east of Hwy 99 and south of Amity.  The water level was low enough to provide plenty of mudflats. PECTWO-B (1280x960)Also on the mudflats were five other species of shorebird.  In this picture there are three plus two wannabes we identified as Brewer’s Blackbirds just pretending to be shorebirds.  On lower right is our Semipalmated Sandpiper for the day.  Just left of center is one of the Least Sandpipers and then there’s a big, bold plover on the far left.  You may want to click on the pic for a larger view.SEMIP PLUS (1280x960)Best images of the day were of this unafraid Pectoral Sandpiper on the rip-rap at the Sheridan Sewage Ponds.PECT-BEST (1280x960) PECT-BEST2 (1280x960) PECT-SIDEVU (1280x960) PECT-WINGVU (1280x960)Out on the water there, a lone Red-necked Phalarope. RNP (1280x960)Patty Lane image showing Semipalmated next to the Least SEMIP-LESA2 (1280x960)At Sheridan the Least was neighborly with a Western: WESA-LESA3 (1280x960)Here’s the Wilson’s Snipe Paul spotted in the much at the shallow end of the Patty Lane pond: WS1 WS2 WS3

Also at that same farm there were hundreds of Barn Swallows, leavened with a dash of Violet-greens, feeding over the pond and its accompanying cattails.

SWALO-LIND (1280x960) SWALO-LINSZ (1280x960) SWALO-ROOF (1280x960)

Our total on the day–7 shorebird species.  Throw in hundreds of Shovelers, a few Woodies, Kestrels on the line and hundreds of swallows (mostly Barn) and we had ourselves a fine morning before the temps hit 90 degrees and everybody headed for the shade.  Kestrel, BTW, must be Paul’s totem bird.  That’s what his car license plate reads: “KESTRL.”  Here are two of the several we saw:KEST FAC (1280x960) KEST-POLD (1280x960)Before we hit the shorebird trail we birded a portion of the Eola Hills overlooking Amity.BEW CU2 (1280x960) BEW UC (1280x960)We only saw a single Bewick’s Wren but a quartet of Band-tailed Pigeons flew into the treetops while we watched. BTP ATOPP (1280x960)The sparrow family was well-represented in the roadside thickets.  Numerous Juncos and at least a dozen Spotted Towhees…here are two of the bolder ones. SPTO BRITE1 (1280x960) SPTO OPEND (1280x960) Amity, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Sep 11, 2015 8:50 AM – 9:20 AM
15 species

Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  4
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  25
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  15
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1–calling
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1

Patty Lane, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Sep 11, 2015 10:10 AM – 10:55 A.  21 species

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  6
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  20
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  1
Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)  2
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)  1
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)  1
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  12
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  300
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  1
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  10
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Montastery Pond and Lane, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Sep 11, 2015 11:00 AM – 11:15 AM.  13 species

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  4
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  12
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  1
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  2
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  X
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1

Sheridan WTP Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Sep 11, 2015 11:40 AM – 12:10 PM. 19 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  100
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  500
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  3
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
American Coot (Fulica americana)  70
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  4
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  3
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  3
Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)  1
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)  2
Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)  1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  1
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  X
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  X
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  2
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  20

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