Posted by: atowhee | October 23, 2015



Oct. 20, 2015—Late afternoon, 430 PM. Nora and I walked first toward the entrance gate where the view of the first pond is best. Lined up atop the dikes were dozens of Canada Geese including some Duskies. In one area they were joined by about 50 Cackling Geese. The size difference was pronounced. In the further pond on the east side were the ducks. These turned out to be mostly Shoveler. I could see and hear a few Mallards and managed to visually cull a pair of Pintails from the crowd. Well over 200 Shovelers, mostly paddling about, having eaten enough during the day. So there were very few seen butts up.GOOSE-2SIZESLarge:Canada, small Cackling. GOOSE-2SIZES2Something set off a flight reaction.  I didn’t see an eagle or Perevgrine or coyote, but the hundreds of ducks and geese took to the skies.  Goose cries echoes off the nearby Coastal Range hills. P2550054 P2550066 P2550083Then they all came back to the ponds, one group at a time.GOOSELANDING

The line of trees along Yamhill Creek include many bright yellow ash. The stubborn oaks retain their leaves and give no fresh color to the October display. I heard a familiar song and then sound several Western Meadowlarks in the tops of the oaks. They were the first meadowlarks I’ve seen in Yamhill County since moving here three months ago. Was it on purpose that they sang facing west where the late afternoon sun would burnish their bright yellow breasts?

There was still one more source of bright yellow, a flock of Lesser Goldfinches.

2LITL-BRDS  LEGO BUSH P2550052 P2550053Later along French lane south of Carlton I found this hunting Kestrel on top of a harrow. KEST


Even though we are sadly lagging in rainfall this season, there is enough moisture in the air for some foggy mornings.  The dew drops playing with elegant patterns as they decorate the spider webs.  WEB-DEW WEB-DEW2 WEBDEW3 WEBDEW5Robin’s nest, pre-owned.AMRO NEST OLDOCTREES1OCTREES2


This preserve was beautiful but not very birdy, best sighting was Red-breasted Sapsucker next to the parking lot.GREAT OAKThe next generation of bigleaf maple: MAPL-NEXT-GEN MILLER WOODS PND P2550111 (1280x960) P2550114 (1280x960) P2550119 (1280x960) P2550120 (1280x960) P2550121 (1280x960) P2550122 (1280x960)I believe this is an Arnica sp., in the aster family. P2550123 (1280x960)


This morning Nora and I were off to get fresh chestnuts and that took us to south Yamhill County. As ever there were lots of songbirds along Rice Lane in Amity.  From there we went over to Willamette Mission State Park on Grand Island.  This aster on Grand Island is one of last survivors of the blooming season.ASTER IN OCT ATTAKHere we have shots of far-off attack by Kestrel on a Red-tail.  I see about one Kestrel for every two miles of rural road in the open countryside.  They disappear, of course, when you get into wooded habitat. ATTAK2 ATTAK3 BARN-X BARN-YCalifornia poppy another denier of short days and cold nights. CAL-POY GBH ON RIVRGreat Blue Heron along the Willamette.  Golden-crowned Sparrow along Rice Lane. GCSP-RICE1 GCSP-RICE2 GCSP-RICE3 GCSP-RICE4 GRAND IS SIGN  KEST KEST-WIRD K-FISHER NOFL BK NOFL LEAN NOFL MALE NOFL SHLDR NOFL-CLEAR NOFL-SIDEFlicker above and Varied Thrush below were along Rice Land.  Varied Thrush, straight flush…or maybe five of a kind.  There were five of them at the upper end turnaround on Rice Lane, and a couple lower down. VATH-APPL1 VATH-APPL2The river… WILL-RIVRHere’s is star of the clean-up crew in our garden in McMinnville: GRDN SQRL

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