Posted by: atowhee | November 5, 2015


I was driving south from McMinnville for a birding class tonight at Klamath Bird Observatory in Ashland.  That FREEWAY BIRDING  book recommends Ankeny NWR as the one refuge closest to I-5 in Oregon.  While birding along Buena Vista Road I noticed a brownish bird hanging out with the flock of Greater Yellowlegs in a marshy meadow.  Then they flew.  I call is a white chevron on the bird’s tail.  Sibley who claims to be an expert says “white U on uppertail coverts unique.”  In short the telltale tail told the tale. RUFF-BESTHere he is next to three larger yellowlegs in his adopted flock.  He had flown into view along with several of the paler yellowlegs, a common shorebird at Ankney this time of year. Sibley must know something, he goes on to say “found mainly in shallow water along grassy edges of muddy ponds.”  Witness:RUFF1Hdere we see him walk into frame from left and join trio of yellowlegs. RUFF2RUFF3 RUFF4The Ruff was moving through the grass, foraging.RUFF LEFT3 RUFF-LEFTYellowlegs in foreground seems to say, “See, my tail is pure white, not like the stranger’s.” RUFF-LEFT2

DIRECTIONS:  When I saw this Ruff it was among the yellowlegs (obviously) as they were moving about among several small, shallow pools in a grassy meadow east of Buena Vista Road, southwest of Wigeon Marsh and north of the railroad crossing.  These birds were just inside the land owned by the refuge next to the last pullout on east side of road as you drive southwest on Buena Vista.P2560117 (1280x960)

Ankeny NWR, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 5, 2015 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM.  28 species
Here are photos of some of the other birds I saw today.

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  40
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  500
American Wigeon (Anas americana)  4
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  500
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  6
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  75
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  600
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  25
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)  1     along Buena Vista Road near railroad crossing, among yellowlegs
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)  50
Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)  75
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  7     one tree had three, and it was a tree less than 20 feet high
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  50
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  500
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  12
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  5
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  300
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  7
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  20

Author of this blog is also co-author of the only book ever written about the Great Gray Owls of Oregon and the Pacific Slope, click here. Also he is author of Freeway Birding, a book about the I-5 corridor between Seattle and San Francisco.  Fuller will be talking about GGOs at the Portland birders night on Dec. 8 and will be selling both books at Wild Wings on November 21 in Portland.

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