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Posted by: atowhee | December 6, 2015

HIGH AND MIGHTY

The Peregrine was far overhead as it flew over Yamhill Sewer Ponds this morning.  The hundreds of ducks, sitting ducks in fact, did not even flinch and may not have noticed.  The Peregrine must surely have seen the ducks below but he flew straight and swiftly across the sky and disappeared.

PERE BLUR (1280x960)The falcon was moving very fast in low light and drizzle and my images are blurred, but the shape is sharp enough. PERE BLUR2 (1280x960)It was a restless morning.  Cackling Geese flew past in flocks going in opposite directions.  From one flock some small groups peeled off and landed with the ones grazing near the ponds.  The clouds shifted and reshaped themselves.  Most of the rainbows’ color stood before the dull leaden overcast, but through the interstices among the clouds shone the bright blue of the sunny sky above the rain.  Against that sky  blue the rainbow appeared even bolder.  Sometimes there wasn;t a full arc but only the left shoulder of a partial rainbow.  Then later I was treated to a double rainbow,  neither my dogs nor the ducks seemed to notice.

rainbo arcDid the geese even note the rainbow as they circled before it and prepared to land?

Here are the grazing geese in fields now transected by vernal sloughs.  Just four months ago these same fields were parched, appearing lifeless.  Today one field was gooseland.  The next field over was being hunted bya mixed flock of blackbirds (two species) and Starlings.

Cack afield (1280x960) CACK LAND1 (1280x960) CACK LAND2 (1280x960)  cacks in fieldShovelers, some of the males now in full breeding regalia.  Others still in molt. shov s

Here’s Yamhill Creek a turbid, turgid torrent.  Now it is running headlong to become part of the Yamhill River, nudging and pulling at trees and brambles that two months ago were several feet above the water.high waterHere is the North Yamhill River yesterday at Carlton, already up above the willows and other plants that had colonized the riverbed during recent drought. P2580651 (1280x960)

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Dec 6, 2015 10:45 AM – 11:20 AM.  17 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  600
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  40
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  200
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  75
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  4
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  3
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  1– Yamhill County lifer #124
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  5
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  6
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  60
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  25
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  5
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  3
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  50
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  120

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