Posted by: atowhee | March 2, 2016


“Blue Swallows”
“Across the millstream below the bridge
Seven blue swallows divide the air
In shapes invisible and evanescent,
Kaleidoscopic beyond the mind’s
Or memory’s power to keep them there?”
–Howard Nemerov

I saw my first Tree Swallows of the year in Oregon today.  A small flock was flitting above the Yamhill Sewer Ponds.TS FLY1 TS FLY2 TS FLY3 TS FLY4

I checked out the local housing development and there I saw one young pair of swallows checking out the real estate on offer.TRSW ON HO1 (1280x960) TRSW ON HO3 (1280x960) TS ON HO4 (1280x960)TS ON FENCE (1280x960) TS ON FENCE1 (1280x960) TS ON FENCE2 (1280x960)There were at least different male Bewick’s Wren singing along the creek.  Red-wings were also in song.  As I arrived a Merlin was flying across the grass carrying a round fuzzy meal in its talons.

Ducks were plentiful on the ponds and one field had a full gaggle watching my dogs to be sure they weren’t coming under the fence:DIVERS1 DIVERS2 DUCK FLITE (1280x960)Cacklers and a few Canadas. GEESE-A geese-b LESCP ONE (1280x960) LESCP TWO (1280x960)


WIND1 WIND2 wind3

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Mar 2, 2016 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM, 25 species

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  100
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  40
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  3
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  30
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  100
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  74
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  40
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  2
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1     carrying prey
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  12     first of year in Yamhill for me
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  3
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  3     all three males were singing
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  40
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  6
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  8
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  3
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  30
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  5

View this checklist online at

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