Posted by: atowhee | March 5, 2016


The dogs and I checked out Deer Creek County Park west of Bellevue this morning.  Up above it all a pair of Kestrel.  They were perched near one another in a bared treetop about sixty feet above the ground. KEST-TWO1 (1280x960) KEST-TWO2 (1280x960)1TAILS UP (1280x960)First they faced one another and teeter-tottered their tails up and down. 2KOPULATION (1) (1280x960)The the male flew to the female and they copulated, resting afterward…before some preening began. 3T REST (1280x960) 4PREEN (1280x960) 5AT REST  PREEN2 (1280x960) PREEN3 (1280x960)The cow parsnips are rushing into spring, Some have leaves already eight inches across.COW PARSNIP (1280x960)Deer Creek and its trees with their lichen beards. DEER CR CREEK (1280x960) DEER CRK (1280x960)Somebody told me these delicately blooming shrubs are wild hazel, with pendulous clusters of creamy white flowers. HZL (1280x960)Lone Turkey Vulture over Gopher Valley. TVU1 (1280x960) TVU2 (1280x960)A feral fruit tree, heavily bearded with pale stringy lichens.LICHENSThe meadow at Deer Creek is home to endangered checkermallow and lupine as well as the rare Fender’s blue butterfly.  Today the meadow was being serenaded by Red-winged Blackbirds very exercised over the season and attending females. P2650502 (1280x960)Townie plums: PLM (1280x960) PLMS-1Deer Creek County Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Mar 5, 2016 10:20 AM – 11:05 AM.  9 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  2     copulating pair, photos on my blog of this date
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  3
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1     singing
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  10
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1     singing
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  5     singing males in willows

Next week I will be speaking at Audubon Society meeting in Vallejo on Tuesday night, then the Yosemite Audubon meeting on Thursday night.  I am teaching three classes at Pt. Reyes Field Institute the weekend of March 18, 19 and 20, including one on birds and climate change.  The PRFI catalog is online.


  1. You lucky! Nice going on the most important picture! m a

  2. Hi. I believe the flowering shrub is osoberry, Indian plum, Latin: oelmeria.

    • Yes, O. cerasiformis. One of the earliest bloomers and subtly fragrant, as I found out yesterday while bushwacking blackberries

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