Posted by: atowhee | May 25, 2016


Officially it’s still spring but for the birds it’s mid-season, nesting and rearing young…and it’s summery despite the cool temps hereabouts.  I saw one surprising winter holdover today…a breeding plumage male Shoveler.  Why is he still here…alone?SHOV IN MAY (1280x960)There was a lone male Cinnamon Teal as well, not a bird that is regular at the sewer ponds in my limited experience.  Behind him a family of Mallards.CINTE PLUS3 (1280x960)And there were two families of goslings, total around a dozen: GOOSES FAMILYThe membership of the Drake Fraternity was present.  Many male Mallards and Wood Ducks.  In both species the female does all the nesting work…so the males get the summer off to preen and feed.

Overhead was an aerial skirmish.  Kestrel diving at a Red-tail soaring past.  With the usual results, Red-tail kept moving and the Kestrel felt like he’d accomplished something.


Over at the pocket marsh adjacent to the sewer ponds there was a lower altitude series of aerial chases.  One male Yellowthroat circled after another.  You would dizzy trying to follow their flights, around and around they went.  Meanwhile there was a female Yellowthroat going about her business down in the reed grass, ignoring the testosterone-driven behavior.

Over along the fence line action was frantic. Swallow come, swallow go, swallow into box and out again.  Swoop, swerve, swallow, sputter, sit, swoop and swirl…again. TS LINETS AGAIN  TS PRFECT TS TO FRNTAnd then I spotted this lone Violet-green among his cousins.  Only one, I wonder? VG ON WIRE (1280x960)

BERRY BLOOMS (1280x960)This berry thicket was thick with bees or at least two kinds.  Here’s one of the larger ones, nestled down in the nectar bowl.ROSE-BEE (1280x960)This nearby manroot facade had far fewer bees in attendance. MANROOT BLOOMS (1280x960)A rose is a rose is a photo opp. ROSE (1280x960)

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 25, 2016 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM.  27 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  20     including a dozen goslings
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  15
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X     including 5 ducklings
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)  1
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  50
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  3
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  3
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  6
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1

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