Posted by: atowhee | October 17, 2016


Our American Goldfinch flock has left.  I haven’t seen them in our garden for a week.  I don’t really expect them back until next spring. In the finch zone I wonder if this will be a winter of siskins as last one was.  They are notoriously unpredictable about wintering numbers and locations…like crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, Lewis’s Woodpeckers, Varied Thrush and other cold weather wanderers.

It seems we add one or two Juncos to our garden count every day now.  Yesterday during tempestuous rain they were happily bathing in our bird baths. Cleanliness is next to Junconess.  I’ve watched them bath during a snowstorm if I’ve put warm water into the bird bath. Here’s a recent sequence I blogged once before:junc-latrjunc-ghostjunc-bath-cjunc-bath-bjunc-on-pooljunc-bath-a

Anybody else notice that Tropical Kingbirds have started their usual unexpected arrivals?  One in San Francisco now another along the Oregon Coast. I await the first reports of Emperor Goose and Snow Bunting.

During this recent series of rain storms the local Starling flock has increased to 200+ and they were performing murmurations during the lulls, and zipping down into dogwood for the ripe fruit, then zapping off into the air.m-roomWhite mushroom in the forest.  The usual orb-weavers that fill our garden every fall.spdr

Seigneur of sunflower seeds:sqrl-in-pltf



  1. I cannot remember if all my lesser goldfinches and chickadees leave for the winter and I am stuck with just juncos, and towhees of course. I HATE not remembering. I am still on the lookout for the oak titmouse to come home. Acorn woodpeckers and flickers, and scrub jays with a few stellars are out making their usual racket. My favorite thing in the morning it to see the Magnificent Seven male turkeys glide toward the house from the ridge beyond the field. They come straight for the house and then fortunately bank left HARD.

    The screech owl in the park comes and goes as does the one in the eaves of Ruby’s house. Soon the digger squirrels will go into hibernation and leave my house alone at long last. Already the gray squirrel is making forays into their territory. Saw a coyote a few weeks ago and a racoon a few days ago. Believe it or not, that is the first racoon I have seen here since I moved in seven years ago. The guy who trapped some of the diggers for me said that a distemper went through the general area several years ago wiping out foxes and I am thinking maybe coyotes.

    I really enjoyed the greater sandhill cranes. You did not respond when I asked where the lessers winter. I should think there are many more of them. Also, what do you think of my hiring Duncan from the field station at Malheur to take me around this spring as you do not seem so inclined? Paul Bannick’s book on owls is coming out and I think he will be showcasing it at the crane festival in Lodi.

    m a

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