Posted by: atowhee | October 21, 2016


Today there was a lone Surf Scoter on the Yamhill Sewer Ponds.  There have been over 50 eBird checklists submitted for that location (75% of them from me) and this is the first record of this oceanic duck more than fifty air miles from the coast.  There have many more scoters down at Sheridan’s larger sewer ponds so they all probably came in on winds from recent storm fronts. At Yamhill the waxwings were in the Hawthorns.

From there the dog and I went to Wennerberg Park, where the waxwings and Robins were in the rowan trees on the south side of the parking lot.waxw-fluttrThe perched waxwing with streaky chest is a first year bird.waxw-in-airwaxw-prchd

Coming home we raced a Harrier along Westside Road.  He won the race and disappeared behind a hazelnut grove.w-harr1w-harr2w-harr3TREE TIME

Susan Fenimore Cooper writing 165 years ago said the Old World writers never saw the glow of autumn.  Their trees were dull and sad in fall.

“Autumn would appear to have received generally a dull character from the poets of the Old World; probably if one could gather all the passages related to the season, scattered among the pages of these writers, a very large proportion would be found of a grave nature.  English verse is full of sad images applied to the season, and often more particularly to the foliage.”

crksideHere we see the licorice ferns sprouting from their tree trunk positions:fernzmapltreez1treez2treez3treez4Anywhere in America where the forest are dominated by trees that are neither oaks nor evergreens you can encounter fine fall foliage.  Maples, dogwood, sweet gum, birch, ash, aspen, alder, willow, fruit trees, larch and even some exotics like gingko and dawn redwood can create a palette of golds, yellows, oranges and reds unto purple.

A little American exceptionalism in our forest?

Robert Frost: “Once they came upon a maple in a glade,
Standing alone with smooth arms lifted up,
And every leaf of foliage she’d worn
Laid scarlet and pink around her feet.”

Keats his nightingale, Frost his maple…and birches.

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 21, 2016 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM.  17 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  7
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  10
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  1
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  1
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  4
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)  1     first eBird record for this species at this location; blown in during recent wind storms
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  5
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  2
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  3
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  7
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  30
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1

Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 21, 2016 2:00 PM – 2:25 PM. 7 species

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  X
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  12
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  20


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