Posted by: atowhee | December 18, 2016


One of our first stops in the morning was Geer Park.  It’s economically unfortunate position may have saved it for the Cackling Geese.  Geer is on a small creek between the Oregon National Guard Armory and a state prison…not prime residential real estate thankfully.cac-geer2Up close you can admire the delicate pale outlines on each successive row of back and wing feathers.cac-cuThough these geese nest on the rugged margins of the Bering and North Seas when they come south into towns they become very nonchalant about large upright mammals.  I walked casually within fifteen feet of these birds and they hardly moved out of my reach.cac-geer1cac-geer3cac-geer4cac-geer6This Red-tail was also in Geer Park along with some Kestrels:rth-geer

Mid-day we birded Cascades Gateway Park.  There we found our only gleaner flock of the day: Black-capped Chickadees, both kinglets and this creeper among many foraging juncos:brcr-geerbrcr-geer2In the lake at Cascades Gateway we saw three Bald Eagles and hundreds of American Wigeon but couldn’t find a single Eurasian:wigeon-worldduk-swirl1Headless bird is Canada Goose.  Can you find the lone male Gadwall? duk-swirl2duk-swirl3Unreal ducks occur whenever man impinges on nature’s intentions:faux-dukMale Gadwall, handsome devil in his understated fashionwear.gadw-mailduck-hedThis pole-topper was one of the Herring Gulls at Cascades Gateway:herr-uppSleeping male Common Merganser, one of three at Cascades:come-sleepz

Along Turner Road south of Salem there was a small spring with mud and and an unfrozen pool.  Here we found Green0-winged Teal feeding and a flock of Starling feeding in the grass…and about one-fourth of starlings turned out to be Wilson’s Snipe:gwt-in-springsnipe-n-snosnipe-n-sno2snipe-n-sno3My last sighting of the day was in the Salem Car Pool parking lot.  As I sat in my car a hardy looking coyote trotted past and I got a shot just before he and his finely feathered tail disappeared over a berm:cpoyote-salem

For information on the Barn Swallows we found, click here.

SALEM CBC AREA #1, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 17, 2016 8:40 AM – 3:10 PM
47 species (+2 other taxa)

Domestic goose sp. (Domestic type) (Anser sp. (Domestic type))  X     graylag and Peking geese at Cascades Gateway Park
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Gadwall (Anas strepera)  X
American Wigeon (Anas americana)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Mallard (Domestic type) (Anas platyrhynchos (Domestic type))  X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  X
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  15
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  20
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  X
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  8
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  1
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  3
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  X
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  6
Mew Gull (Larus canus)  1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  X
California Gull (Larus californicus)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  7     7 at Riverbend Gravel ponds on southeast Lancaster, seen by seven birders
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  3
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X

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