Posted by: atowhee | January 7, 2017


The forecast said snow by late morning, so dog and I were out early.  Temp well below freezing, some wind, coooold.  I expected few birds.  Wrong.  They knew the forecast, felt it in the lowering air pressure, the cold, the heavy sky–songbirds’ sense of snow.

At Grenfell Park along Baker Creek Road, the Pacific Wrens were out and ignoring large mammals.  Any exposed mossy surface was being thoroughly probed. Both kinglet species and their buddies, the chickadees, were in a gleaner flock at far south end of park.  But our highlight was bold Pacific Wrens–four feeding in bushes and wherever moss was exposed.  I didn’t even have to pish out the fourth one who boldly flew in front of the dog and landed on the ground.

In this first photo he’s barely visible to right side of the tree trunk: pw-hHe was finding something worthwhile, in second shot below our wren has a pale caterpillar in his beak.  Perhaps it was buried down in the duff at the tree’s base or on the mossy a snowy day, frozen caterpillar must be a delicacy profound (click on photo for enlarged image).pw-kpw-lThe first wren we saw was working the tree trunks along Baker Creek, very

During the continued sub-freezing weather ducks are concentrated wherever they can find open water.  The small quarry pond on Fox Ridge Road had four duck species plus a couple PIed-billed Grebes.  Here the mergansers:feml-comershomers

In our garden as the snow War-war came on duty and began chasing away lesser beings: Juncos, Song Sparrow, maybe even a towhee.  Wart-war (for “warrior warbler”) has claimed our central suet log (when larger birds are gone) and the garden pot right below which collects the tasty tetritus from the greedy starvlings.war-warToday we had a max of 22 starvlings going aft5er every feeder in the garden and bathing during the snow storm.cold-bathThe icicle hanging off front of bird bath indicates the surrounding air temp.starvlings

Baker Creek Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 7, 2017
Comments:     Plenty of birding action at Grenfell Park. 10 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  2
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  4
Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus)  4     all in Grenfell Park feeding before snow storm
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2     pair feeding together at Grenfell Park

Fox Ridge Rd., Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 7, 2017. Comments:     quarry pond only partially frozen
5 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  5
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  1
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  3
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  2
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  2

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 7, 2017. Comments:     very cold, snow began before 11AM. 14 speciesEurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1

Robin 3
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  22
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  1     now known as “war-war,” the warrior warbler
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  20
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  3
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X



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