Posted by: atowhee | May 18, 2017


I know that human festivals are often said t be in “full swing.”  Yet the Yamhill Sewer Ponds informal spring swallow festival is actually in full WING.  Along the fence surrounded the ponds themselves there are a couple dozen nest boxes.  That is too tempting for Tree and Violet-green Swallows, newly returned and looking for nesting places.  So intent are they in finding the right nest box and getting on with family matters that these birds are remarkably unconcerned with a birder’s presence.  Even the dog does not seem to phase them.TRS PRETTYTRS-TOOTS ON WIRRVGS PLUSVGS PLUS1VGS PLUS2VGS PLUS4VGS PLUS5VGS PLUS7vgs plus8vgs plus9Next two shots show female VG Swallow.VGS-FMLVGS-FML2VGS-MACHO

There were brooding Canada Geese, Canada goslings already feeding with parents, a Mallard with her ducklings on the pond and a female Mallard flown from her nest in the tall grass. If you visit tred carefully in the four-foot high unmown grass where there could be other nests.

GOOSNESTGOSLNGMALL EGGSWhat means spring?  Flowers, uncertain weather, first mosquito bites, young birds…here a starling stunned to see man and dog as he stood out in the grass and wildflowers.  He didn’t flinch as we passed and even posed nicely for the camera:srtl1Note the pale gape that is found on many nestlings and even fledglings like this guy. Like some political types we can see these days, this kid has no clue what reality he is now part of.srtl2

Along Shelton Road south of Carlton there was an adult Bald Eagle circling:EGL UPPP

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 18, 2017 10:10 AM – 10:55 AM.  20 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  20     including several goslings and one female on eggs
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  5
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  15     one female with ducklings; another female sitting on eggs
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  2
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  1     fly over
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  2
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  30
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  4
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  2
Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  X     singing
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  40
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  2

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