Posted by: atowhee | June 27, 2017


The dog and I were almost ready to leave Wennerberg Park today…and then I heard that buzzy two-note call of the Willow Flycatcher, “Fitz–brew.”  I realized the bird was right in front of me, in willows along the North Yamhill “River.” It is the first time I have recorded this species at Wennerberg in two years of regular birding there.

Though it is an eBird “hotspot,” nobody else posts bird sightings from this park so this is the lone Willow Flycatcher so far.  I have gotten up to 82 species for the site in under two years. The Willow Flycatcher though my camera insisted on focusing on the thin branch between him and the lens.WF CALLSWF SIDE


There are two major imperatives among living beings on this earth: personal survival and reproduction.  The latter is the dominant theme here in this season.  Among birds it is nesting, fledging, rearing the next generation.  Bird parenthood is never easy nor simple.  Yesterday I saw a flicker family of four in the grass of a ball field at Dancer Park.  Parents showing the young how it is done.  “Getting an any out of the grass, spot and thrust, spot and thrust, thus…”   At Wennerberg today I watched a family of BH Grosbeak moving through the trees, youngster following parents to beg for food.  While on the ground another dog walker showed me the empty Junco’s  nest, they eggs had been broken open and eaten.  The nest was very badly hidden, perhaps young and inexperienced parents.ANN-LADYAbove: female Anna’s Hummer in soft sunlight. Below: male Junco, not far from failed junco nest which follows his image.JUNCO GRNDJUNCO NESTPEWEE-FENCPewee working deep left-centerfield.  Whiel he perched there over a dozen Barn Swallows sped just above the grass-tops across lawn and ball fields alike.  Below: scrub-jay exploring  newly piled loose dirt.SJ1SJ2

In the plant world reproduction means blossoms–right now it is the nettle and the morning glories that are most noticeable.  Already many bushes are showing this year’s fruit, trees are developing fruit or nuts as is their wont, those successful members of of the composites are already putting out wind-born seed.  In our garden the blueberries are starting to color and the hydrangeas are in glorious, luxuriant bloom.  Apples are about the size of a small plum right now.BLUBRRYBlueberry above, hydrangea below.HYDRG

The adjacent clover field at Wennerberg is now in bloom.  As I walked along the margin two flickers lifted up from the dense clover and flew up into the trees.CLVRCREEKAbove, the alleged river…below one of the glorious morning glories.IMG_0007NETTLENettle above, its prickly nature neatly hidden.  Below: a vine member of the nightshade family and thus a distant cousin of the beloved Irish potato which should be called the Incan potato.NIGHTSHAD


Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jun 27, 2017 10:40 AM – 11:25 AM.  17 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  3
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  2
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)  1     calling
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  4
Barn Swallow (American) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster)  15
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  12
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  5
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  2
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  8
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

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