Posted by: atowhee | June 28, 2017


The dog and I were back at Joe Dancer Park this morning.

It’s a cool and overcast day with the morning temp below 70 degrees F.  Again the grosbeaks were in voice.  Shortly after we arrived a newly fledged robin was clinging to a limb in plain sight.  Not far away an adult robin could be seen with a select unripened plum plucked for the kid’s morning meal.AR-YOUTHAR-YOUTH2AR-ADULT1

The feral sweetpeas were dense with blooms along the river bank where there was sunlight. Under the forest canopy the delicate froth of blooming seafoam glowed in the dusky light.SWEETPEA

Later we were shopping and noticed a small circle of Turkey Vultures over a nearby shopping center.  I could not decipher if this was “shopper down,” or merely a symbol of the state of American consumerism, the Trump economy or the fact that the large parking tarmac produces great updrafts even when there is cloud cover.

Last evening we were in a small oak forest on the north edge of McMinnville.  This was once a home and barn grove but the buildings are long gone.  Two large security lights still hang high on oak trunks, their power and purpose removed.  I pished and the ruling pair of scrub-jays loudly protested our presence.  Their screams brought in other birds: a male Bullock’s Oriole, White-breasted Nuthatch, Acorn Woodpeckers, starlings.  Never has one of my simple pishes yielded a richer harvest of birds.  Though primate homes are only a few yards away these jays are in charge of what happens in their oak grove and they insist on their rights.  This grove is a fine, if small, birding spot.  It overlooks a small cattail marsh which in turn borders the forest along Baker Creek.   The oaks are mature second growth, several decades old and there is a dense stand of blackberries and other shrubs under a portion of the grove. Beyond is a sloping field of grass.  The hand of agriculture here is light.  The marsh has signs saying it is protected.  To the east are mown playing fields, Toth Field. That belongs to McMinnville High School.AW-1AW-2I had seen two brown Creepers, likely adult and young, fly onto one of the Acorn Woodpeckers’ granery branches.  I tried to get their pictures, missed the creepers and by chance caught two Cedar Waxwings in flight!fly waxwngfly waxwng2The oak grove:


My favorite oak grove, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jun 27, 2017 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM.  18 species

California Quail (Callipepla californica)  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  6
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata/alexandrae)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  2
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii)  1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  1

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jun 28, 2017 9:30 AM – 10:15 AM. 13 species

Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  2–Are they nesting along the river?
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  1
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  1
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  5
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  X
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  X
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1

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