Posted by: atowhee | July 17, 2017


It is not so loud at Joe Dancer Park these days. Most of the bird song has ended and what can be heard is generally subdued. The Spotted Towhees still zizz when the dog I walk past them. An occasional grosbeak sings a measure or two. The vultures make their usual sound, a soft rustling of wind over wing, nothing more. Crows occasionally complain. Song Sparrows sing softly and an American Goldfinch may “potato chip” in flight. One single flicker call…but plenty of soft wind sounds and faint bee buzzing. The wrens, flycatchers, warblers, vireos and even the chickadees are quiet now. I did hear a few honks from a Red-breastd Nuthatch in my home garden today. The Collared-Doves, never silent it seems. Migrant birds are busy building up body strength for the impending migration. Some resident birds are feeding young, others working the next clutch of eggs. Shhh…

FLKR-JDFlicker above, male towhee with berry in mouth, below:SP-BERRY

The dog and I like to look over the river bank and see what’s moving around down below us. Today a couple of male American Goldfinches came out of hiding and flew across the river, looking like sun melted butter. There were no clouds and the solar energy was heating up the berry vines and sweetpeas along the bank. A cluster of thistles was already going to seed, like so many of us this time of year. As I watched a soft breeze nudged loose a fibrous tuft of thistle down. It floated toward the river, rising gently in the heated air wafting upward from the sun-heated riverbank. It must have risen at least twenty feet from its origin, all the while drifting out toward the middle of the river. There an air current that seemed to be following the river current current below blew the next generation of thistle downstream. Thus do sun and wind and air help life find new places to thrive, new ground to claim. The thistle cluster:THIST1Ocean spray at end of its blooming season:OC-SPRYI believe this lichen is called lungwort or lung lichen:LICHNMOON HALF

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jul 17, 2017 9:50 AM – 10:50 AM. 15 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 3
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 1–juvenile bird
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) X
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi) 3
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1 carrying rodent prey
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 2
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) 10
Barn Swallow (American) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) 2
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) 4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 17
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 3
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 4
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) 2
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 3

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jul 17, 2017 7:50 AM. 6 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) X
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi) X young calling from nest in our chimney
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) X
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 2


  1. Seen any shrikes in Yamhill county lately? First in county for me. My id skills are not fully developed but pretty sure I saw a family(?) of 3 Loggerheads today at the junction of Mineral Springs& Bayliss. I took a mediocre phone pic of one.

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