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Posted by: atowhee | September 19, 2017

SEPTEMBER TRAVELERS

September 20, 2017, McMinnville
Our local robin drought has ended. Earlier this month the locally breeding robins had moved south, perhaps their departure hastened by the forest fire smoke that filled the Willamette. I certainly would have flown away if I could have. This morning I walked through town—robins in treetops, robins on lawns, robins in flight. Their chuck calls are all around. These are newly arrived birds from more northerly breeding grounds. Some may stay here for the winter, other individual birds may move even further south. But our robin supply is replenished and will remain rich until spring migration.
Right now the American Goldfinch concentration around our feeders is high. They number between “many” and “myriad.” Some may have bred nearby but they are birds of passage, building up body mass and fat supplies for the long flights ahead. Most will go at least to central California though some do winter here. They can tear through a pint of sunflower chips in an hour or less.
Yamhill birders should note that our own Paul Sullivan was honored this past weekend by the Oregon Birding Association. Paul was given a lifetime membership and token logo hat in honor of his long work for birds and birding and specifically he was thanked for his annual listing list. He puts together the list of who;s seen at least 100 birds in any and every Oregon county for the year or a lifetime, ditto for the whole state. There is also a set of lists for bird photographers.
I noted on my recent trip to Malheur and back I finally topped 100 species in Lake County where I am normally in transit, but an overnight visit to Summer Lake puts my Lake County total well over 100 species. Standing still proves to be far better for birding than driving 70 MPH on empty highways.

Hey, birders, the birding class from McMinnville Park and Rec has plenty of space left…I promise it will be different than the one I taught last fall. Starts in October. Three weeks and three field trips.

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