Posted by: atowhee | December 2, 2017


Snipe hunt today.  I put on my wellies* and went with Nora to Yamhill Sewer Ponds.  The marsh at the north end of the property now has standing water.  We waded out and at least six snipe lifted off.  One was so close we could hear his loud snort of anger as he lifted off.  They swerve and weave and circle about in the air and are hard to follow.

In the rain most songbirds were inactive.  The number of waterfowl was disappointing and only a few species…not even a Mallard.

When we first arrived a small flock of tiny birds lifted out of the weeds and sped around before finally landing in a barren tree top.  Lesser Goldfinches.  Later Nora and I tried to walk the trail.  It is blocked in two places now by fallen trees.  Last winter a living ash fell.  It still lies across the path after surviving the crash.  In the past few weeks another, dead tree, has fallen across a different section.  Nora always snorts in disgust and backtracks when her path is blocked.  “Lazy humans,” she’s thinking.  She doesn’t allow for the impecunious public sector in an America that doesn’t think government spending is ever justified unless it is for bombs or more highways (not maintaining the old ones).

One section of the woodsy trail was open and a robin lifted off the ground and fled up into a tree.  It was the only robin we’d seen.  The ghost of Rich Stallcup whispered…”Have you ever seen that robin before…?”  I lifted my rain-blurred binocs.  A Varied Thrush!

That thrush was one of two new species for my lifelist for this location.  The other being the flock of pipits moving across one of the soggy fields.  When these low-lying pastures start to get marshy, the local cattleman moves his beeves elsewhere which makes it sterling for marshy, grassy birdies.

I now have seen 102 species here.  All birding checklists on eBird total 121 taxa.  That includes non species like “gull sp.” or “Lesser/Greater Scaup.”

  “wellies” is Brit-speak for knee-high rubber boots that just slip on over socks, originally “Wellingtons,” probably named for something one of their national fugures wore

Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Dec 2, 2017 9:55 AM – 10:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.4 mile(s)
15 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  1
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  60
American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  2
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  20
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  6
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  1
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)  20
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  12
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  8
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  15

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