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Posted by: atowhee | December 16, 2017

SALEM, OREGON–CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

PERFECT WEATHER AND GOOSE FATIGUE

At 7AM I was scanning the nearly dark surface of the lake in Salem’s Gateway Park.  I could see the shapes of ducks and geese but not be sure what I was seeing.  By 730 AM there was enough daylight to discern Hooded and Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, four gulls species, a flotilla of coots, one landing party of cormorants who dropped out of the sky. By 8AM I had joined the rest of our area birding team in a government parking lot.  Somebody noticed a new bird had joined the local scrub-jays in the treetops along the edge of the lot–it was our first and only Merlin of the day.  Then he flew over our heads to illustrate his speed and pointy wings.merl-dawn3merl-dawn4All the other falcons we saw today were kestrels.  Below is a female hunting near us in the early afternoon.postrel

Before 830AM our quartet of birders had moved off scour our section of Area#1 for things that fly. For the next seven hours and more we were hardly ever out of sight or sound of geese, mostly Cacklers with an occasional intrusion of Canadas.  By early afternoon it had become a joke that as we counted one overhead skein of geese another or even a third and fourth V would appear criss-crossing with the one we were toting up.  Something there is that loves a goose.  The geese, in turn, love this part of the Willamette Valley.

SALEM GALLERY2 shov2shovtwoann hmmcome-ly pairgad-manMew Gull marches across the parking lot:mew-dawngheese aflyinggreg-dawnGlaucous-wing at dawn:gwg-dawngwt earlygwt early2Greater Yellowlegs really gets into it…gy-firstgy-secndgy-thirdkf wiloPied-billed Grebe slurps down small fishpbg swalloAnother grebe, relaxedpbg-ayng gbhGateway sunrise:gatwy dawngatwy dawn2Thanks to Ray Temple for superbly organized count day…and to out driver Gary for getting us to all the right spots and never once slowing down for another line of geese overhead.

SALEM CBC AREA #1, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 16, 2017 7:00 AM – 2:45 PM.  59 species (+2 other taxa)

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)  X     thousands
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  X
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Mallard (Domestic type) (Anas platyrhynchos (Domestic type))  X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  4
Green-winged Teal (American) (Anas crecca carolinensis)  X
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  X
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  X
Common Merganser (North American) (Mergus merganser americanus)  X
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  X
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  2
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)  1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  X
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  X
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  X
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  3
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  1
Mew Gull (Larus canus)  1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  1
California Gull (Larus californicus)  X
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)  X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) (Larus occidentalis x glaucescens)  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  X
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  X
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  X
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata/alexandrae)  1
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  2
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1     including 0ne with white tail feathers
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  1
Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)  1
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X

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