Posted by: atowhee | January 22, 2018



There was some sunshine so the morning was focused on the dog walk.  But that soon became a serendipitous raptor run, right on the north edge of McMinnville.

First and least came the Sharp-shinned Hawk.  This bird was perched on a bare limb over-looking a fenced garden that may have had feeders.  It was an area where I regularly see flocks of juncos, house finches and other small birds.SSHA1ssha4Preening:ssha3Note the long tail with blunt end, not rounded as in Cooper’s Hawk.  Small head. Splotches on the back.  Streaking on the nape and back of head. Short wings that barely reach the base of the tail. That neck streaking means this is first year bird.ssha2

Then at the north end of Pinot Noir the Peregrine was back on the same bare tree where I saw one a week ago, maybe even the same bird.  The morning light came from behind me and perfectly illuminated the bird as it faced the sun.per cleper clerper cler2

In the oak grove where the Acorn Woodpeckers live, store their acorns and perform their rituals always with vocal accompaniment…this bird:merlThis Merlin gave me and the dog one sharp look.  The he turned away from us having concluded we were beneath him in every sense of the word.  Earth-bound, slow, irrelevant and gunless.  Back to work.  There could not be a more serious bird…merl2

Finally the dog and I check out No Name Pond.  A Red-tail floated past us, then we counted the ducks:two malesDiverse divers: Bufflehead and Hooded Merganser, a pair of each,hm-bothhm-both2hm wowbff-mrs

Four raptor species on a neighborhood dog walk.  I got a smile, Nora got another dog cookie.

Note: Serendipity cannot be found on any Oregon map, it’s only a place in the mind.

Back in our garden, the Myrtle and Audubon;s Warbler came at the same time though not really together.  And a Fox Sparrow appeared, a species we get only occasionally in winter.AUDU1FS ON GRNDMYRT1Dare we call this handsome gent a “crumby character” due to his eating habits?ST CRUMSST CRUMS2Jewels of moisture from last night’s rain collected at the bottom of each reddish rose hip, then the sunlight came through turning each to a tiny blaze of brightness.dropzThis is the trunk of an exotic gum tree, but it is the habitat for how many native mosses and lichens?NATIVS820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 21, 2018.13 species (+1 other taxa)

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  11
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) (Setophaga coronata coronata)  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)  1
Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)  1
Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  25
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Merlot Marsh–private land, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 22, 2018. 10 species

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Bushtit (Pacific) (Psaltriparus minimus [minimus Group])  20
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  20
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  10
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  15

Pinot Noir Drive NW, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 22, 2018. 17 species

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  2
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  6
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  3
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata/alexandrae)  2
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  X
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

No Name Pond, McMinnville, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 22, 2018.  8 species

Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  50
Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas)  15
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  1
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  3
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  2
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1

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