Posted by: atowhee | February 19, 2018


Nora, the dog, and I were overlooking the Merlot Marsh in north McMinnville this morning.  Up in the sky I noticed a mature Bald Eagle.  The sunlight reflected off the clean white and warm brown feathers, making the bird glow before the soft blue sky. As the big bird circled and soared, it moved in front of cottony white clouds.  As he moved along Baker Creek he suddenly back-flapped his large wings, then settled down onto a perch in the top of the tallest tree along the

In the marsh I heard a single song from a Song Sparrow.  Several measures of pure music compared to the short ditty sung daily now by the male Red-winged Blackbirds. Nearby one female red-wing seemed to be attending to the concert:rw woman

Down on No Name Pond there had been a gathering of Pintails.  Last time I visited there had been only a single pair.  Today at least ten.

The overnight weather had been both cold and wet.  On the east-facing slope of Coast Range foothills I could see the thin sheet of snow that extended down below a thousand feet in elevation.  Thus, the first time this winter.  It had snowed in the valley but as the snow dropped it soon melted away.  Yet snow drops of the living kind were in abundance in some gardens this sno1IMG_3844IMG_3707On the ground hoard frost lingered in shaded spots.  Each symmetrical crystal was joined to many others in an asymmetrical pattern that would make a surrealist’s daydream:IMG_3851

In our garden we were visited by a single Myrtle Warbler, hours later a lone Audubon’s.  I am now noticing that when I see scrub-jays in the ‘hood, they are mostly in pairs now. Also the House Finches that come daily finally agreed to pose for a picture or two:hf on flathf on flat2

Merlot Marsh–private land, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Feb 19, 2018 10:40 AM – 10:50 AM.  9 species

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  X

Pinot Noir Drive NW, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Feb 19, 2018 10:50 AM – 11:25 AM.  15 species

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1     same bird seen from Merlot Marsh earlier
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  3
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  6
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  12
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  3
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  X


  1. WHAT no picture!! Don’t tell me you are getting as forgetful as I am about the camera……………

    Harry, is there a path from N. MTN. Pk. to Ashland Pond? Maybe the bike trail goes there, but I never could figure out how to cross the creek.


    m a

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