Posted by: atowhee | May 10, 2018


I see very few birds in our garden right now.  The wintering birds are all gone.  The young Bewick’s Wrens have fledged and the family absconded.  Others that are around must be staying close to the nest–Bushtits, Spotted Towhee, House Sparrows.  Finches today were represented by a single siskin and a single male American Goldfinch.  The siskin numbers have been dwindling precipitously over the past week–from five dozen to a loner. The towhee hasn’t even made a visit and I know the pair must be nesting somewhere on our block.  I never see them fly across the streets around here. THey are thicket-stickers.

And why should they be attracted to nine-month old sunflower seeds or suet?  There are flowers and pollen and nectar wherever you look. Hummers hereabouts must be drunk with surfeit.  Insects are now plentiful.  Today I pulled my first dragonfly from the pool and dried him off.  They only start to appeared when there is plenty of prey, smaller flying insects.  I moved some compost into a garden bed this week–earthworms bigger around than a drinking straw and six inches long when relaxed.  If robins ever needed a big meal… The compost was full of life: sowbugs (which aren’t sows or bugs), beetles, a centipede.  Nature is just one big restaurant, thank you, Woody Allen.

The Linfield Wednesday morning birdwalk turned up one new species for the year for me, the little, shy Pac-slope Flycatcher.  And there was a singing Swainson’s Thrush along Cozune Creek.  The season is passing so quickly the camas lilies are already beginning to droop and fade.BHG-LINFLAbove, male grosbeak at Linfield, below one of the male yellowthroats:CY HIDDENThe big drummer boy, this flicker was using the street lamp as a sounding board, and it was sounding pretty loud.nOFL DRUMSISK CHEWSiskins in garden, earlier this were wen there were still four of them around,SISK-BATHE

Linfield College campus, Yamhill, Oregon, US

May 9, 2018.  26 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  X
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  X
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  X
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  X     male drumming and calling
Pacific-slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Pacific) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata/alexandrae)  1
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  X
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  X
Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  X
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  X
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  4
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  X
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  X
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: