Posted by: atowhee | May 20, 2018


May 19will-rvr

Yesterday afternoon the dog and I birded for an hour at the Parrett Access point on the Willamette River Greenway. It is on Wilsonville Road, across the river from Champoeg State Park.  It’s a bit closer to Wilsonville than to Newberg. Also just over Ladd Hill from Sherwood which was our ultimate destination.  Parrett is just inside Yamhill County.

I was a little shocked and more surprised when I input sightings into eBird and discovered that there were no previous records for that site.  It is now listed as a hotspot.  I doubt there are rarities often though there is access to the river itself in a couple of perilous descents from the riverside trail. In that brief visit we saw a pair of Osprey, a pair of Red-tails, Brown Creeper, Northern Rough-winged Swallow and thousands of tufts from the seed-spewing cottonwood trees. My favorite was a loud- mouthed family of Steller’s Jays who followed us along the trail for a ways, telling us to go back where we came from.  Sound familiar? There were three jays and I finally got a good look at one—fuzzy, with a crest just forming and almost no tail yet.  It was a recently fledged youngster.

The forest is a rich mix of natives—bigleaf maple, cottonwood, ash, willow Doug-fir and cedar—with exotics like hazelnut, walnut and spruce.  In addition to the line of riparian forest there is a three-acre meadow, once a farm field. Here the grasses and wildflowers are festooned with spittlebug bubbles. One picnic table, two trails and a dry toilet building complete the facilities. The undergrowth is dense: blackberry and thimbleberry, bracken six feet high, blooming red osier dogwood, manroot vines entangled with brush and tree trunks.

Later we drove up Ladd Hill Road to Sherwood.  At the top of Ladd Hill a pair of Western Bluebirds flew across the road.  There does not appear to be much for-profit agriculture in the area.  Mostly hobby farms or horse stables. That always brings to mind the bumper sticker “Driver carries no cash, I own a horse.”  We saw a single winery.  The bluebirds are there because the use of pesticides would be less than you find in the valley fields where profit and poisons are tightly wedded.

At the end of the afternoon we looked around Sherwood. EBird had no locations marked for the entire town, not even Olson Park which looks like promising forest habitat.  Only the Tualatin River NWR at the north end of town along Hwy 99. I put in a few sightings: there was a California ground squirrel and a Vaux’s Swift within a block of the city library.  My guess: few birders in Sherwood’s forests.osp-limbosp-limb3rht pairdrht paird3ss hidnstj-parrett

HERE COMES THE FUZZfuzz fallingIMG_8444IMG_8445IMG_8452IMG_8453

Parrett Mountain Access, Yamhill, Oregon, US
May 19, 2018 1:30 PM – 2:20 PM. 15 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Steller’s Jay (Coastal) (Cyanocitta stelleri [stelleri Group])  3
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  5
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  5
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  X

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