Posted by: atowhee | August 10, 2018


It is a season of change.  All seasons, naturally, mean change.  All is flux, as the man said. So the dog and I walked through an altered world this morning.
A scrub-jay feather, molted.  Need those tight new feathers to weather the winter.fethr
A young Song Sparrow, freshly fledged. He can barely get six feet off the ground, wings going like tiny fans, almost no tail yet so the tyke is rudderless.
Many of the fruits of the wild are ripe now, seeds as well.  A chokecherry tree along Pinot Noir Drive was feeding robins and starlings.  Two House Finches tried to join the banquet but were chased from the venue by a cranky robin.chok-chry

A woman was out in her roadside garden, weeding and putting in blooming annuals.  She dug and left little mounds of bare soil.  Looked promising to some of the locals.  She was being watched by three birds.  Nearest was a cheeky scrub-jay in the sapling only a few feet away.  Two birds watched from an overhead streetlight standard:  collared-dove and Acorn Woodpecker.  Could be a worm, could be a grub…acwo watcher

There are mobs of newly fledged House Funches about.hf-fdr

At No Name Pond the Band-tailed Pigeons swept past.  This time I had the camera out, thanks to the frogs.

Frogs?  Wanna see some?  They were out on the grass and the broad leaves of the wapato.  The flowering marsh plants were alive with buzzing insects, some of which may end up inside one of these chorus frogs.  The frogs, in turn, must be alert.  The dog and I passed a small garter snake moving through the grass-forest.  And we earlier scared up a Great Blue Heron.  How many of these inch-long, or smaller, frogs could he eat for brunch? Click on any image for a full-screen view.

What must they think…or feel?  Gotta be ready to jump, toes and legs tucked in…one jumped and wss splayed for about two seconds after landing, then pulled in his extremities and became a green blob like most of the others.  We call them chorus frogs, yet all was silent…and we angered the blue heron who took his loud croak with him. I saw at least two dozens on the small patches of wapato I walked into.  The three acre pond must have at least half of its area now covered in wapato as there is almost no visible water now.

Pinot Noir Drive NW, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 10, 2018. 10 species

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  3
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  15
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  6

No Name Pond, McMinnville, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 10, 2018.  5 species

Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  1
Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)  3
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1



  1. […] The dog and I took a Christmas Eve walk down to No Name Pond yesterday.  A seasonal present was the presence of a White-throated Sparrow among the golden-crowns.  The pond itself is recovering from the summer drought.  In late October there was almost no visible water among the grass and the reeds, despite the constant flow from a seep spring on the pond’s south edge.  Now much of the pond vegetation is submerged or barely emergent.  Good news for all those chorus frogs I saw hanging on the grass blades late last summer.  Click here to see those… […]

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