Posted by: atowhee | August 17, 2018


Three birders spent the morning at Sheridan Sewer Ponds.  Our trio had a busy morning.  Before we were out of the car we saw hundreds of swallows lined up on the electric wires next to the ponds, waiting for more warmth and more flying insects. Two hours later most of the swallows were over the water or perched along the pond edges on sturdy weeds.  We saw  nothing unusual but got quite close to ravenously feeding shorebirds.

Least Sandpiper and Spotted Sandpiper, along the shoreline of the sewer ponds. Yellow legs of the leasts clearly seen as they let us get close.  In Last image the Spottie is looking up, alert to some danger we could not see.  Click on any image to see full screen:

Swallow gallery:

In the next to last image you can enlarge and see an immature Tree Swallow with his dirty collar is loudly complaining, maybe a parent late with the insect for brunch.

OSP-AOSP-BThe Osprey went overhead, hunted the edge of the ponds, THen came back, carrying something in its talons…which it later dropped.OSP-COne of two female Ruddy ducks with ducklings. This was the youngest group…six, good swimmers already but still small and fuzzy.rudd-famrudd-fam2

Our mammal herd consisted of Rob Schulman, Paul Sullivan and I.  Two of the species were first in Yamhill County THIS YEAR for Paul, significant because he probably has more birding hours in the county every year than any other person:  Black Phoebe and two immature Green Herons. I got several new birds of my own 2018 county list: Cinnamon Teal, Great Egret, Black Phoebe, California Gull, and Western Sandpiper.

In addition to the hundreds of swallows, the waxwings and phoebe were also fly-catching. The blackbirds were behaving like shorebirds.  The only cowbird we identified was a juvenile born this summer.  Two of the the three yellowthroats were also first year birds, plus one female adult.

Sheridan WTP Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 17, 2018 9:10 AM – 11:40 AM.   42 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  100
Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)  2
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  10
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  400
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  4
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  1
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  30, at least 14 youngsters
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  3
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  12
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  6
American Coot (Fulica americana)  50
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  30
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  8
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)  2
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  2
California Gull (Larus californicus)  4
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  1
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  1
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  2     both immature
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1     chased by swallows
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  20
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  300
Barn Swallow (American) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster)  500
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  4
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  3
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  8
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  100
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  200
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  3

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