Posted by: atowhee | August 24, 2018


Paul Sullivan and I returned to Sheridan Sewer Ponds this morning, but yesterday’s Baird’s Sandpiper was nowhere to be seen.  We had only three migratory shorebirds: two Spotted and one Least Sandpiper. There was a consolation surprise as we left, a dark speeding bird passed over our car, high speed, pointed wings, we were quickly out of the car, alarm sounding, engine running, bird whizzing on and then circling higher and higher to the north of the ponds–a Merlin. It was my first Merlin in Yamhill County since last March 31st.  All sparrows and finches should be alerted.

We found both a Warbling Vireo and a Wilson’s Warbler in the willows at the southeast corner of the treatment plant property.  Part of a migrating flock?

This time of year the air, the electric wires, the easy perches, the very atmosphere is dominated by the swallow crowd.  THey fly high above, they course across the pond surfaces, beneath your feet as you walk the levees, the chirp and chatter and are busy, busy, busy.

In the lower left hand image there is a Tree Swallow with its marking arrow. Click to enlarge. It was only Tree Swallow we could find, and only one Cliff visible in the tornado of swallows all around us.

Many times aimed at one bird, blurs of passing swallows impinged on the images.  They seemed to fill the air, the space, the season, the moment:cgcg2great eg2rd grp

Above the birds not in motion: California Gull, first year; Great Egret; clutch of young Ruddy Ducks.
bpbp-aHunting Black Phoebe above.  Below: arriving geese, horns a-honkin’  Note non-goose in the upper left hand corner of the next picture, a gull I think?geez_LIgeez2geez3Killdeer, often spooked by use and then circling in alarm.kill flykill fly2Below, left to right: Lesser Scaup male, coot, scaup male pairdaisys

Mammals: doe with twins at sewer ponds.  Coyote in field just north of the Hwy 18 South Yamhill River Bridge.

Hwy 18, South Yamhill County, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 24, 2018. 6 species

Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X

Sheridan WTP Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 24, 2018.  43 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  123
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  1
Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)  X
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  25
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  400
Green-winged Teal (American) (Anas crecca carolinensis)  X
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  6
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  1
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  1
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)  30
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  6
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  1
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  12
American Coot (Fulica americana)  120
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  30
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  1
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  2
California Gull (Larus californicus)  4
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  1
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Pacific) (Dryobates pubescens gairdnerii/turati)  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  1
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1
Merlin (Falco columbarius)  1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  2
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  1
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  100
Barn Swallow (American) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster)  250
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  40
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  X
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  10
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  60
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  8
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  200
Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  1

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: