Posted by: atowhee | November 3, 2018


Our McMinnville birding class visited Baskett Slough today. Just after we turned off Hwy 99W onto Coville Road we found a kestrel and a red-tail on matching poles out in the field.  Another mile west and we found a peregrine shooting across the horizon, and our first two harriers, cruising like low-riders.  Just before the parking lot on the Coville Road elbow (with the toilet building) there was our second peregrine sitting on the same dead tree along the road…where I’d seen a peregrine two days earlier.  Around the parking lot we found our first scrub-jays and a very haughty Spotted Towhee who warned off his patch of brush.

Then we headed south of Coville Road before the next elbow.  Where the road heads west again we stopped.  A field was full of Canada and Cackling Geese, a harrier sat in a short, bare tree.  Meadowlarks  showed themselves even though the  peregrine was within clear view.  A loose group of flickers began landing in the hedge row, and at one point bracketed a meadowlark in clear view.

At the Coville Road Pond we were visited by some restless Dunlin…briefly.  A few of us got quick glimpses of snipe in the marsh.  Teal, a shoveler, Mallards and plenty of geese there in the still-shallow pond. Red-wings, harrier, nutria…you get the picture.  Then we found our first juncos and Golden-crowned Sparrows.

A drive along the length of Smithfield Road brought us to the eagle pair, a small flock of Tundra Swans, a murder of crows, chickadee, kinglet.

He stood about and walked along listening for the soft shuffle of vole under grass, then lifted off and flew his ordinary, low path along the hedge:

Click on any age to enlarge it.

Along Smithfield Road:

In one of the images you can see the upper eagle preening with a feather pluck.  We thought this was female as the upper bird looked larger.


Baskett Slough NWR, Polk, Oregon, US
Nov 3, 2018 9:35 AM – 12:05 PM. 33 species

Cackling Goose (minima) (Branta hutchinsii minima)  X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)  9     in reservoir east of Smithfield Road, south of Morgan Lake
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  1
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  8
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)  10
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  4
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  X
American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)  8
Wilson’s Snipe   X
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) (Ardea herodias [herodias Group])  1
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  5
Bald Eagle–2 adults in same tree along Smithfield Road, south of the winery
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  8
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  6
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  3
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)  2
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  60
Raven   2
American Pipit    X
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  3
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  4
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)  X

Left Coast Cellars, Polk, Oregon, US
Nov 3, 2018 12:15 PM – 12:30 PM. 7 species

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  6
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  3
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  5
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  3–all females
Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)  3
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  2
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  1000–a murmuration

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  X

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