Posted by: atowhee | March 17, 2019


“I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see that I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more;
Nothing to match the flight of the wild bird flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!
–Edna St. Vincent Millay

Peter Enticknap and I were standing on a slope overlooking No Name Pond.  The scene captured spring at her finest–dark green grass,  blue sky reflected on the water, dozens of ducks paddling about, a Great Blue Heron fishing in the shallows, a kingfisher rattled from one shore to the furthest.  Red-winged Blackbirds called from trees and pond grasses.  A flicker flew, then called from a tree by Baker Creek.  A ghostly male harrier passed beyond the trees.  Then the whole drama shifted.  Like a small company of divas six Tundra Swans circled and dropped down out of the blue, onto the water.  They stayed until some distant gunfire reminded them of their long migration north.  They lifted off and were last seen silently winging over the northern horizon.
Here is a sequence from our moments with the swans, click on any image to enlarge:

If you enlarge some of the images on swans on water you can see the slender yellow patch just below the eye.

If you scan across the image you can pick out Mallards, Shoveler, a pintail, teal:NNP-FOWL (3)

Later, in a nearby oak grove, we saw these three lads enjoying the sun:THREE IN TREE (3)

No Name Pond, McMinnville, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
19 species

Tundra Swan  6     Flock of six, landed on pond for a few minutes, heard gunshots and departed
Northern Shoveler  20
American Wigeon  4
Mallard  25
Northern Pintail  3
Green-winged Teal (American)  15
Ring-necked Duck  8
Hooded Merganser  1
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)  1
Northern Harrier  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Northern Flicker  X
California Scrub-Jay  2
Black-capped Chickadee  1
American Robin  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)  2
Spotted Towhee  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X


*BIRDING MALHEUR *  May 22-27 & June 7-12  * 5 Nights * Leader :  Harry Fuller *  $900 / $850 RV *

BIRDING MALHEUR & STEENS MT *  Sept  16-22 * 6 Nights * Leader :  Harry Fuller * $1000 / $940 RV

Cost includes all meals and accommodations at Malheur Field Station on the wildlife refuge.

About Harry Fuller:  Harry has lived in Oregon since 2007.  He has been leading bird trips and teaching bird classes since the 1990s.  He annually leads birding trips in Oregon and Washington for Klamath Bird Observatory, Road Scholar and Golden Gate Audubon.   See more at:
To register contact the Malheur Field Station at 541-493-2629


Spring: Trumpeter Swan, Cinnamon Teal, Black-chinned Hummingbird, White Pelicans, Franklin’s Gulls, Black Terns, Wilson’s Phalarope, Wilson’s Snipe, Long-billed Curlew, Sora, Sandhill Crane, Ferruginous Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Golden Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Short-eared Owl, Burrowing Owl, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, Say’s Phoebe, Gray Flycatcher,  Loggerhead Shrike, Prairie Falcon, Horned Lark, Sage Thrasher, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Sagebrush Sparrow, Brewer’s Sparrow,

Mammals: pronghorn, mule deer, badger, kit fox, coyote, long-tailed weasel, river otter, Belding’s ground squirrel, Nuttall’s cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, yellow-bellied marmot.

Fall: Trumpeter Swan, migrant ducks, migrant shorebirds, Sora, Sandhill Crane,  Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Great Horned Owl, White Pelican, Common Nighthawk, Prairie Falcon, migrant woodpeckers (Lewis’s, et al.), Say’s Phoebe, Horned Lark, Sage Thrasher, Brewer’s Sparrow, Western Tanager, Yellow-headed Blackbird, migrant warblers.

Mammals: wild mustangs, pronghorn, mule deer, kit fox, coyote, long-tailed weasel, river otter, Nuttall’s cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit.Feed Me Sweatshirt1_mockup_Front_Womens_White


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