Posted by: atowhee | July 29, 2019


I got to bird southern Yamhill County today with two of the Willamette Valley’s more prodigious listers.  Paul Sullivan has seen over 200 species in every Oregon county.  Bill Tice is over 100/county and counting.  Both have been birding Yamhill for decades.  After four years here my county list is still well below 200.  But Bill and I each added a couple today.  We re-found the Black-necked Stilt at Sheridan Sewer Ponds. Paul had first reported it last Friday. Paul says it is only the third county record.  Then at a farm reservoir along Salt Creek Road (private, you need permission), we found a Clark’s Grebe.
Paul Sullivan has now confirmed there was no previous recorded sighting of Clark’s Grebe in Yamhill County.–July 30.

Here’s a typical view along one sewer pond berm:  stilt in middle, lower right a male cowbird adult, several killdeer on the ground left of the stilt, a Barn Swallow blurred in the left foreground–busy:STLT PLUS (2)

Here we have stilt resting, and stilt among friends, mostly blackbirds, one Killdeer:



The two dark gulls are first-year Californias.  The pale ones are first-year Ring-billed.  Both are species that have inland breeding locations in Oregon.  Inside the circle is the Clark’s Grebe at Salt Creek.  The three small blurs on the ground are the flocklet of Least Sandpipers with a Cliff Swallow flying through the image, going left.


Other good ones for the month list: white-fronted goose, Hooded Merganser, Least Sandpipers, Black Phoebe–all at sewer ponds.  There were thousands of the usual suspects at Sheridan–hundreds of Canada Geese plus the four white-fronts. Many Mallard, dozens of coots and Killdeer.  In the air were hundreds of swallows of four species.   Later Paul and I would come across power lines lined with Violet-green Swallows just south of Amity Pond.  The nest below holds as many as six young Barn Swallows.  It’s inside a derelict metal tank with one end cut away that lies on its side at the sewer ponds.



Here we have the stilt on the embankment, two swallows over pond:STLT-VGS (2)

On the banks of the sewer ponds: evidence of the pernicious effects of heedless consumption and the packaging that goes with it.  What sewage treatment plant really deals with plastic and doesn’t just flush it out into the world?


Sheridan WTP Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jul 29, 2019 31 species (+1 other taxa)

Greater White-fronted Goose  4
Canada Goose  300
Wood Duck  1
Blue-winged/Cinnamon Teal  1
Northern Shoveler  X
Mallard  X
Hooded Merganser  2
Ruddy Duck  30
Pied-billed Grebe  2
American Coot  200
Vaux’s Swift   1
Black-necked Stilt  1
Killdeer  40
Least Sandpiper  3
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Ring-billed Gull  2
California Gull  6     photos on my blog
Osprey  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Black Phoebe  1
California Scrub-Jay  1
Tree Swallow  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Cliff Swallow  X
European Starling  X
House Finch  4
Lesser Goldfinch  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X

Salt Creek Road, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jul 29, 2019.  11 species

Mallard  X
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Clark’s Grebe  1     photo on my blog
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  1
American Crow  2
Barn Swallow  6
American Robin  1
Savannah Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Common Yellowthroat  1

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