Posted by: atowhee | November 19, 2019


It’s not been very wet this “rainy season.”  Many of the seasonal marshes are still dry. At the Yamhill Sewer Ponds neighboring fields have no standing water, the usually wet low spot is dry sothe usual wintering snipe are somewhere else.  This means that ducks and other wetland birds are more concentrated.  There were at east 150 Shovelers on the sewer ponds yesterday.  They and most of the Bufflehead were  the southeast end where the daphnia concentration is highest.  Ducks delight at delectable daphnia dining.

At one time the entire shoveler flock lifted off. They did not call out like geese do when disturbed.  The noise was of hundreds of wings beating against the air.  At first I was confused by the ducks’ panic. I didn’t think the dog and I were close enough to bother them.  Then off to the north I saw an adult Bald Eagle.   The eagle flew on past the ponds and landed in a bare oak about a quarter mile to the west.  The ducks circled a few times then settled back down to the water. Through it all the Bufflehead remained unruffled.  They know they can dive to escape an eagle attack.shov-ysp (2)shov upp (2)

At the sewer ponds there is a plentitude of fruit for the many robins.  Crabapples, haws, snowberries.


In our garden we struck gold one day this weekend.  Not just the small golden forehead spot of the Golden-crowned Sparrows, both a bright yellow male Lesser Goldfinch and then a brightly marked Audubon’s Warbler showed up. Here is the goldfinch at feeder along with House Finch:2finch (2).JPGA majority of yellow-rumps in Oregon in winter are Myrtle Warblers so we are pleased that for second year we have an Audubon’s in our garden.  Here’s Auddie, hiding in the hydrangea:




Sunday evening I spotted the Short-eared Owl at the McMinnville Airport around 450PM.  He was on the north side near the hangers and other buildings.   I saw him in flight but could not re-locate him once he went to ground.  Russ Namitz and another birder were there searching as well.

Below: Downy at Yamhill Sewer, junco bathing in the cold water, nuthatch in motion and all a-blur:


Yamhill Sewage Ponds (restricted access), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 18, 2019
14 species

Wood Duck  2
Northern Shoveler  150
Bufflehead  40
Mourning Dove  8
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  2
European Starling  X
American Robin  80
American Goldfinch  2
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  12
Song Sparrow  1

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 18, 2019
12 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  X
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
House Sparrow  X
House Finch  X
Dark-eyed Junco  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Nov 17, 2019
11 species

California Scrub-Jay  1
American Crow  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
House Sparrow  X
House Finch  2
Lesser Goldfinch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  20
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1     Audubon’s Warbler

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