Posted by: atowhee | February 29, 2020



The birding karma reached a peak this morning for Phillipe Pessereau and I.  We went to Basket Slough and got not a single raindrop and no wind!  Yet water levels were high in ponds and marshes and roadside streams.  Goose levels overflowing.  And birds saying, “Here am I.”  Greater Yellowlegs…dowitchers…our first Tree Swallows of the year, seen at four different locations…a Marsh Wren snarling and calling us names, thankfully we could not translate Marshlish, but I swear I heard “scurrilous curs”…Lincoln’s Sparrow peeking from the reeds.  We totaled almost forty species for three hours birding.

Yet, a surprise menu item really got our attention.  Great Blue Heron dining on full-sized bullfrog at pond along Coville Road…final score was Native Species 1, Invasive -1.GRTBLU (2)
gretblu2Ignore the pintal and wigeon tail incursions.GRTBLU3 (2)Now for the close view, here are pictures taken by Philippe with his better camera:pp-gbh1pp-gbh2pp-gbh3pp-gbh4pp-gbh5

Thousands of Cackling Geese–here, there and yonder.  They are marvelous in crowds as thick as pebbles along a river,  grazing like feathered sheep, silent mostly.  But then some will take off, or others arrive or wide Vs pass in skeins overhead, calling, their voices across miles of otherwise silent fields. Then the hundreds, thousands, go beyond marvel to wonder and on to whatever that next word might be, if we could  but comprehend:


A wigeon flock grazing, then three shots of young Bald Eagle (second, gong on third, year bird, I  believe based on head plumage):

Here is Phillipe’s good shot of eagle on utility pole:pp-juvegl

This is the best I could manage with the skulking little Lincoln’s along one of the ponds east of Livermore Road:LINC PEEK (2)_LILINCPEEK2 (2)

Ducks, not raising a rumpus, merely a rump…can you ID?

And still more: yellowlegs, dowitchers at left end of island with shoveler flashing his white chest, snow in the Coastal Range, Song Sparrow staring down the camera.


Baskett Slough NWR, Polk, Oregon, US
Feb 29, 2020
33 species
Cackling Goose  12000
Canada Goose  X
Tundra Swan  9
Northern Shoveler  X
American Wigeon  200
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  400
Green-winged Teal  200
Bufflehead  15
American Coot  300
Long-billed Dowitcher  6
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  4
Northern Harrier  3
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  3
American Kestrel  2
California Scrub-Jay  3
American Crow  8
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Tree Swallow  8     first of year
Marsh Wren  1
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
Dark-eyed Junco  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  12
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  4
Western Meadowlark  1
Red-winged Blackbird  300
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

Smithfield Road, Polk, Oregon, US–outside the refuge boundaries
Feb 29, 2020
15 species

Canada Goose  X
American Wigeon  X
Mallard  2
Green-winged Teal  X
Ring-necked Duck  6
Lesser Scaup  3
Killdeer  X
Northern Harrier  2
Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  1
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
Dark-eyed Junco  X
Song Sparrow  X
Spotted Towhee  X

Left Coast Cellars, Polk, Oregon, US
Feb 29, 2020
8 species

Mallard  1
Lesser Scaup  1
Bufflehead  1
Mourning Dove  X
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
House Finch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  X

Plum perfect:IMG_9091 (2)


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 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: