Posted by: atowhee | March 12, 2020


I cancelled my McMinnville birding class for this month after the CDC recommended people over sixty stay home.  That would be me and most of the people who sign up my classes.

Still the dog must walk and I must obey.

The Song Sparrow is our garden has picked up his game, the singing he presents now is much more like a grown-up’s Song Sparrow melody.  Still I have noticed only this single bird.  He may be headed off to some breeding territory  as spring progresses.

Speaking of spring hormonal action…if you were a female towhee, how could you resist?IMG_2009 (2)

The siskins are now giving out their signature “zzzzzzzzup” sound with the pitch rising at the end.  They alone among North American birds have such a call.  I have never heard Mockingbirds or starlings try to  mimic it.  Some of the males show bright yellow coating on their wing feathers.

Last night on the after-dark dog walk I heard a flock of Cackling Geese over McMinnville.  The moon was still down along the horizon and though it was clear I did not see the geese pass in front of any stars.  The haunting calls of geese from some unseen path across the sky.  In the daytime those calls can seem almost friendly or at least gregarious…in the dark, lonely and lost is the affect.

At Grenfell Park on Baker Creek Road this afternoon I saw a Red-breasted Sapsucker (RBS) fly-catch from fifty feet up in the creekside trees.  Acorn and Lewis’s Woodpeckers—near cousins—are noted fly-catchers, but I’ve never seen a sapsucker do this before.  After twelve years of living in RBS breeding range here in Oregon it was pleasing to see a different and unexpected behavior.

Here’s a three-finch tray in our garden; left to rigbt: siskin, House Finch, American Goldfinch:  3fincher

On a recent wet morning after a night of rain…an immature Red-tail (the banded tail tells us that) is rather a wet-tailed hawk:

Great Blue Heron in tip-top condition, along Bellevue Road, southern Yamhill County:TIPTOP HERON (2)

Also along Bellevue, harrier airborne:

Tundra Swans, GW Teal and a flooded field yesterday along Briedwell Road in southern Yamhill:

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Mar 12, 2020
18 species

Canada Goose  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove  4
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  3
Bushtit  15
Bewick’s Wren  1
European Starling  6
American Robin  X
House Sparrow  X
House Finch  X
Pine Siskin  6
Lesser Goldfinch  X
Dark-eyed Junco  30
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  5     four myrtle, one Audubon’s

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