Posted by: atowhee | April 18, 2020


There was a Lincoln’s Sparrow skulking around our feeders briefly this morning.  Too shy for a photo, sadly.  The delicately handsome little bird will not nest near here but up in some mountain meadow, likely.  No natural water here so not too suitable that way either.  It is the first time in five years here that this species has been spotted in our garden.  I did have a few sighting in fall and winter at Joe Dancer where one may have wintered…in the wetlands there.

The Lincoln honored with this handsome bird’s name is NOT the first Republican president, but a more anonymous Thomas Lincoln, a young gunner on Audubon’s Labrador expedition where the species was first collected and recognized.  It was that Lincoln who shot the bird and brought it back to Audubon.  That Lincoln ended up living in San Francisco after the Gold Rush.

Today the trees were moving…moving me, never themselves.  Apple (feral and crab), redbud, dogwood, some magnolias–in full spring color.  The hawthorns are now putting out their tiny buds, one-third the size of a grain of rice.  The cottonwoods have been in leaf for weeks, now ash and alder are greening as well.  The oaks stubbornly refuse, not to be lured into letting their tender leaflets get frosted.

I sometimes wonder if most people just walk past trees as if they were just messy poles without wires, boring and ignorable.  Trees are surprisingly, complex and educational, also not viral.  Here is a small crabapple I met today at Joe Dancer.   Fine spring blooms, surrounding last year’s freeze-dried apples.  crabThis is a trick the “crabs” share with the local wild spirea which still have last year’s seed heads though new leaves have opened.

Here is the open ground along the path at Joe Dancer.  Petals color the earth, distributed widely by the spring breezes blowing through wild apple trees.petals (2)

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Apr 18, 2020
15 species

Canada Goose  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  X
California Scrub-Jay  1
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  X
Bushtit  2
European Starling  X
Pine Siskin  7
Dark-eyed Junco  1
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

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