Posted by: atowhee | May 11, 2020


Albert Ryckman and I spent three and a half hours birding Ankeny today.  The weather was calm, no wind and no rain and no rarities, but lots of birdy activity.  I got my FOY views of waxwings and Swainson’s Thrush which I had only heard previously.  The waxwings were in a bare tree along Buena Vista Road north of  Wintel Road and south of the railroad crossing.  They were next to two large conifers abloom with climbing wisteria, east of Buena Vista.

The thrush were scattered through the brush beneath the tall trees and sneaky as always.  Albert got some good shots of one who stopped moving in the shadows and presumed invisibility.swainson's thrush (ankeny 5-11-20)

The Black-headed Grosbeaks were singing, chasing, and one pair was beginning a nest.

Framing and foundation in place:bhg nest-anlk (2)

The Yellow Warbler males were also competing for dominance and even the Warbling Vireos made themselves visible.wavi-ank (2)


Albert Ryckman photographed this grebe match before I arrived.  He is a retired medical so he;s seen some animal violence effects, but he was shocked by this as the female watched while the two males apparently tried to drown one another.  At times both combatants were beneath the surface for more than a few seconds.  Of course, this species is an excellent diving swimmer.


Here are Albert’s shots of one or more of the Yellow Warblers chasing one another across the willow tops at Pintail Marsh:

ANKENY GALLERY–more of Ryckman’s good shooting:

If you haven’t seen enough, click here for more photos from Ankeny today, including an otter road and our one Osprey fly-over.

Ankeny NWR, Marion, Oregon, US
May 11, 2020
43 species

Canada Goose  X
Wood Duck  3
Cinnamon Teal  1
Gadwall  X
Mallard  X
Ring-necked Duck  5
Bufflehead  1
Pied-billed Grebe  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Mourning Dove  X
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Sora  1
American Coot  1
Great Blue Heron  8
Great Egret  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Osprey  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Acorn Woodpecker  X
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
American Kestrel  2
Warbling Vireo  2
California Scrub-Jay  5
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  30
Violet-green Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  20
Cliff Swallow  2
European Starling  X
Swainson’s Thrush  12
American Robin  X
Cedar Waxwing  40
American Goldfinch  10
Song Sparrow  20
Spotted Towhee  6
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Brewer’s Blackbird  X
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Yellow Warbler  5
Black-headed Grosbeak  15

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