Posted by: atowhee | July 25, 2020


Today was the first of three weekly Saturday bird walks sponsored by McMinnville Park and Rec.  We went to Tualatin River NWR…in individual vehicles, bad for planet but necessary because of the pandemic.  No shared scope.  As has been widely reported on OBOL, the south bound shorebird movement has begun though we missed the Pectoral Sandpiper rumored to be about.

There were hundreds of swallows overhead and more than a handful of Vaux’s Swifts out-speeding them. The insect count must be high as the pewees were very busy flycatching as well.   The one eagle we saw was an adult.  The Coop was carrying brunch in his talons–it looked blackbird sized.  Lesser Goldfinches were dining on thistle seeds.  There is little water on the refuge so the ducks, geese and shorebirds were concentrated in the area south of the visitors’ center and not far west of Hwy 99.

At least one pair of Barn Swallows seemed to be feeding nestlings at a nest on the side of a photography blind.  There were multiple families of Mallard ducklings as well.


I am colorblind so my perceptions of beauty are not those generally expressed.  Yellow and blues play to my limited visual strength.  So in my view the blue of the Lazuli Bunting is hard to equal.  So here is the male, my bird of the day:lazl (2)lazl 1 (2)lazl 3 (2)lazl 4 (2)lazl 5 (2)


Here we have Lesser Goldfinch eating seeds of invasive thistle.  Lesser works for greater good.


Note how the yellowlegs closes his eye when he stabs into the water:GY (2)GY2 (2)GY3 (2)GY4 (2)GY5 (2)kd (2)lbd duo (2)lesa on mud (2)lesa on mud2 (2)


Large oak has one of each.  Young heron landed near our trail and ignored us.

Goose family; Hooded Merganser; wood-pewee aloft and aloof.

Warning: the parking lot was full by 850AM, many people needing to get outside.  Even the lower pull-out by Hwy 99 was filling up with cars.  No running water, only porta-potties.

Tualatin River NWR–Atfálat’i Unit, Washington, Oregon, US
Jul 25, 2020
Checklist Comments:     hundreds of swallows in the air
37 species

Canada Goose  X
Mallard  X
Hooded Merganser  1
Pied-billed Grebe  4
Vaux’s Swift  20
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Killdeer  12
Least Sandpiper  1
Long-billed Dowitcher  2
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Great Blue Heron  6
Great Egret  2
Turkey Vulture  7
Cooper’s Hawk  1     seen carrying avian prey in its talons, heading from marsh to large oaks near visitors’ center
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Pileated Woodpecker  1     heard only, along the river
American Kestrel  1
Western Wood-Pewee  4
American Crow  15
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Cliff Swallow  X
European Starling  X
American Robin  2
Cedar Waxwing  2
House Finch  1
Lesser Goldfinch  5
American Goldfinch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  3
Song Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  1
Red-winged Blackbird  4
Common Yellowthroat  2
Lazuli Bunting  1

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