Posted by: atowhee | August 10, 2020

‘LONG THE RIVER

We made our third McMinnville Parks bird class field trip on Saturday.  There were young raptors on display.  A squealing young Osprey on his nest platform did an aerial circuit for us, to show he could fly but prefers fish fresh-delivered by mom & dad,  Then we saw adult and fledgling Cooper’s Hawk side by side on the trail to the Grandmother Cottonwood. The youngster was calling for a meal, perhaps a plump little Song Sparrow for brunch?

Willamette Mission is home to the largest known black cottonwood on earth.  She stands battered but vital along the old riverbank now far from the current current to the west.  Her height is 155 feet, her age about 270 years.

At the present-day riverbank we watched a flock of Cedar Waxwings fly-catch over the Willamette.  They used a dead, bare cottonwood as their airbase for landings and take-offs.  Many of the plants provided fresh fruit and Song Sparrows, goldfinches and others were feeding–blackberries, chokecherries, red-osier dogwood.

These images are all by Albert Ryckman, including two drone shots of the Wheatland Ferry, with active Osprey nest on east bank of the river.  T

The osprey nest we saw on the field trip was about 2 miles to the southeast of the ferry crossing.  The fledgling Osprey is seen on the nest with brightly flecked back and once in flight.  The adult osprey is seen perched in a tree overlooking a slough. The young coop is seen high-tailing us.

Willamette Mission SP, Marion, Oregon, US
Aug 8, 2020
20 species

Mallard  X
Vaux’s Swift  3
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Green Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  3
Cooper’s Hawk  3
Northern Flicker  3
Steller’s Jay  X
California Scrub-Jay  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Barn Swallow  X
European Starling  X
Swainson’s Thrush  X
American Robin  X
Cedar Waxwing  40
Purple Finch  1
American Goldfinch  X
White-crowned Sparrow  30     among the berry vines on entrance drive
Song Sparrow  X


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