Posted by: atowhee | October 10, 2020

SATURDAY, BETWEEN RAINS

This morning was our third, and final, birding trip of the fall in a series sponsored by McMinnville Parks & Rec. It rained almost until the minute we started, then gave us the obkigatory birders’ respite.
Various sparrow species busy feeding, one little fenced-in weed patch was ripe with seed and had its own flock of white-crowns. There was a red-tail, calling repeatedly from atop a tall doug-fir along the river. Robins were abundant, harvesting fruit, feeding on earthworms brought to the surface by the overnight rain. Most fun to watch: an assiduous part of Red-breasted Nuthatches. They were harvesting the seeds from doug-fir cones, then carrying to nearby oaks where they cached those seeds in tufts of moss on the oak branches.

The early season mushrooms are popping up. Meanwhile the deciduous trees are dropping their 2020 leaves. One ash was especially colorful. There was no standing water in the Joe Dancer Wetlands, yet. It often brings in the snipe when the water level gets to a couple inches or more.

The lawns and playing fields are criss-crossed with the rodential highways furrowed, not quite burrowed, by the western pocket gophers that are abundant there, though rarely seen.

On my way home I was surprised to see four Barn Swallows swoop over the highway not far east of the McMinnville Airport.

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 10, 2020 9:30 AM – 11:50 AM
15 species

Canada Goose  X
Killdeer  4
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  2
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Bushtit  X
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
American Robin  50
Dark-eyed Junco  12
White-crowned Sparrow  8
Song Sparrow  10
Spotted Towhee  1

This is the best covid-brings-birding ‘toon I’ve seen. I have several friends who are newly convinced that birding is more fun than some of the tbings they used to do way back in 2019.

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