Posted by: atowhee | October 12, 2020


There is one mature rowan tree in our neighborhood. No Martin to be seen. Purple Martins have all gone south. House and Sand Martins are all on the other of the Atlantic all year. For those under seventy who don’t know what this is all about click here–Rowan and Martin was one of the first commercial TV shows in America to satirize the idiocy of the Vietnam War. Americans trying to dictate politics to a nation half-way round the world, a nation that spoke French, Vietnamese and local dialects…

Anyway the rowan tree would be familiar to martins, those in Europe. It is an introduced tree here. Birds plant its seeds willy-nilly and up they sprout.

The first time I saw a berry fruitful rowan was in Scotland near Aviemore. The tree was ancient and about fifty feet tall, shaped like one of our eastern maples given room to grow round. And there were waxwings in it harvesting berries in September. These were those OTHER waxwings, which we call “Bohemian”.
Our local, Salem rowan yesterday had gathered quite a crowd–free lunch! A couple dozen robins, being loud and proud, at least five dozen cedar birds waxwinging into the rowan and then out to the roost tree, a tall Doug-fir.

This afternoon I walked past the tree, still plenty of fruit, mild day with a bit of sun–no waxwings. I think those birds have the same need to move as Bushtits, maybe a touch of attention deficit disorder thrown in.

Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Oct 11, 2020
7 species

Cooper’s Hawk  1     after the berry eaters
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
American Robin  30
Cedar Waxwing  75
American Goldfinch  X
Spotted Towhee  1

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