Posted by: atowhee | October 14, 2020


Fog by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Cat feet, shroud more like. Sits? Hah, swirls and furls and deadens sound and visibility. That’s what we found as we began our Salem Audubon social distanced bird walk this morning. Fogged in. We met at the large parking lot on Coville Road at Baskett Slough. We couldn’t see the marsh a quarter mile away. We couldn’t see the geese sounding overhead as they flew.

We could hear the air cannons firing, for good reason. There were prodigious flocks of starlings at the vineyards. Smoked grapes are just fine with them. No fussy palate in those flocks of feathered grape-grabbers.

By 1030AM the fog along Livermore Road was dissipating. We even felt some solar heat and saw patches of blue sky. at the same time raptors were busy: harriers cruising the weed tops, red-tails up high or perched, a male kestrel hovering. Local camera drones were jealous.

Birds of note: three Violet-green Swallows overhead; two adult male harriers briefly in the same field simultaneously; four shorebird species in same pond mud along Livermore Road; pair of phoebe there jostling for top perch in a bare tree top; Great Horned Owl flushed there as well. It is the second time recently that I have flushed a GHOwl in those trees along east side of Livermore Road. One of those owls must occasionally, or even regularly, roost in those trees.



Baskett Slough NWR, Polk, Oregon, US
Oct 14, 2020
22 species

Cackling Goose  500
Gadwall  3
Mallard  X
California Quail  30     covey seen before start of the field trip at main Coville Road parking area
American Coot  2
Killdeer  6
Great Blue Heron  1
Northern Harrier  5
Red-tailed Hawk  2
American Kestrel  4
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
European Starling  5000
American Robin  X
American Pipit  2
House Finch  3
Dark-eyed Junco  X
White-crowned Sparrow  12
Golden-crowned Sparrow  6
Song Sparrow  X
Western Meadowlark  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X

Livermore Rd., Polk, Oregon, US
Oct 14, 2020
23 species

Cackling Goose  X
Killdeer  4
Long-billed Dowitcher  2
Wilson’s Snipe  2
Greater Yellowlegs  2
Great Egret  2
Northern Harrier  3
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Great Horned Owl  1
Northern Flicker  3
American Kestrel  2
Black Phoebe  2
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  12
Violet-green Swallows 3
Marsh Wren  1
American Robin  50
Dark-eyed Junco  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Spotted Towhee  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X

We saw no rare birds, so here’s one for your Oregon life list:

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