Posted by: atowhee | October 31, 2020

SWANS AND FALCONS–A COLD MORNING AT BASKETT SLOUGH

Philippe Pessereau, TimWilson and I birded the Baskett Slough loop this morning. The fog lifted early but the cold remained. By 1030AM our fingers were no longer numb.
We had three falcon species. I think I would need to go to Klamath basin to get four in one day right now. And I think we had both swan species. There was a trio of Trumpeters in the marsh south of Coville Road. Through our scopes we could see the straight plane of the face from forehead to beak tip. There was no way for us to get good images or get any closer than the roadside. Then as we drove Smithfield Road northward we could see dozens of swans in the lakes along the valley to our east. These had color near the lores and we took them for Tundra Swans, perhaps still heading south?

On Smithfield we got fine views of a Peregrine with perfect morning light. Along Livermore Road we noticed a Merlin after it was harassed by a harrier. Earlier we had seen one harrier harrying another along Livermore Road.

Along Smithfield we also had a Black Phoebe and Say’s Phoebe hunting the same stretch of road. Our lone Hooded Merganser (female) of the day was in the small farm pond downhill from Van Duzer Winery where Smithfield has an elbow. The lone Snow Goose was in the marsh north of Coville Road just before it heads uphill to Smithfield Road junction.

I know you’re dying to know if we found coots–yes. We had over three dozen species in less than 3 hours.

Our mammals for the day (besides hominids) were nutria and California ground squirrel.

MERLIN IGNORES HARRIER ATTACK

THE BIG FALCON IN GOOD LIGHT
Philippe may never forgive himself for leaving his camera at home. I got to chide him about forgetting the birder’s best bumper-sticker: “Don’t leave hone without it.” Camera, binocs, curiosity.

GALLERY OF THE MORNING

UP A TREE

California ground squirrel replied, “I may live in a hole, but I can reach for higher things.”
An anti-social climber?

Baskett Slough NWR, Polk, Oregon, US
Oct 31, 2020
26 species

Snow Goose  1
Cackling Goose  2000
Canada Goose  300
Trumpeter Swan  3
Gadwall  X
American Wigeon  X
Mallard  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Bufflehead  X
American Coot  X
Great Egret  X
Northern Harrier  5
Red-tailed Hawk  X
Northern Flicker  3
American Kestrel  4
Peregrine Falcon  1
Black Phoebe  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  X
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
White-crowned Sparrow  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Western Meadowlark  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X

Baskett Slough NWR–Smithfield Rd., Polk, Oregon, US
Oct 31, 2020
21 species

Cackling Goose  X
Canada Goose  X
Tundra Swan  58     in the refuge lakes east and downhill from Smithfield Road–could see color on the beaks
Northern Shoveler  X
Gadwall  X
American Wigeon  X
Northern Pintail  X
Hooded Merganser  1
Pied-billed Grebe  1
American Coot  X
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  1
Northern Harrier  2
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Northern Flicker  3
American Kestrel  1
Peregrine Falcon  1
Black Phoebe  1
Say’s Phoebe  1
European Starling  X
American Robin  X

Livermore Rd., Polk, Oregon, US
Oct 31, 2020
18 species

Cackling Goose  1000
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Northern Harrier  4
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Kestrel  1
Merlin  1
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
American Goldfinch  X
Dark-eyed Junco  X
White-crowned Sparrow  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Spotted Towhee  2
Western Meadowlark  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X


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