Posted by: atowhee | December 14, 2020

WETTING MY APPETITE…FOR WINTER BIRDING

As we approach the covid-season Christmas Bird Counts shouldn’t we naturally expect cold and wet weather? I do. Salem on the 19th, McMinnville the 20th. The red dot marks the pair of female Common Mergansers I found in my CBC sector…last year we found a much less expected Red-breasted in another quarry lake.

While our species needs to limit socializing and dining out, many birds have no such worries right now. I call this little series of images, “Block Party.”

This guy I call the “loner.” Looking him/her over I take this to be an Olympic Gull–one of those common hybrids between Western and Glaucous-winged. First, it is a LARGE, MEATY creature. Its mantel is not nearly dark enough for Western and the “dirty” head is also not pure Western. Yet its mantel is not pale enough for G-W and then there are those black tail feathers not to be found among purer Glaucous-winged. I think it was much too big for a Herring Gull, even of some hybrid sort. All this writing about color starts to make me feel racist so I want to say right now that I have no prejudice against any genetic mix in gulldom that makes for a healthy creature. This is probably a gull at least four years old, so a successful off-spring regardless of its parents’ own genes.

Fairview Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 14, 2020
13 species

Northern Shoveler  40
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  1
Green-winged Teal  60
Bufflehead  3
American Coot  12
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Crow  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  8
Song Sparrow  1
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

SALEM CBC AREA #1, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 14, 2020
10 species

Cackling Goose  300
Canada Goose  1
Northern Shoveler  X
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  X
Green-winged Teal  100
Ring-necked Duck  X
Common Merganser  2
American Coot  X
American Crow  1


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