Posted by: atowhee | March 20, 2021

‘TWAS JUST DUCKY

Nora and I took our afternoon walk around Fairview Wetlands. Appropriate for the first day of spring we saw a female Mallard with her eight new ducklings. No male about, typical chauvinist you might say. She her hatchlings spread along the creek on the west edge of the transverse path and it is clogged with willows. That means this tiny fluffs are safe from heron and harrier. I cannot imagine the shallow water and lack of good-sized fish at Fairview would please the particularity of an otter, so these little Mallards may make it to full size. Surely there will be food and water at Fairview until they can fly this summer. If they had to waddle across the road, it might rove fatal.
My first ducklings of the year:

Across the street from the wetlands there were four hundred or so Cacklers on the lawn of the Fish & Wildlife offices. Just before we left another couple hundred came cackling across the sky, circled and landed softly on the turf. The lawns there have been organically fertilized by grazing geese for five months. All that grass will need this summer is some water and occasional mowing;

IN OUR GARDEN

For a few mornings in a row I heard the Varied Thrush calling when I went into the back garden to spread the first sunflower seed serving of the day. The high, thin, waivering whistle of the Varied Thrush is unmistakable. You might think it sounds like a decrepit tea kettle on the boil. I heard but did not see,,,until yesterday morning when the bird deigned to appear up in one of the neighbor’s forest trees beyond our fence, thus the lousy shot. After I fed, and went back inside, the bird actually came into our garden and foraged so I then took photos through the window.

The Bewick’s Wrens now often forage together. They must be getting ready to nest. I still heard some singing but suspect it is territorial now, not courtly.

That male Lesser Goldfinch looks pretty good in his spring finery, no?

After 6pm (love these late sunsets!), a handsome male Townsend’s Warbler came to feed, first I’ve seen here since the first half of February. Some shoudl be present in the Willamette for at least another month:

Fairview Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Mar 20, 2021
19 species

Cackling Goose  500
Canada Goose  2
Northern Shoveler  30
Gadwall  2
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  12
Green-winged Teal  60
Ring-necked Duck  2
Bufflehead  8
American Coot  X
Killdeer  1
Wilson’s Snipe  5
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  7
California Scrub-Jay  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Song Sparrow  2
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Mar 20, 2021
10 species

Cooper’s Hawk  1
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Bewick’s Wren  1
European Starling  1
Pine Siskin  120
Lesser Goldfinch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  20
Townsend’s Warbler  1


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