Posted by: atowhee | April 3, 2021


We had our first (seen) Orange-crowned Warbler of the season in our garden this morning. Likely an overnight arrival. The orange-crowns generally precede warbler species that winter further south (Hemit, MacGullivray). I also suspect the Orange-crowned Warbler, like the Tree Swallow, Turkey Vulture, Black Phoebe and others is adjusting its wintering range northward. THat means less time in the air each spring and fall, reduced travel stress. I checked the historic records for the San Francisco Christmas Bird Count. For the years 1960-1-2, the ORWA count was O, 5 and 4. For the CBCs of 2016-7-8-9 the counts have been 45, 42, 38, 29. I doubt that is simply due to more and better birders on contemporary counts, thought that is certainly true. After 1962 the SF count went dormant for a few years and later was revived. Now there are well over 100 counters every year.

A similar comparison for Pt. Reyes CBC: OCWA for 1970,1, 2, 3 was 12, 4, 6, 14. Then for 2016, 7, 9 (don’t know why there was no data for 2018): 34, 33, 13. Clearly 2019 was down year for OCWA in North Bay Area. But an increase over forty years is discernible.

One OBOl correspondent says he’s had OCWA at his feeders this winter. There are multiple reports of OCWA sightings in western Oregon this month, The orange wave is moving northward.

Here in Salem there was still a White-crowned Sparrow in our garden as well. The flicker was trying out various drums, including one metal squirrel guard. The siskins were almost constantly in song. The crows are fussing about as if one family was going to nest in our conifers.


SISKINS’ GOLD–The siskins’s wings have much more yellow tint now than last fall. The most yellow appears on the wings of the male adults, I suspect. Some morning soon I will awaken as usual, but there will be a gaping vacancy. I may not sense it at first , but as the morning wears on and a couple of juncos, then the Sing Sparrow, maybe a Bewick’s all pass before the window, my brain will suddenly recognize the season is over, the siskin flock has gone back into the mountains. The vacancy will last all summer, and may not be filled for years as these guys are not predictable outside breeding season.


GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, at Fairview. I took his picture because any day the GCs will be gone, like the siskins–back to the mountain forests. They are molting now and the crown looks a little scuzzy.

MOMS ON EGGS, Fairview. One on an island, the other in the mesh cage…and she looks at me, “Who you starin’ at there. bub?”


FAWN-LILIES AT DEEPWOOD–The never willingly face you, always looking down and away.

The only butterflies I have seen so far are cabbage whites.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Apr 3, 2021
17 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove  1
Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Bushtit  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Bewick’s Wren  1
European Starling  X
House Sparrow  X
Pine Siskin  60
American Goldfinch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  X
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  1     first sighting of the year
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

Fairview Wetlands
Apr 3, 2021
24 species

Cackling Goose  150
Canada Goose  3     females in nests
Northern Shoveler  50
Gadwall  12
Mallard  40
Northern Pintail  8
Green-winged Teal  75
Ring-necked Duck  4
Bufflehead  15
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
American Coot  35     high count for this year so far
Killdeer  3
Turkey Vulture  2
Cooper’s Hawk  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  3
European Starling  X
American Robin  3
White-crowned Sparrow  2
Golden-crowned Sparrow  8
Song Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  2
Red-winged Blackbird  16
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1


  1. I’ve had an orange crowned warbler here in Sublimity for most of this winter; showed up late last winter, too.

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