Posted by: atowhee | August 12, 2021


We had almost three dozen species in less than two hours, and construction work barred us from the southern end of the marshland. Still…the good, the fun and the tragic. The latter was a cowbird young being fed by its Lazuli Bunting foster parents. The cowbirds are here because of our forefathers who enabled them to follow large herds of cattle being driven west in the 19th Century. Cowbirds are not native west of the Rockies.

Far more pleasing was a flock of mixed yellowlegs at the Coville Road narrows–at least four lessers. Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets festooned the trees lining that nearly dry pond. The shallow puddle there was not even deep enough to lure a single Mallard. Later we saw three in flight.

The chat was still active and made itself visibile near the north parking lot along Smithfield Road at Livermore Road.

Some of the birds were feeding on the abundant blackberry crop. We had a few berries ourselves–sweet and juicy, as desired.

My best picture today: a row of yellowlegs, and in this shot there is a cluster of three on the island, the middle one is shorter in stature, shorter in beak and “Lesser” by name:

You will note how little water remains at the Narrows on Coville Road.

A little feather quiz during moltoing season. Each of these was found near my home in south Salem. IDs below the checklist:

Baskett Slough NWR, Polk, Oregon, US
Aug 12, 2021
Checklist Comments:     Salem Audubon field trip
35 species

Mallard  3
California Quail  X
Vaux’s Swift  1
Killdeer  1
Greater Yellowlegs  10
Lesser Yellowlegs  4
Great Blue Heron  5
Great Egret  7
Turkey Vulture  4
Osprey  1     see as  was leaving Baskett Slough
Northern Harrier  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Kestrel  1
Western Wood-Pewee  2
Warbling Vireo  1
American Crow  4
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Violet-green Swallow  40
Barn Swallow  6
Bewick’s Wren  2
European Starling  X
American Robin  3
Cedar Waxwing  4
House Finch  1
Lesser Goldfinch  X
American Goldfinch  X
Savannah Sparrow  3
Spotted Towhee  1
Yellow-breasted Chat  1
Bullock’s Oriole  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
Brewer’s Blackbird  3
Common Yellowthroat  X
Lazuli Bunting  2

Feathers, left to right: Steller’s, Scrub-j, not very Wild Turkey.


  1. I enjoyed reading about your day at Baskett and the feather quiz at the end. I had to check my answer on the turkey feather.

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