Posted by: atowhee | September 21, 2021


We’re in for it now…three months of diminishing daylight, longer nights. But some of our local trees are coloring, and today, this very afternoon, a flock of waxwings came into our neighborhood for the first time in weeks! I saw these birds overhead, flycatching above the Doug-firs. Neither swallow nor swift. I raced back home with dog in tow to get my binocs (NEVER leave home without them). Yes, a flock of waxwings, perching in the treetop sthen flying up from there for aerial hunting. Some day soon they will notice our heavily fruited old crabapple and pick it clean.

The camera I am using is not up to this task, my regular camera is off in ICU; there are five waxwings in this shot, BION.

I spent some time in our back garden as the small birds gathered for their afternoon tea. The menu was sunflower seed bits. The goldfinches have seed crushing beaks. They sit on the rim of the hanging trays or plunk down on the seeds and feed…and feed. The chickadees and nuthatches can’t do that. Their fine and delicate little pointy beaks are built for quick grab, not crunching. So each time they grab a seed each bird retreats to a covert perch. Here’s the score–we had two RB Nuthatch, two CB Chickadees and two BC Chickadees. The nuthatch pair took at least 23 seeds. The BCCs only three; the CBCs 12. Each of these birds, to eat a seed, must clutch it between toes and peck off littler bits of the bit they hold. The nuthatches, however, cache food like jays…that’s the count accounting. Many of those 20+ are now hidden for future retrieval.

Mid-day at Deepwood Gardens today there was some bird action. Migrants included male Western Tanager with still some cherry flavoring about his crown, wood-pewee and Hermit Thrush. Residents birds were busy in the same loose flock. The tanager was the first I’d seen in town since last spring.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Sep 21, 2021 7:30 AM
Protocol: Incidental
13 species

Wild Turkey  X
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  1
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  15
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
European Starling  X
Cedar Waxwing  20
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  1
American Goldfinch 50

Deepwood Museum & Gardens, Marion, Oregon, US
Sep 21, 2021 11:40 AM
9 species

Western Wood-Pewee  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Bewick’s Wren  2
Hermit Thrush  1
American Goldfinch  1
Song Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  3
Western Tanager  1


  1. I had a large flock of cedar waxwings coming to a wild cherry tree in the backyard. Nice collection of birds you saw, especially the male western tanager.

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