Posted by: atowhee | November 17, 2021


There are up to three Steller’s Jays and six scrub who hang around our garden. They like the suet blocks, will occasionally have a few sunflower seeds…but peanuts! The scrubs come almost instantly when they hear the sound of peanut shells on pavement, One of the first is always junco-jay with the white stripes in his tail. Smaller and swifter, the Steller’s use cunning and speed to out-smart the bigger, bullying scrubs. Unseen, deep in a shrub the Steller will scream after the peanuts are thrown onto the drive. Is he saying “I’m scared, I’m scared”? While scrubs are hopping about weighing each peanut in a beak, the Steller will jet out from hiding, and grab a peanut from the ground, then vanish into a nearby tree. Two seconds, or less–fait accompli. The scurbs pretend they have not been outdone and go on weighing peanuts.

The right hand image above shows the Fairview Sharpie I saw earlier this week. Fairview today:

I was so close to a passing flock of Bushtits in our garden recently that I could hear them. My old ears rarley pick up the Bushtits musical whispers any more. While I was inside they wokred over the rose garden. One landed, and sat. This bird was still for more than seconds–unusual if not unprecedented for a Bushtit. I was inside next to a window so the bird may not have even known I watched. When a Bushtit does come close it is often just for an instant, or less. This time I could raise my camera, but I didn’t have it with me!

The pale eye means this was an adult female, The males have dark eyes.

A typical scene in our garden after sunrise, note one pale-crowned goldfinch, front left:

Fairview Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 16, 2021
Checklist Comments:     The sidewalks and lawn at Oregon DFW are coated with oodles of goose poop.  That fact reinforces the importance of the double “O” in American English,.
19 species

Northern Shoveler  50
Gadwall  20
American Wigeon  8
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  6
Green-winged Teal  75
Ring-necked Duck  3
Bufflehead  8
Ruddy Duck  1
American Coot  15
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Crow  1
Bushtit  15
Bewick’s Wren  1
American Robin  1
Lesser Goldfinch  4
Song Sparrow  4
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  10

Fairview Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 15, 2021
12 species

Cackling Goose  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Gadwall  X
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Ring-necked Duck  X
Bufflehead  X
American Coot  X
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
American Crow  2
American Robin  3

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Nov 16, 2021
11 species

Steller’s Jay  X
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  4
Pine Siskin  X
American Goldfinch  X
Dark-eyed Junco  40
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

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