Posted by: atowhee | December 21, 2021

GOOD GREBE! WHAT A GREBOUS SITUATION!

I knew the Saturday wind had curtailed our Christmas Bird Count in Salem Sector 1. Responding to reports of species not seen on count day, the dog and I took a walk at Turner Lake this morning. No gale. No rain. Pleasant little wavelets among the many waterfowl thereon. As expected in fishy, deep water: many Common Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebe, Bufflehead, Ruddies, cormorant fishing. In less than a half-mile, in less than an hour, I found five new count week species for our sector. Three grebe species–red-necked, eared and western. Plus: Red-winged Blackbird and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. The red-wing was the harbinger. Before I even got out of the car in the parking lot I saw the male atop a small bare tree, showng off his epaulets. Naturally he would not have even tried that in the face thirty-mile-an-hour wind gusts 48 hours earlier.

Some of the more usual lake swimmers:

As this is the shortest day of the year it makesd all the days seen winter birds. Along with winter a new specues arrived in our garden today–our first Fox Sparrow. He was doing the jump and kick that lets his toes brush away the top layer, something the smaller sparrows and finches aren’t strong enough to do.

In the third image Mr. Foxc is doing the jump-n-scratch, a move he used repeatedly.

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Turner Lake, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 21, 2021
15 species

Mallard  X
Bufflehead  6
Common Merganser  25
Ruddy Duck  16
Pied-billed Grebe  20
Red-necked Grebe  1
Eared Grebe  2
Western Grebe  1

American Coot  X
Double-crested Cormorant  10
American Kestrel  1
American Crow  X
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1

Song Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  1


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