Posted by: atowhee | January 2, 2022


I’ve seen 38 species so far this year and I haven’t left the Salem city limits and my Bewick’s Wren continues to hide from me. My first eagle of the year was a mature bird overhead at Minto-Brown Park this morning.
I saw our neighborhood turkeys for the first time this year and they passed our house…and they had no peacock with them!

Here is the report from Karl Schneck who lives east of Ashland and it’s only January 2 and he has three owl species on his year list plus dozens of elk:
“I started the day out with a Western Screech-Owl roosting in a nest box next to the garage. A few hours later I went down to look for a Barn Owl either in a box or an ivy-filled tree where they often roost. Bingo, it was there. As I looked for a better angle to view it I saw a dark “lump”… had to be an owl and too gray for a Barn Owl and not likely a Great Gray Owl. As it turned its head to check on me I saw the face and ear tufts: Great Horned Owl! What’s really amazing to me is that they were only 3-4 feet from each other. I thought Barn Owls are lunch for a Great Horned Owl.”
“What a day! I thought it was over this morning after I saw all the owls… and a Black-billed Magpie… and then: about 90 elk on the hillside just north of us (presumably the same herd that went through the pasture behind our house at 4 am about a week ago).”
Click here for flickr image of the elk…and then back up on site to see owl in tree.

My college-era friend, Roger Rigterink, sends me this report on birds seen Jan. 1 at his home–

“This is the list of birds that we saw yesterday, all from the one window. On the list, all of them were at the pictured feeder except for the crow and downy. About the only other birds that we might reasonably seen from that window at this time of year would have been a Cooper’s Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk. (There are other occasional sightings such as a Brown Creeper, but they would have been unusual.)
As far as what we might have seen in our area if we had gone out searching, the expert birders in the area were reporting seeing about twenty-five species on their Christmas counts. These birders would have spent most of the day going to different spots searching.  Probably collectively, there might have been about thirty-five species sighted.
Sometimes Redpolls are common (okay, bad pun) in the winter, other times not. We are only seeing one or two at our feeder now, but often they come in hoards, much like the goldfinches.
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow.”

OK, Oregonians…imagine all day in the cold for 25 species! Salem always tops 100 species. We had over thrty on/ epart of one sector here. Down in Ashland and Medford we got 110-120 usually. San Francisco counts I did 20 years back usually topped 160 (ocean species). San Diego can break 200.

Click here if you’d like to read about a Christmas count in North Carolina–helluva lot more than 25 species….plus an otter quartet. Another friend of mine in North Carolina saw this guy just outside his coastal getaway. Photo from Mike Lund, high school friend and class mate.

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