Posted by: atowhee | February 4, 2022


Few people, plenty of birds, a busy bunch of bluebirds and a roughie perched in perfect light. Owen Dell and I had a good three hours at Finley NWR.

This fellow flew across the road in front of me, flagging me down with his black and white zoned tail. Then he flew into the top of a bare tree and posed so that we looked at him with the faint clouded sunshine coming from behind. A photographer’s wishes answered:

Rough-legged Hawks, down from the Arctic for our mammalian menu and warm weather, are regular wintering burds in the Willamette but rarely numerous as they can be in Klamath Basin. They’re larger than our red-tails and can cope with the muscular arctic hare in season. One posed in a tree is a treat. Breeding in treeless tundra “roughies” are often comfortable standing or strolling around on the ground.

Here’s one of the bluebirds that flew up to us at McFadden Marsh parking lot:

Also at McFadden: a heron and egret “sharing” the shallow pond. The egret would push into the heron’s ciurcle of comfort, eventually the heroin would attack. Repeat performance. Clearly the pond provided provender that neither bird would abandon.

Photos by Owen Dell from his gallery of heron images today.
Then Owen got this great duo at McFadden:

Another from Owen’s own heron gallery:

Some more of my pics, Cacklers on the ground and in the fog:

On the freeway heading home there was a pleasant surprise–a dense flock of Dunlin gathered at loafing time (115pm) around a fairly small pool just off the freeway. Most were asleep, well fed or fed up. Location in checklist.

William L. Finley NWR, Benton, Oregon, US
Feb 4, 2022
34 species

Cackling Goose  2000
Canada Goose  3500
Tundra Swan  40
Northern Shoveler  X
American Wigeon  X
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Ring-necked Duck  X
Bufflehead  X
Pied-billed Grebe  1
American Coot  X
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  6
Northern Harrier  5
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  4
Northern Flicker  2
American Kestrel  6
Black Phoebe  1     McFadden Marsh parking lot
California Scrub-Jay  1
Common Raven  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Western Bluebird  20
American Robin  X
Dark-eyed Junco  X
Golden-crowned Sparrow  60
Song Sparrow  5
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  4
Western Meadowlark  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3

Linn County I-5, Linn, Oregon, US
Feb 4, 2022
7 species

Dunlin  200     east of I-5, north of Exit 238, in shallow pool along fenceline
Red-tailed Hawk  X
Northern Flicker  X
American Kestrel  X
Common Raven  2
European Starling  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X

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