Posted by: atowhee | March 12, 2022


At Mill Creek Wetlands today I added two news species to my year’s list: Violet-green Swallows and Long-billed Dowitchers. Both were in flocks. Terrrible dowitcer nap-time shot, camera wouldn’t focus:

Eagle in sky, harrier among the willows:

When was the last time you saw a rainbow rising from the roof of a boxy Fed Ex warehouse?

Not turkey police. Not “cop” as we oldsters used to use it, as “to cop to” something. This is turkey COPulation, right in our front garden. Kept it unfocused out of voyeuristic politesse.

After coping to it, tom hopped to it as well, strutting his stuff…not to be confused with turkey stuffing. These native American birds are so deep in our culture, they must have some relation to a major fraction of our language…drum (stick), fan (feathers), beard, gobble, sandwich, leftovers, stew, sausage, turkey (as in something that fails?!), another country, trot, run, to talk turkey.

Where in this residential neighborhood will the turkeys find a safe place to raise their flightless chicks?

Well, from copulation by my neighbors, where to next? Salem’s streetwalkers!~


I grew up 0on a small farm with cows, so I have a strong nostalgic love of their faces, their behavior, even–sadly–the familiar smell of their manure. From age eleven until I graduated from high school I milked cows every morning and evening. They look so much finer on a green grassy hillside compared to a dinner plate or burger bun. Sadly that’s where these steers are headed.

Mill Creek Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Mar 12, 2022
Checklist Comments:     two visits, one during afternoon storm
29 species

Cackling Goose  150
Canada Goose  4
Northern Shoveler  25
Gadwall  2
Mallard  15
Northern Pintail  12
Green-winged Teal  120
Hooded Merganser  2     in slough west of Winco warehouse, parallel to Kuebler
Mourning Dove  2
Killdeer  2
Long-billed Dowitcher  20–first sighting of the year
Wilson’s Snipe  11
Greater Yellowlegs  6
Northern Harrier  2
Bald Eagle  3
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Northern Flicker  2     in a small tree together
American Kestrel  2
American Crow  2
Tree Swallow  X
Violet-green Swallow  30     my first sighting of the year
Marsh Wren  1
European Starling  X
American Robin  20
Lesser Goldfinch  1
Song Sparrow  1
Western Meadowlark  16     several singing, evenin afernoon rain
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  1

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