Posted by: atowhee | March 23, 2022

SAVING THE BEST FOR FIRST

The dog and I had just arrived at Mill Creek Wetlands, south on Mill Creek Drive, just south of Henningsen Court, north of Truax Drive…and the shrike flew across the street in front of us. I tromped on the brakes and pulled over–to an illegal parking spot, so what! Then “Shrikey” perched atop a nearby tree. And again…and again…

Then a little later there was a large buteo perched on a tree top south of Truax. The white tail feathers peeked out between the long wing feathers. It is a fairly dark morph, little white around the head. When this hawk flew first, it was driven into another tree by an angry harrier. Later it flew again and was driven south to Corban Uni by two attacking crows.

My hawk mentor says this is likely a Rough-legged, a species I’ve seen here twice before this year. The crucial clue is the dark bar at the tip of the tail.

Round the wetlands:

Mill Creek Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Mar. 23, 2022
21 species

Cackling Goose  60
Northern Shoveler  30
Gadwall  8
Mallard  20
Northern Pintail  5
Green-winged Teal  80
Mourning Dove  6
American Coot  3
Killdeer  2
Long-billed Dowitcher  80
Northern Harrier  1
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Rough-legged Hawk  1
Northern Shrike  1

American Crow  2
European Starling  9
American Robin  2
Savannah Sparrow  1
Western Meadowlark  20
Red-winged Blackbird  60


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