Posted by: atowhee | April 1, 2022


You need not visit East Africa or even fly to Atlanta to find a “Savannah.” This morning the Savannah Sparrows at Mill Creek in southeast Salem were making themselves visible. Some even ventured up onto stalks or posts two feet above the surrounding grass. That’s what passes for bravado in this specific Savannah-land. These birds will behave this way briefly, then revert to hiding, no April fools, they. Visoble, the savannahs refused to be in focus:

Also at Mill Creek (no sighting of shrike today):

Bees awakening, cacklers gathering, kestrel at rest and kiting.


Across from our driveway in Salem this morning a sapsucker was drumming on a cracked utility pole:

The crack produced fine sound, but the sapsucker’s vigor chipped off a piece of the pole as you see in the final image above.

Later at Deepwood Gardens I was taking picture of a perched sapsucker, when two others flew into the frame! Almost instantly all three vanished, perhaps taking their courtship conundrum elsewhere in the woods.

Further woodpecker adventures: the flicker excavations continue at Clark Creek Park. Golf has its hole-in-one; woodpecker nest-chiseling has its one-in-hole:


Mill Creek Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Apr 1, 2022
27 species in less than an hour

Cackling Goose  2500
Canada Goose  3
Northern Shoveler  X
Gadwall  X
Mallard  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Mourning Dove  1
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
American Coot  X
Killdeer  2
Long-billed Dowitcher  40
Wilson’s Snipe  5
Greater Yellowlegs  2
Turkey Vulture  23
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  1
American Kestrel  1
Tree Swallow  2
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
Lesser Goldfinch  5
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
Savannah Sparrow  12
Song Sparrow  5
Western Meadowlark  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  2     first of year, a pair

Click here for a look at current state of California’s water supply–not good. Very low snowpack means little spring run-off for reservoirs.

Also in California, Berkeley’s celebrity Peregrine has been killed. Click here for report.


  1. Nice photos of the savannah sparrows. The wasps are the non – native European paper wasps that unfortunately build nests in our bluebird boxes.

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