Posted by: atowhee | April 3, 2022


There were two notable bird happenings today. ONe was a marked presence, the other a remarked absence.
Present, mid-day, in the “flickers’ oak” in Clark Creek Park–all three of our neighborhood woodpecker species–flicker working on nest hole, sapsucker on that oak’s second trunk, pecking…and a Downy Woodpecker flying ineffective aggression sorties at the sapsucker.

I won’t revisit the ‘hole-in-one, one-in-hole’ muttering…but today the woodworking flicker was inside the hole and hauling out the debris, i.e. chips (none on my shoulder this day). One-in-hole as the work continues. I believe it was the female. I first noted the nest excavation on March 29, click here for that first blog.

You will see her come to the opening, chips on beak. In one image she seems to have a tiny bit of sawdust. In three images you can see the chips floating off in the wind–twice to your left, once to your right. Often she would linger at the hole after release, perhaps enjoying the fresh air and bright light.

I heard the male flicker call once, but he wasn’t visible nearby.
Here’s the sapsucker on the same oak, near the top of the other trunk. An Anna’s hummer came by to watch–they adore sap from a sap well. Then an angry Downy attended the woodpecker congress at Flicker Oak. (Click any nimage to enlarge):

In our garden today, sunflower chips remained uneaten–no turkeys seen (though they have ceased being daily and become sporadic and most of the local flock has moved off to safer, quieter nesting ares) and…wait for it, our most abundant bird has ceased to be so–ZERO JUNOCS! The other wintering sparrows remain–three Golden-crowned, one Fox, one White-crowned.

This happened at the same time last year. The wintering flock began to gather in late October and last spring it vanished suddenly in early April. There’ll be single birds or a junco family in our garden off and on through the summer, then a junc-invasion again next autumn. Meanwhile, the juncos will not care what happens in any elections, or what’s posted on Twitter or Facebook…they will pay close attention to any nearby wildfires and the actions of the local accipiters.

Click here for info on eastern Oregon’s great woodpecker festival…coming right up.

And click here for night-time video of fox near a friend’s home in Ashland. In that area it would be a gray fox, forest dweller. Video couertesy Lee French.

There’s a pending legal battle over scarce water in Utah–click here.

One look at nhow mwater shortages are alterting ag production in arid U.S. West–click here.

Clark Creek Park, Marion, Oregon, US
Apr 3, 2022. 7 species

Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Red-breasted Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
Steller’s Jay  1
American Crow  X
White-breasted Nuthatch  1

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Apr 3, 2022
15 species

Mourning Dove  X
Red-breasted Sapsucker  1
Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  X
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Bushtit  2
American Robin  1
House Finch  5
Pine Siskin  6
American Goldfinch  2
Fox Sparrow  1
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

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