Posted by: atowhee | April 22, 2022

LEAVING NO CORNERSTONE UNTURNED

There was a two-hour scouting visit to Polk County’s Cornerstone preserve this morning. The three of us counted over two dozen species in that brief visit, enhanced by the lack of wind and rain. The 87 acres are managed by the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District. There is a creek gurgling along right now, water rushing off the saturated hillsides, blooming trees, oaks, alder, Doug firs, apples, willows, chokecherry, hawthorn, blackberry thickets. Some restoration work has begun–camas planting, then lupine coming later this year.

Because the land has been closed to visits, it is new to eBird. Today’s was only the third checklist, the first two just from last February. Our list addeed thirteen new species, mostly spring arrivals–swallows, warblers, et al. EBird now shows 48 species there. I expect at least another ten spring arrivals–flycatchers, grosbeak, tanager, vireo, sparrows.

I will giving an introductory Cornerstone Birding talk next week. A Tuesday night Zoom. Click here to register for “Birds of Cornerstone.” On that same web page is info about the May bird walk I will be leading, and we hope to add one in June as well.

SOME OF THE BIRDS:

Just below the lousy bluebird image, the second ojne sorta shows a Lincoln’s Sparrow. The towhee and Tree Swallows aren’t bad. Last is a damp Cooper’s Hawk drying off atop a crestline oak.

Singers today: Song Sparrow, yellowthroat, Swainson’s Thrush, robins, Bewick’s Wren. Growlers (without lager): towhee. We also heared both jays and Mourning Dove. The Canada Geese were quarreling at a neighbor’s pond and drowned out all other sounds. They may have been trying to drown one another over territory. The raven gave us a single croak of disapproval as it soared away. Wrentits silent–nesting?

Birding, like good wine, depends on the terroir. That is the land, not a dog! Behold Cornerstone:

Cornerstone preserve–Polk Water and Soil Conservation District (restricted access), Polk, Oregon, US
Apr 22, 2022 8:50 AM – 11:10 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
28 species

Canada Goose  4
Mourning Dove  X
Killdeer  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  X
California Scrub-Jay  3
American Crow  1
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Tree Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Cliff Swallow  X
Bewick’s Wren  1
European Starling  X
Western Bluebird  1
Swainson’s Thrush  4     singing
American Robin  3
Lesser Goldfinch  3
White-crowned Sparrow  2
Golden-crowned Sparrow  6
Song Sparrow  12
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  8
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1


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