Posted by: atowhee | May 2, 2022


Between rains, after 2PM, I stopped briefly in Clark Creek Park.  Both flicker and RB Sapsucker were at nest holes in the same dead cottonwood.  The flicker was at the same hole they excavated last month, and where I later saw a squirrel going into the cavity.  I hope my decrepit telepathic messages get through.  They should never lay eggs in any hole a squirrel can easily into. Meanwhile, the sapsucker hole Is now deep enough to conceal half the chiseler.  It is on the other trunk of the tree, the north one.  Not quite as high as the flicker hole, about eighteen feet.  It also lacks the big limb above it to deter water run-off.

About 2PM I was in the parking lot of our local hardware, just off a busy intersection along Commercial Street, the retail heart of south Salem. Across the sky passed a pale-bodied swirl of birds. Being that this was urban habitat, far from the sea, I immediately knew it was neither sandpipers nor Sanderlings. There was only one possibility: my first thirty waxwings of the year! What a natutal kinetic sculpture they create, a truly lovely species. On a planet we must share with bread mold, Putin, covid virus, salmonella, plastic and Elon Musk, it is a real joy to see loveliness, flying free. Bird-brained and mobile, I followed.

Added touch of wind in his newly plumed crest with its newly molted feathers for the spring fashion show that is courtship. Welcome back, beauty!

At Minto-Brown mid-day the dog and I managed at least fifteen minutes on the trail without rain. Along Homestead at the south end of the park we found two Wilson’s Warblers, my first of the year. Wilson’s Snipe have been around all winter and I should add his phalarope this weekend at Malheur. No chance I’ll be eyeing his storm-petrel anytime soon.

This afternoon my wife and I were hostages in our car in our own driveway. The tom turkey would not us out nor move the car. His mate was dining nearby. When she finally ambled dawn the lawn to the street, he wthdrew, triumphant.

Minto-Brown Island Park, Marion, Oregon, US
May 2, 2022
23 species

Canada Goose  8
Northern Shoveler  X
Mallard  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Vaux’s Swift  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  12
Osprey  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  3
Steller’s Jay  1
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  X
Tree Swallow  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
European Starling  X
American Robin  6
Song Sparrow  2
Spotted Towhee  4
Yellow-rumped Warbler  5
Wilson’s Warbler  2     FIRST i’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

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