Posted by: atowhee | June 19, 2022

SEEING CORNERSTONE–TOM CAREY’S IMAGE JOURNAL

From yesterday’s birding trip at Cornerstone Preserve, organized and hosted by Polk County Water & Sopil Conservation District. Photographer Tom Carey was on the job, and even the flittering buntings finally gave him a shot:

Some highlights for me: it was thefirst yime I’d confirmed the presence of Acorn Woodpeckers though the mature and maturong oak groves gave promise and I’d been toild they were there. A nearly constant presence were several soaring Turkey Vultures. The male goldfinch was feeding a hungry, wing-flapping kiddie. The nyiung Violet-green Swallow rested on the peak of the roof. A pair of male Lazuli Buntings fought inside a nearby tree; made us feel like we were bwitnessing a bar brawl.

That flycatcher on a horizontal limb is our Willow Flycatcher. The fly-hawking pewee refused to come down to our level which is usual for that canopy hunter.

Then there was this final shot that made me revise the day’s checklist. Sometimes the lens sees what we miss, or misinterpret. Hiow many winter days have I gotten another shot of another RC Kinglet, then look at it at home and realize “That’s a Hutton’s Vireo?” In retrospect I admit I should have been suspicious of a kinglet suddenly posing calmly, they almost never do. Hutton’s, however, are cautious, deliberate, given to considering their next move rather than endless fluttering motion.

Orange-crowned Warbler

None of us identified this bird at the time. Did I miss one of its buzzy calls, writing each one off as another Chipping Sparrow, which is presently breeding at Cornerstone? The creekside thicket, riparian corridor, is ideal for this bird as well as the chippers, so…

Fortunately Tom’s photographic skill and speed caught this warbler before it hid behind some leaves. The lens is faster, and more reliable, than the eye…or ear.

Herewith the revised–CORRECTED–checklist:
Cornerstone preserve–Polk Water and Soil Conservation District (restricted access), Polk, Oregon, US
Jun 18, 2022
Checklist Comments:     Field trip sponsored by Polk County Soil & Water Conservation District
28 species

Band-tailed Pigeon  9
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Turkey Vulture  10
Bald Eagle  1     adult
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Acorn Woodpecker  1
Western Wood-Pewee  1
Willow Flycatcher  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
Common Raven  X     heard, not seen
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Cliff Swallow  X
European Starling  X
Swainson’s Thrush  X
American Robin  4
Cedar Waxwing  1
American Goldfinch  2
Chipping Sparrow  X
White-crowned Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  4
Spotted Towhee  8
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  X
Black-headed Grosbeak  2
Lazuli Bunting  6

The Cornerstoner checklist on eBird now has 65 species–all recorded this year starting when we made the first scouting trip there in February.


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