Posted by: atowhee | July 5, 2022


Three of us birded Eagle Marsh for about three hours this morning. There some roadside birds got on our checklist, but our time and action was concentrated at Eagle marsh and its trail that goes to two lakes east of the parking lot. Seven species of shorebirds–all in breeding plumage yet. Greater Yellowlegs were in greater number; Lesser were lesser in every way. Green Heron and kingfisher were commuting back and forth from fishing hole to hidden nest site. Black Phoebe, including one juvie, hunted from lake shore shrubs and logs. The Canada Geese lounged about mudflats while we saw a single duck–one woody. Voices heard included BH Grosbeak, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, yellowthroat, numerous Song Sparrows, a chat, a Virginia Rail, Green Heron, some of the shorebirds, Swainson’s Thrush*. Killdeer were both near the water and sharing dryer mudflats with starlings, blackbirds and robins. The latter disliked a smatter of light rain and retreated to shrubs. Apparently robins do not tolerate muddy toes, like a sandpiper will.

The remaining pools of water seemed to roil with the bubbles and churning from small creatures which could range from fish fry to tadpoles to insects and their larvae. The wader s all seemed busy picking upo morsels. Many of the shorebirds and songbirds were on open mudflats or in shallow water (esp. the yellowlegs). The snipe were in an area where water was hidden by emergent plants about three hundreds yards east of the Eagle Marsh parking lot.

Among the shorebirds were locals, and migrants (adults only this early) arrived from Arctic. Killdeer are here year round. It is possible the two snipe are Willamette valley breeders and the Spotties could come from the Willamette River or some nearby lake.

No mammals seen besides hominids. There was a single snake that vanished without allowing a good look–seemed too big to be a garter. Bullfrogs were abundant and vocal, often drowning out nearby birds.

Above: Canada Geese; Greater Yellowlegs; Song Sparrow; Barn Owl feather.
There was a hassled male Red-winged Blackbird along the shore, pestered by two juvies. At one time there were FIVE young blackbirds, but dad apparently would feed only his own:

My fellow birders today were Owen Dell and Duncan Evered who came north from the Corvallis area. I suspect Owen will share with us some photos much better than the few I got.

*Duncan says this species should be named the Russet-backed Nightingale-Thrush, separate from the eastern Swainson’s Thrush.

Ankeny NWR, Marion, Oregon, US
Jul 5, 2022
42 species

Canada Goose  20
Wood Duck  1
Mourning Dove  1
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Virginia Rail  1
Killdeer  40
Least Sandpiper  24
Western Sandpiper  2
Wilson’s Snipe  2
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Greater Yellowlegs  25
Lesser Yellowlegs  2

Great Blue Heron  2
Green Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Bald Eagle  1     mature
Red-breasted Sapsucker  2
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Western Wood-Pewee  1
Black Phoebe  3
Warbling Vireo  1
California Scrub-Jay  8
American Crow  3
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Bushtit  6
Marsh Wren  X
European Starling  300
Swainson’s Thrush  X     several heard singing or calling, none seen naturally
American Robin  50
House Finch  3
American Goldfinch  1
Song Sparrow  15
Spotted Towhee  4
Yellow-breasted Chat  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X
Common Yellowthroat  2     one actually appeared and sang from short dead sapling
Yellow Warbler  1
Black-headed Grosbeak  X     more than one heard singing


  1. It is an act of extreme generosity to refer to me as a birder, but I do appreciate the kindness. And yes, I will send over some photos. Thanks for a great outing with real birders. Owen.

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