Posted by: atowhee | July 16, 2022


It was cool, almost drizzly, windless and birdy this morning as our McMinnville Park & Rec birding class held its first summer field trip. As we gathered near the parking lot swallows scurried across the sky; finches sang from nearby perches; robins hunted across the newly mowed playing fields. Then our lone waxwing of the day perched in a nearby treetop where its crest and black mask were visible. We watched the heavens for a swift and one appeared among the invisible sky streaks of the dozens of dining swallows. The fast-flutter-then-coast flight pattern and the scimitar wing outline were easily viewed from our groundlings’ viewpoint.

Two morning highlights were bright lights. We got good, close views of the park’s most colorful birds. Not one, but two male Western Tanagers allowed views. The cherry-colored face yet in place before the late summer fade out. The second male was clearly gathering food in its beak to carry off to nestlings. Finally we could no longer just listen and imagine the nearby singing BH Grosbeaks, a male dropped down into shrubs right in front of us. All morning we saw robins ferrying food from lawn to nest sites. One flicker joined them out in wormland. Already there were numerous spot-chested fledgling robins out in world-beyond-nest:

In one willow a fluffed-up forlorn young Tree Swallow sat. Then a second bird zoomed in and landed not far off. No offering of food. Some wing-fluttering from the newcomer. We guessed it was a parent goading youngster to get into the air. “Hey, junior, flutter those wings. See? Get going, then you can eat.” Junior stayed put and the presumed adult departed to go swallow insects.

Despite bold coloring it was sometimes difficult to pick out the tanager in the dense foliage and criss-crossing branches of the riparian forest:

Above: young cottontails; young crow; House Finch. Other young we saw included both goldfinches and Purple Finch; towhee; Song Sparrow; nuthatch adult with kid following; adult chickadee, ditto.

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jul 16, 2022 8:55 AM – 11:55 AM. 24 species
Checklist Comments:     McMinnville bird class field trip

Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Vaux’s Swift  2
Anna’s Hummingbird  3
Turkey Vulture  1
Northern Flicker  3
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Tree Swallow  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Bewick’s Wren  X
Swainson’s Thrush  6
American Robin  50
Cedar Waxwing  1
House Finch  X
Purple Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X
American Goldfinch  X
Song Sparrow  X
Spotted Towhee  X
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Western Tanager  2
Black-headed Grosbeak  4

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