Posted by: atowhee | August 18, 2022


I was in Minto-Brown Park, between Parking Lot #4 along Homestead and nearby Oxbow Slough. There was a loud hammering–these big woodpeckers are beyond mere drumming. Eventually after fluttering about in the dense forest the pileated land in a red-osier dogwood and slid out onto the far end of a slender branch to pluck berries from the branch-end. Our largest woodpecker here in Oregon (I consider the Ivory-billed question still alluringly unsettled) it weights more than half a pound, that’s enough to bow most slender limbs that bear fruit in dogwoods and numerous other trees from osoberry to rowan.
This bird kept an eye on me, refusing to pose:

Over a decade ago I first saw a family of pileateds doing their berry gathering, this time on a mountain dogwood in Ashland’s Lithia Park. It was September, berries ripe. Click for that moment from the archives.

Besides the hammering episode Minto-Brown was fairly quiet in the late morning warmth. Oxbow Slough is mostly blocked by emergent vegetation. I did see a single Wood Duck in two locations.

Minto-Brown Island Park, Marion, Oregon, US
Aug 18, 2022. 8 species

Wood Duck  2
Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Steller’s Jay  2
American Robin  2
Cedar Waxwing  5
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  4


Our turkey trio was out early today–tom, hen and youngster.

The nuthatch above must be a youngster–look at that scruffy plumage. And the bird landed near me on a low wire fence. Huh? Nuthatches don’t land on wire fences unless there is a suet feeder involved. Then the bird stared at me–“That is a strange bush there on the porch!?”
The young Barn Swallow and male quail were at Fairview Wetlands.

Recently a Cooper’s hawk chased a crow past our front window. Foolish young hawk who was never going to catch that crow. A few minutes later a trio of crows perched on the wires above our driveway–having dispatched the naive Coop. When the crows aren’t around, scrub-jays lord it over our feeders, but the clever and adroit Steller’s still zoom in, grab a peanut or two and escape. Sometimes if I am near, the bold Steller will use the scrubbers’ caution to take time on the ground near me to weight the various peanuts…often taking two at once! Meanwhile, the scrubs, afraid of an upright predator, stay up on the wire and in the trees, giving Steller free reign.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Aug 17, 2022
11 species

Mourning Dove  4
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Steller’s Jay  2
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Finch  6
Lesser Goldfinch  X
Black-headed Grosbeak  2

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Aug 18, 2022
11 species

Wild Turkey 3–family of tom, hen and juvie
Mourning Dove  X
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  2
California Scrub-Jay  5
American Crow  X
Black-capped Chickadee  1
House Finch  6
Lesser Goldfinch  2
Black-headed Grosbeak  X

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