Posted by: atowhee | December 11, 2022

WHITER SHADE OF PALE

“And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale…”
— Gary Brooker / Keith Reid / Matthew Fisher

So I was out scouting along Hawthorn again this afternoon, Geer Park was my focus this time out. As often, the Cacklers covered some of the playing fields’ lawn. Grazing. Nearly consciously I was marveling that I see thousands of cacklers every winter and never a pale one…telepathy? Birding karma? Feather-brainedness? There was my first leucistic Cackler amongst the flock of hundreds. Doubly special, this one also had the whiter necklace which is found on a few percent of all Cacklers. Apparently aware hunting is not allowed in this city park, the geese gave me small notice and posed for pictures.

A leucistic bird is supposed to be about one out of thirty thousand. With all the Cacklers that surround us here in the Willamette every year, I gotta say I was overdue!

In the third image below all FIVE Cacklers have at least some semblance of a necklace! And two more comparison shots of the leuc and usuals all around.

This male kestrel was hunting at Geer Park:

Near Geer Park is some vacant land along I-5 used sometimes for tent living. Here is a memorial for a man who likely died nearby:

Caption: “RIP Herman L Grah(a)m 3”

What the city website terms a “stormwater facility” is a series of man-made sloughs at the low point of the park….lotsa water but only two Mallards:

IN THE GARDEN

Coop at dawn, Steller, the turks…

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 11, 2022
21 species

Wild Turkey  14
Mourning Dove  15
Anna’s Hummingbird  2
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  2
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  2
Varied Thrush  1
American Robin  1
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  20
Golden-crowned Sparrow  6
White-throated Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

SALEM CBC AREA #1, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 11, 2022
18 species

Cackling Goose  430
Canada Goose  45
Mallard  2
Mourning Dove 12
Killdeer  2
Ring-billed Gull  1
California Gull  2
Glaucous-winged Gull  40
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Northern Flicker  12
American Kestrel  1
California Scrub-Jay  23
American Crow  4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
European Starling  220
American Robin  48
Dark-eyed Junco  12
Brewer’s Blackbird  8


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