Posted by: atowhee | December 15, 2022


Dr. Josee Rousseau spoke to Salem Audubon Society this week about the banding program at the north end of Luckiamute Landing State Natural Area. That program is now five years old and on-going, to resume in the spring. Riparian forest restoration is being done there, over hundreds of acres of Willamette River bottomland. Click here for youtube playback of the presentation. One disclosure–Swainson’s Thrush is the most often mist-netted and banded species at Luckiamute. Data show individual birds are loyal to specific locations there over more than one year. That indicates the presence of food-rich, bird-friendly habitat.

Speaking of thrushes–the male Varied Thrush was back in our garden early this morning.

Scouting for Saturday’s CBC–best bird today was a Lincoln’s Sparrow at Mill Creek Wetlands.

This guy is never easy to photograph. With the sun in my eyes I couldn’t see him through the tiny viewfinder, but I aimed where I knew he was compared one dark diagonal branch (not seen in cropped images)…bingo. Also at Mill Creek, a sharp vole hunter:

On the River Bend property–a blue heron preening on his tower:

Wise use of a junior high athletic field–mowed and fertilized simultaneously. With crows making sure nothing is wasted.

Want a little attitude?

Also in our garden today:

An d looking across the Willamette Valley to the Cascades–snow, our natural water storage system…long may it continue:

We have long known that Great Gray Owls hunt prey beneath layers of snow…by hearing their movements. Now a new study found that only low-frequency sounds carry through snow, such as the rustling sounds of voles in motion. Click here.

“If you’re gonna stand around my hunting meadow, I’m gonna use you as a low-height perch, better to hear those voles.” This is classic example of what we GGO fanatics recognize as this species’ aloofness toward big, slow-moving mammals, such as a photographer.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 15, 2022
19 species

Wild Turkey  14
Mourning Dove  16
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Northern Flicker  2
Steller’s Jay  2
California Scrub-Jay  6
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  2
Varied Thrush  1
House Finch  X
American Goldfinch  30
Fox Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  25
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Spotted Towhee  1

SALEM CBC AREA #1, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 15, 2022
Checklist Comments:     Mill Creek Wetlands and River Bend gravel pit pond
13 species

Canada Goose  5
Northern Shoveler  6
Mallard  40
Green-winged Teal  30
Ring-necked Duck  8
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  2
Red-tailed Hawk  4
American Kestrel  2
American Crow  3
American Robin  20
Savannah Sparrow  3
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1


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