Posted by: atowhee | December 31, 2022


Before the rains came down, the sun came up. For the final time this calendar year. A few moments of bright sunlight showered the sky and trees. Just after the sun had risen above the eastern horizon. Prismatic raindrops refracted the complex light and gave us a double rainbow, the inner much brighter than its outer parallel. In the same sunrising glow a distant tree’s brilliant leaves shone like polished gold. As I gaped three large white birds passed beyond the rainbow. Their size and all-white wings convinced me they were a trio of Tundra Swans, their wings flashing in the sun like white flames. My little camera was not up[ to capturing their ephemeral magic.

The turkeys must, too, have sensed this was their last show of the year. Twenty-one showed up, a singleton greater than any previous turkey trot into our garden.

Leucistic American Goldfinch on right, pale tail. To the left a normal plumaged winter bird:

Sorting goldfinches:

The two lower bird are male lesser; highest bird is female lesser; female American is second from right, bigger with much bolder wing bars and lighter colored back.

After lunch the White-throated Sparrow showed up and posed in the open as he join ed dozens of juncos and goldfinches feeding between rains:

You think that sneaky little warbler high in the tree is a tough call? How about 3300 year old birds…copied…from a destroyed mural? Click here.

Machismo and climate demolition. They are linked, just like John Wayte-worship and the subsidized ranch cattle demolition of arid western habitat. Rebecca Solnit and Greta explain–click here.

954 Ratcliff Drive SE, Marion, Oregon, US
Dec 31, 2022
19 species

Tundra Swan  3     fly over
Wild Turkey  21     record high count for this location
Eurasian Collared-Dove  1
Mourning Dove  12
Northern Flicker  1
Steller’s Jay  2
California Scrub-Jay  4
American Crow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  1
Varied Thrush  2
House Finch  1
Lesser Goldfinch  10
American Goldfinch  30
Dark-eyed Junco  20
Golden-crowned Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1

“The Skating Party” by Elisabeth Sommerville:


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