Posted by: atowhee | March 22, 2023


I had less than an hour to bird today. Garden work, shopping (twice!), lunch with friends. Less than an hour for Fairview Wetlands walkaround–six Turkey Vultures passed overhead. Yet, I saw two species for the first time this year. If I had been projecting what might turn up next–Osprey (still not seen one), maybe a third swallow species, Purple Finch a-wandering, a pipit in some open field, maybe some white-fronted geese passing by. Oh no!

After lunch we were in our hosts’ back garden oohing and aahing over the many bright blossoms. A White-breasted Nuthatch hit their feeders. Two Mourning Doves fed near our feet. As I glanced up to admire the blue sky, I saw the flashing white wings. About twenty White Pelicans circling high over Salem, maybe near the Willamette River. It was only the third pelican sighting in Marion County for ’23, first this month.

Later at home, I was cleaned up after muddy garden work. Glanced out the window to see if Mr. White-throat was at the sunflower chips I’d scattered–what is that bright critter? Not a goldfinch. If I had been pushed to predict the third warbler I’d see this year in our garden (yellow-rumps and Townsend’s have been irregular, but not scarce), I might have guessed yellowthroat, or most likely orange-crowned. Oh no!

When I first saw NAWA it was in front of the house, down on the ground. Like a heron swallowing a three-foot snake, it was gulleting a long hazelnut tassel, four times longer than the bird’s beak It finally got swallowed and the bird survived. So my first pictures were crud–I was shooting through a window, then between boards on the porch railing, and finally through the metal bars of a rose trellis. Click on any image to get the full-screen bad effect.

So this is the first 2023 Nashville Warbler in either Marion or Polk County–closest previous eBird records for this year have been at Newport and Eugene. This species does NOT breed near Nashville, TN. They just pass through on their way to more northern breeding ground. They do breed across Oregon in brushy habitat that suits them.

This bird left the front of the house and politely migrated to our backyard suet feeder where our photo session developed,



  1. A very nice sighting. Hope to see a NAWA soon. We did see several Purple Finches on our Salem Audubon bird walk the other day.

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