Posted by: atowhee | May 9, 2023


Minto-Brown was busy with birdiness this morning. Three swallow species speeding across the land…and water. Singign robins. One yellowthroat at least twen ty feet up in a tree-don’t see that often. Chickadees incubating inside theuir nest hole. Bushtit nest with adult foraging nearby. A mated pair of Wood Ducks paddling away from a large mammal. Two Townsend’s cottontails. Mole corpse on the sidewalk. Red-wings singing. Scrub-Jays complaining. A flock of Warebling Vireos feeding with a couple warblers following along. All this took an hour to behold.

It is fitting that the Bushtit nest I’d foun d earlier is intact and there was an aduklt foraging nearby. Tonight the Salem Audubon program (avauilabel of Zoom live, later onto Youtube) is by Dr., Sarah Sloan on her decades of Bushtit reseac=rch, must of it here in Oregon.

Downy lady:

Others–red-wing male; whuite-crown; Wood Ducks paired; Warbling Vireo perched, then in flight.

Likely a coast mole–niot killed by preaator, its body unscathed. Poison? Disease? Drowning? It had been placed, or died on the sidewalk…? Moles rely on smell and touch to navigate and find food, mostly invertebrates in the soil. Eyesight is unimportant. The mole can feel vibrations from moving earthworms or sowbugs.

Water lilies on Duck Pond:

So why are Golden-crowned Sparroiws still hanging around? Do they have some avian weather service that informs them the snow still covers their montane nesting habitat? Do tshey fly up there, tuirn around and come back? Mostly they breed north of US-Canada border, occasionally in northern Washington. They understand there’s no business like snow business–what else do they know?

Garden glories–mountain azalea and male tanager. It takes a lot to eclipse a lilac in full bloom:

Minto-Brown Island Park, Marion, Oregon, US
May 9, 2023
28 species

Canada Goose  15
Wood Duck  2
Mallard  3
Killdeer  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  3
Warbling Vireo  6
California Scrub-Jay  3
American Crow  1
Black-capped Chickadee  1     nesting near Parking Lot #1
Tree Swallow  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Bushtit  X–nest found
European Starling  X
American Robin  8
American Goldfinch  2
White-crowned Sparrow  7
Golden-crowned Sparrow  8
Song Sparrow  6
Spotted Towhee  2
Red-winged Blackbird  14
Orange-crowned Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  6
Wilson’s Warbler  2
Western Tanager  2


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