Date: 4/1/17 6:24 pm From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...> Subject: [obol] Fwd: Some highlights of this morning's bird walk at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area (Chipping Sparrow)
Just some notes on a nice outing with a very pleasant group of people. The most notable bird here might be the Chipping Sparrow, just because it's getting more and more difficult to figure out which Chipping Sparrows are migrants in the mid-Willamette Valley. At this location, it was most likely a migrant.
Lisa Millbank and Don Boucher also had a migrant Chipping Sparrow in their Corvallis yard in recent days, to go with their early migrant Calliope Hummingbird and their overwintering female Bullock's Oriole which has shown up very irregularly.
Roy Gerig also mentioned a flock of a dozen or so Chipping Sparrows in the Millersburg area north of Albany recently, near where Mark Nikas found a Clay-colored Sparrow. That area doesn't get much attention from birders and Roy has long had a special knack for finding wintering Chipping Sparrows. So I wasn't sure whether to count them as "migrants" or as wintering birds that have been waiting all winter for Roy to find them.
-------- Forwarded Message -------- To: MidValley Birds <birding...>, Mid-Valley Nature <mid-valley-nature...> Subject: Some highlights of this morning's bird walk at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2017 13:31:07 -0700
The Luckiamute Watershed Council's spring bird walk at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area found a good sample of the birds of the season, despite an intermittent light drizzle that probably put a damper on bird activity.
Highlights included an adult BALD EAGLE (presumably the male) perched near where a pair is now nesting on the north side of the Angling Pond. A couple of OSPREY were fishing the pond; surprisingly one that caught a fish didn't get harassed by the eagle.
A pair of HOODED MERGANSERS were courting on what's left of the Canal Pond, after the dike breached this winter.
Smaller birds heard and seen singing along the walk included: Purple Finch (female/immature-plumaged bird), Bewick's Wrens, Black-capped Chickadee, Song Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Wrentit, Spotted Towhee and American Robin. We saw one Brown Creeper and heard a few White-breasted Nuthatches calling. Common Yellowthroats called here & there but stayed in cover. One Orange-crowned Warbler foraging in a blossoming willow was only slightly more accommodating.
The ACORN WOODPECKERS in the oak grove north of the Canal Pond were frustratingly inactive. The only one spotted stayed on the far side of the grove and rarely moved, so was hard for most of the group to see. As consolation we did see a GREAT HORNED OWL. A male AMERICAN KESTREL stayed close to the nest box where the female is presumably on eggs now.
When we sat down for lunch in the picnic area just north of headquarters, a male WESTERN BLUEBIRD made an appearance, followed by a lone CHIPPING SPARROW.TREE and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS were also around the nest boxes there.