Date: 9/10/17 9:11 am From: Joel Geier <joel.geier...> Subject: [obol] Re: Western MeadowLark help
Hi David (and others who might have similar questions).
Baskett Slough NWR is one of the best places in the Willamette Valley to see Western Meadowlarks, year-round. There is a nesting population of 30 or more pairs which are easiest to see in April through June when males are singing from perches.
Finley NWR and the West Eugene Wetlands also have substantial nesting populations, and there are also some nesting on private agricultural land in Linn County, and in the Umpqua Valley. But those places are a longer drive from the Portland metro area.
At this point in the year, they're more difficult to see than during nesting season but they still should be around. Good places to look are along Coville Road east of the refuge (where nearly the whole area north of the road is being restored with native prairie plants), and along Morris Rd (off of Smithfield Rd.) and Livermore Rd. north of the refuge.
You could also try walking up the Rich Guadagno memorial trail to the top of Baskett Butte. The native upland prairie remnant on the upper part of the butte is prime nesting habitat. I'd guess there are still meadowlarks up there, taking advantage of insects which tend to be abundant in botanically diverse grasslands.
Over the next month or so, meadowlark numbers in the valley will increase as the resident population is bolstered by arrival of wintering birds from east of the Cascades.
Once those birds arrive, there could be flock of up to 50 meadowlarks in practically any grass field in areas with open landscapes in the mid-Willamette Valley (particularly in eastern Polk County, western Linn County, eastern Benton County, and adjacent parts of Lane County). It becomes a matter of random chance to spot them. Often they'll feed right alongside of European Starlings (which are remarkably similar in shape and winter foraging habits), so watch for "starlings" with white outer tail feathers when a flock picks up and flies for a short distance.
Good luck! Joel
From: David Lantz <lantz503...> Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 11:19:37 -0700 Subject: [obol] Western MeadowLark help
A friend of mine has never seen a Western Meadowlark and would like to see one for they migrate to. It looks like baskets Slough might be my best chance. I am in Washington County. Does anyone have a recommendation? Thank you in advance, David