Date: 7/5/18 11:54 am
From: <adamus7...>
Subject: [obol] eastern Clackamas & Marion Counties trip
On Tuesday and yesterday I birded my way south along route 46 (FR-46) from
Estacada to Detroit Lake, then east to west on the North Fork (Santiam
River) Road through the Elkhorn Valley. From 5 a.m. to early afternoon
each day, I did five-minute point counts in widely-dispersed Oregon 2020
Project squares along this route. The Project 2020 page
( ) showed that birds had not
been surveyed during the summer months in 14 of these squares, so my aim was
to accomplish that. Unlike the national BBS (Breeding Bird Survey Project)
where stops are evenly spaced a half mile apart, Project 2020 allows
volunteers to count birds wherever they want within a square. That
compromises the statistical validity of the data for some purposes, so I
tried to mitigate the bias somewhat by Not choosing my stops within each
square based on where the habitat "looked good" but rather wherever I could
find a safe place to pull over, which was not difficult considering the low
traffic volume on this paved road, especially on Tuesday. I did not expect
to find any unusual species because I was not stopping at the specialized
habitats where they often occur. At the most bird-rich stops during the
earliest morning hour, I detected - almost entirely by song -- about 8
species per 5 minutes (as Lars notes, many more were probably lurking out
there but silent due to lateness of the breeding season). But yesterday,
the Fourth of July, early afternoon traffic was heavy and the wind picked
up, resulting in only 0-2 species per 5 minute stop. River "noise" along
most of my route also cut down the number of species I could detect.

Some of the minor highlights were Dusky Flycatcher at the Kingfisher
Campground where I stayed Tuesday night, Common Nighthawk and Nashville
Warbler at a couple of places where roads crossed clearcuts or powerline
corridors, a family of Ruffed Grouse, Pileated Woodpecker and American
Dipper at two stops, and Gray Jay and Varied Thrush in both Clackamas and
Marion Counties. A large high-soaring accipiter in poor light suggested a
Northern Goshawk but I finally decided it was more likely a Cooper's.
Swainson's Thrush and Pacific Wren were undoubtedly the most frequently
detected species.

All in all, a very enjoyable solo time along a scenic route that apparently
has seldom been birded, at least according to eBird and Oregon 2020.


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