Date: 1/7/19 5:06 pm
From: Lars Norgren <larspernorgren...>
Subject: [obol] Fwd: Re: Common birds: Bewick's Wrens and Golden-crowned sparrows
My overall impression is of mild conditions. We normally do not detect
Robins at my house on the eastern flank of the Coast Range between Nov 1
and mid February. Here they are a true spring bird, a notion l always
scoffed at while growing up in Corvallis. But this Jan. 1 I opened my
bedroom window to hear a Robin clucking out there. Species no. 4 on my year
list. Unprecedented. I have come to learn through Obol that this mid
February thing is occurring over the whole region. Even Wallowa County is
apt to see a spike in Robin numbers at that time. I wonder if the current
Robins are still moving south?
I counted 15 Varied Thrush at our feeder last week, double the number
my mental record storing system recalls. High VATH counts at our house
usually coincide with snow events. The proximity of Luckiamute Landing to
annual flood plain means it is affected by the moods of the Willamette.
High water displaces ground feeding birds . I'm not sure the Willamette has
risen to anything near its usual winter level yet.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: David Irons <llsdirons...>
Date: Mon, Jan 7, 2019, 4:24 PM
Subject: [obol] Re: Common birds: Bewick's Wrens and Golden-crowned sparrows
To: <acontrer56...> <acontrer56...>
Cc: <clearwater...> <clearwater...>, OBOL <obol...>

There has been substantial chatter, particularly from California birders,
about the dearth of songbirds in general this winter. I personally have not
noticed anything anomalous this winter, though there does seem to be higher
than usual numbers of American Robins around our Beaverton neighborhood.

Dave Irons
Besverton, OR

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 7, 2019, at 11:40 AM, Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> wrote:

My experience with Bewick’s on the coast this past fall has been that they
were hard to find. Golden-crowns are common around Eugene in the usual
places this winter. Juncos and WT sparrows seemed to trickle in slowly this
fall and then suddenly were findable in usual numbers around mid-Dec.

Juncos in particular in Lane Co. went from Low to OMG in about a week right
as CBCs started. I surmise that this was caused by the eventual onset of
winter weather to the north. November was not very wintery.

Alan Contreras
Eugene, Oregon


On Jan 7, 2019, at 10:42 AM, <clearwater...> wrote:

Hi all,

Saturday while covering three of the four main tracts of Luckiamute State
Natural Area as part of the Airlie-Albany CBC, walking about 7.5 miles in
the process, I had contrasting experiences with two common species:

BEWICK'S WREN: In the first patch that I covered (back part of the
Vanderpool Tract and Willamette Botanicals tract behind headquarters), I
tallied 23 Bewick's Wrens while making a big loop along the wooded edges of
the area, and zigzagging through a broad strip of 10-year-old native
tree/shrub plantings. There was more habitat of the same type that I didn't
manage to cover. Several of the wrens were singing.

By the time I got to the other areas (Luckiamute Landing Tract and front
part of Vanderpool Tract)and a light drizzle was starting to fall
intermittently, and bird activity seemed to be reduced. I wound up with 33
Bewick's Wrens for the morning, but I wouldn't doubt that are upward of 100
in the area.

GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW: This was just the opposite. I didn't find a single
Golden-crowned Sparrow until I was finishing up in the Vanderpool Tract,
when I came across a flock of a dozen or so. By that time I'd recorded
every other species of sparrow that we normally find here in winter, except
for Savannah Sparrow. In years past, I would have expected to encounter
closer to 200 Golden-crowns for these same areas, with that amount of

Typically we find on the order of 100 Bewick's Wrens and 1000
Golden-crowned Sparrows on this count. It'll be interesting to see how this
year's totals compare, and what other Willamette Valley CBCs have been

Has anyone else been finding anomalously high or low numbers of one or the

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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