Date: 4/27/19 2:51 pm From: Roy Gerig <roygerig...> Subject: [obol] This might be the best time of year in the north/central Willamette Valley
The yard beside my house is maintained for only locally native plants, that requires a lot of weeding and everything. In front and back yards I let lawn daisies and other wild (not usually native) flowers be and they benefit bees and butterflies.
For the past 2 1/2 days, there has been a pair of LINCOLN'S SPARROWS in the side yard almost constantly. I doubt there are records of LISP nesting down here in the Valley bottom by the Willamette River, so I am not suggesting that. The pair do seem happy there for now. They will probably go up to Detroit and the Cascades soon. I can't say if the native plants have much to do with it,, but the bird life in the side yard is more satisfying than in my larger front and back yards.
It is that this is the time of year April/May we see several species of birds passing through and their behaviors that we otherwise seldom see here.. There are more birds in sheer numbers in the fall migration, but everything is different then than now. This might be the best time of the year for birding and wildflowers.
Yesterday I saw a flock of 8 Chipping Sparrows near Spong's Landing north of Salem, in short Poa annua and Filaree (Geranium family) both European weeds along the roadside of Naples Rd. That is more CHSP than you might see around here in a whole year. Today there were 300 small sandpipers at the scrape pond in Ankeny NWR, mostly LEAST, with a few WESTERN SANDPIPERS and DUNLIN and 40 LB DOWITCHERS. I could not find the mystery shorebird I saw with them yesterday, something with body color similar to the DOWITCHERS but only half their size, with a white rump and whitish gray tail. That is why I went to Ankeny today, that bird was very interesting and I don't know what it was, and we only see numbers of shorebirds like these around here for a very short time in spring.