Date: 6/21/19 5:08 pm From: <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Loggerhead Shrike near Sublimity not seen this afternoon
I had to run over to the Crabtree area to pick up a permit and gate key for my next Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) route, so I figured I should check back on the Loggerhead Shrike that Martha and I saw last Sunday during the Scio BBS. That location was about 3 miles NE of Sublimity, along the west side of Carter Rd. about half a mile north of Triumph Rd.
Even though there's no recent or historical evidence that Loggerhead Shrike might be a breeding species in the Willamette Valley, the occurrence of this bird in mid-June has to make you wonder. And weedy Christmas tree farms are kind of a west-side surrogate for sagebrush/bunchgrass habitat, hosting species like Vesper Sparrow, Horned Lark, and even the occasional Grasshopper Sparrow. So I figured it was worth a second look just in case this might be something more significant than a wandering/lost bird.
At around 2:30 PM today, there was no sign of the shrike. There's a huge area of similar habitat -- at least a quarter section -- on the west side of Carter Rd., so it could have been somewhere out there still.
I did hear at least 3, probably 4 VESPER SPARROWS singing out in the same field of young Xmas trees, where I heard one for the BBS stop on Sunday, mainly audible from about a quarter mile farther north on Carter Rd. That might qualify as the best patch for this species in Marion County this year. Most of them were >120 yards away from the road but I managed to spot one that was singing about 80 yards back. There are also a few CHIPPING SPARROWS in that field.