Date: 7/13/20 12:05 pm From: <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Prairie Falcon near Harrisburg, sw Linn County
This morning around 8 am a Prairie Falcon was hunting over a grass stubble field about 3 miles east of Harrisburg. This is a regular wintering location for the species but I was very surprised to see one in the middle of July. Occasionally we get reports of this species showing up in late August or September. This one was coursing low (~15 ft) over the ground, perhaps hoping to catch rodents or grassland birds left without cover by recent harvest operations.
More typical mid-valley raptors are out in force. At a Streaked Horned Lark monitoring site south of Brownsville earlier this morning, I noted 3 Northern Harriers, 5 American Kestrels and a Red-tailed Hawk. In the process of tracking down one juvenile lark to see if it was one that we banded at a nest earlier (it wasn't), I came across a wing and a leg from another juvenile lark -- likely a sibling of the first one -- that must have fallen prey to a raptor within the past couple of days.
Southbound shorebird migration seems to be picking up with good numbers of Greater Yellowlegs, a few Long-billed Dowitchers, and Least Sandpipers in the past couple of weeks, taking advantage of vernal wetlands that became post-vernal puddles thanks to the prolonged rainy season.