Date: 9/11/20 12:54 pm From: Joel Geier <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Say's Phoebe, more Lincoln's Sparrows and other smoky birds n. of Corvallis
While monitoring Vesper Sparrows on a ranch north of Corvallis this morning, I came across a Say's Phoebe that was hunting a pasture, occasionally perching on tall stems of wild carrot/Queen Anne's lace. It seemed to be loosely associating with some splotchy young American Robins and a flock of Western Bluebirds, all of them actively hunting bugs in the grass.
About half an hour later I saw what I assume was the same Say's Phoebe about a quarter mile to the east, now hunting from a barbed-wire fence and giving a few plaintive calls.
Lincoln's Sparrows seem to be showing up in numbers now. I saw at least four this morning, including one that faced off with a testy lingering House Wren over ownership of a small shrub, then another one that was almost beak-to-beak with one of the Vesper Sparrows.
Several Chipping Sparrows were still in the area, including one still streaky-breasted juvenile that must have come from a late brood, and one adult that was fully into basic (winter) plumage.
A first-fall White-crowned Sparrow tagging along with a flock of Vesper Sparrows seemed somewhat confused by their feeding style, as they kept flying far out to forage in the dry grasses, leaving the White-crowned Sparrow calling forlornly from the nearest shrub.
A Northern Pygmy-Owl was calling up on Dunn Forest again this morning after going silent in the last couple days of heavy smoke. I also heard a Pileated Woodpecker and Hairy Woodpecker calling. Black-throated Gray Warblers were conspicuous earlier this week, moving through trees and shrubs in the open habitat, but today the only warblers I saw were Orange-crowned Warblers.