[birding] Finley Saturday, E.E. Wilson Sunday
lisaaves at peak.org
Sun Jun 8 18:16:56 PDT 2008
On Saturday morning Don and I went to Finley. A couple of Horned Larks were out on Finley Rd. by the "Field 1 Prairie Restoration". We went to Woodpecker Loop and up behind Bald Top. Two male Yellow-breasted Chats sang near the parking lot. Another Chat was singing at Bald Top. We enjoyed Chipping Sparrows, Lazuli Buntings, and an Olive-sided Flycatcher among the many other birds there. A small herd of elk included a few young bulls sporting new antlers in velvet. The most wonderful sighting was a doe and her two new fawns. Under an oak, the spotted fawns bounded happily through the dewy grass that was taller than they were, jumping and chasing one another while their mother grazed and kept her watchful eye on them.
We visited Cheadle Marsh by walking on the dike trail that goes to the red barn. A Great Horned Owl was firmly escorted out of the territory of a cranky Red-winged Blackbird. A male American Bittern "oonka-loonked" and then flushed out of hiding with his mate. The Oregon Ash forest along Muddy Creek is drying and has fresh plant growth that is being enjoyed by the elk. We made our way up to the red barn, where blooming locust trees hosted many Band-tailed Pigeons. The pigeons panicked when a Barn Owl flew out of one side of the barn and into the other, shrieking. A father American Kestrel brought prey for his mate. Soon we heard the sound of their nestlings who share the barn with the owl family. Yet another Chat was singing on the hillside south of the barn.
On our way back along the west side of Cheadle Marsh we finally saw the last migrant of the year, a Common Nighthawk.
Today was the first Audubon Bicycle Birding trip, the annual "Chat-O-Rama" at E.E. Wilson. True to its name, all of the participants got to see Yellow-breasted Chats singing by the end of the day. On our bike ride from Corvallis on Hwy. 99W, a few bucks in velvet let me get some pictures. At E.E. Wilson, we watched a female Northern Harrier harass a Red-tailed Hawk. A Bullock's Oriole was hanging around the pheasant cage area and gets nectar from a red hot poker plant (Kniphofia). There weren't a lot of surprises but plenty of nice birds you would expect like Willow Flycatchers, Virginia Rails, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Wrentits and more.
Lisa Millbank & Don Boucher
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