[birding] Baskett Slough area larks, stilits, terns, pintail

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Sat Jun 14 11:52:19 PDT 2008

Hi folks,

This morning I completed two more mile-long lark transects in the area
NW of Baskett Slough NWR (Polk Co.), finding 9 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS (but
no Horned Larks) along Morris Rd., then 5 HORNED LARKS (but no
meadowlarks) along the stretch of Beck Rd. between Van Wall and
Enterprise Rds.

A female NORTHERN HARRIER was perched on a fenceline along a ditch on
the north side of Beck Rd. She then disappeared down into the grass, so
she may be tending a nest there.

After doing the transects, I stopped by the Farmer Rd. wetland just for
fun. This is a private restoration project but I believe it's OK to walk
out along the railroad right-of-way which gives a view of the wetland.

Just as I got out of the car, an AMERICAN BITTERN made a short flight
over the wetland on the north side of the road. In the main restoration
to the south of the road, two territorial-acting pairs of BLACK STILTS
were still around, as Matt Blakely-Smith reported last week, so it seems
likely that they're attempting to nest there. At least two BLACK TERNS
were foraging over the wetland, and several YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS
were singing.

I saw a female NORTHERN PINTAIL fly in, then fly out again, heading west
toward the NWR. With MARSH WRENS singing away in the bright sunshine, it
did seem almost like a Great Basin wetland!

Happy birding,

P.S. The north end of Morris Rd. used to be vacant/derelict farm place,
surrounded by a grove of oaks which have sometimes attracted Lewis's
Woodpeckers. However, someone has now built an enormous house of the
soulless beige sort that seem to be sprouting up on hilltops all over
the valley, complete with an enormous dog (or at least enormous-
sounding). Just before the dog started barking, I did hear a few ACORN
WOODPECKERS calling in the oaks, as I came to the the end of the

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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