[birding] E.E. Wilson south end Barred Owl, shrike, sparrows

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Fri Dec 31 15:55:28 PST 2010

Hi all,

Must've been a good day for Barred Owls in the neighborhood. This
afternoon Martha (age 12) and I went for a stroll around the south end
of E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area. 

At the spot where the road that runs east from the Frontage Road access
gate (shown as Mint Av in the DeLorme atlas, p. 53) crosses the marsh
that runs from south to north along the axis of the wildlife area, we
heard a chipmunk scolding something, so we investigated by wandering out
along a deer trail. A BARRED OWL flew a short distance through the dense
thicket of trees in this bottomland, then perched and looked back at us.
Martha with her sharp eyes spotted it where it landed, with its
coal-black eyes peering back through the thicket.

This is about a mile north of the Adair Village sewage treatment ponds
(off of Ryals Rd.) where Rich Armstrong found a Barred Owl earlier
today. My guess is that these are different owls since there's a whole
lot of wooded bottomland habitat in between. Another one has been in the
wet woods to the NE of E.E. Wilson headquarters.

Around the same area where we saw the Barred Owl, we also found at least
five WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS -- two hanging out with Golden-crowned
Sparrows to the east of the wetland, two hopping around where the water
was running over the road, and at least one more calling from off in the
trees to the south. Sparrows in general were thick along both sides of
this marsh, with several LINCOLN'S SPARROWS along with a few SOOTY FOX
SPARROWS scratching on the ground out in the open, many SONG SPARROWS,
and dozens of SPOTTED TOWHEES. We also saw a HUTTON'S VIREO that was
hanging out with a mixed KINGLET & BUSHTIT flock, and good numbers of
VARIED THRUSHES. A HERMIT THRUSH was just south of the oak grove at the
top of the hill.

On our way back we spotted the NORTHERN SHRIKE that's been hanging
around the south end for the past couple of weeks. We also saw a
RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER to ensure at least two count-week sapsucker
species -- anyone care to find a third species of sapsucker for the
Airlie CBC on Sunday? ;-)

Happy birding,

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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