[birding] Hooded Merganser adolescents(?), yellowthroat feeding young, wildflowers

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Wed Jun 6 15:08:22 PDT 2012

Hi all,

On today's dog walk in the south end of E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, I
came across three HOODED MERGANSERS which were close to adult size, but
which I took for juveniles. They raised up on the water as if thinking
about flying but then settled back and swam into a wooded area of the
pond that they were on. Earlier this spring I saw an adult pair sneaking
around in the same general area, one of two pairs that I suspected of
nesting in the south end of the wildlife area (presumably using
wood-duck boxes which are scattered through the area).

I also came across a female COMMON YELLOWTHROAT chipping as she perched
at the edge of a thicket, clearly waiting for the dogs and I to pass so
she could tend to nestlings without prying eyes.

OREGON GERANIUM is now blooming alongside of MULE'S EAR in a prairie
remnant where the Kincaid's lupine is starting to wind down its bloom.
BLUE-EYED GRASS is blooming next to one of the old theater foundations.
In another place I ran across a clump of about three CHECKERMALLOW
plants which I think were Nelson's Checkermallow rather than the more
common Meadow Checkermallow, but I should take another look to be sure.
There are a few scattered around the wildlife area but this was not one
of the places I knew about.

Yesterday the dogs alerted me to a large GOPHER SNAKE that was coiled up
in the grass along a path. It had an ugly-looking abscess in the area
where there should have been one eye, with some sort of fly crawling
around, so I thought it might be dead, but when I nudged it with my
foot, it uncoiled a bit. I looked for it on the way back wondering if it
might be a candidate for rehab (on the theory that maybe it had been
wounded by a dog rather than some more natural encounter). However it
was gone when I came back so apparently it had enough spunk left to go
on its way.

Happy birding,

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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