[birding] Chipping Sparrow cheers incremental progress vs. weeds at Luckiamute SNA

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Mon Jun 3 19:18:45 PDT 2013

Hi all,

Too much time in the late-afternoon sun might be causing me to
anthropomorphize just a bit, but it did seem like encouragement when a
CHIPPING SPARROW flew in close to sing just as Carol Hiler and I were
finishing up today's weeding session at Luckiamute State Natural Area.

This Chipping Sparrow has been singing off & on for several weeks now in
the sparsely treed area of the prairie/savanna restoration ENE of the
parking area at the North Trailhead, so it seems very likely that he has
a mate on the nest. Today's song came later in the day than usual, so
perhaps he was busy helping to feed youngsters. If so, this would be a
first nesting record for Luckiamute Landing.

As for the weeds: I'll be continuing these late-afternoon sessions
through the week, roughly 3 PM to 5 PM, and will welcome as much help as
you can spare.

We're now past the triage stage on the "giant clover" and mullein which
were close to taking over as the dominant plants in the east end of the
restoration area (east/northeast of the parking area, where the trail
toward the Willamette River starts to bend north).

Tomorrow should be more of a "mop-up" day in that area. I'll also bring
a wheelbarrow and a pitchfork, so that we can start to consolidate the
weeds that we've pulled into a few piles that will be easy to haul off
with a trailer.Starting on Wednesday afternoon, we should be able to
start working back toward the west, through areas that already have a
pretty good native wildflower vs. weed ratio.

Once the worst weeds are out of the way, OREGON SUNSHINE is starting to
look like the dominant plant out there. It's just starting to bloom, and
should be putting on a spectacular show by the end of the week. Other
native wildflowers that we broadcast last fall are coming in, but will
probably continue to be less visible for at least another year.

The KLAMATH-WEED BEETLES have done an amazing job on the non-native St.
Johns Wort, to the point where I couldn't find a single plant that still
had a complete leaf on it. There are still a few beetles on site, but
they were looking pretty hungry. I'm guessing that the rest have flown
on in search of more "Klamath weed." If you know of a site that could
use an effective bio-control for this weed, now might be the time to
collect some of these beetles for transport. I have no idea how they
found LSNA this spring, but they sure were helpful.

Happy exploring,

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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