[birding] Disappointing morning for Vespers in Polk/Yamhill Co.s

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Fri Jun 14 17:45:45 PDT 2013

Hi all,

This morning I repeated some Vesper Sparrow surveys in northern Polk Co.
& southern Yamhill Co., and again came up with only negative data for
this species. Pastures, Xmas tree farms, it was all the same, just a
bunch of zeroes.

Last time I blamed the weather but today's weather was great. I'm
holding out hope that a young male NORTHERN HARRIER hunting the area
might have suppressed Vesper Sparrows from singing at one site
(Youngberg Hill) where Paul Sullivan has found them reliably in past
years, but where I got rained on on my last visit. It would certainly be
good news to hear that some are actually there, despite that I've missed
them on two visits now (hint, hint!).

My bright spot in terms of grassland birds was a HORNED LARK singing
along Red Prairie Rd. in northern Polk Co., some miles northwest of the
Baskett Slough area where Streaked Horned Larks have one of their few
remaining strongholds. I also had a repeat sighting of a BLACK-TAILED
JACKRABBIT in a horse pasture near Xmas tree farms along Frank Rd., in
the same area.

I shouldn't complain too much since I found a nice diversity of birds.
Yamhill County is a charming place, more tidy and "settled" than Polk
County in many ways, but different in character from Benton County. You
really get the feeling that you've reached the final destination of the
Oregon Trail. I'd love to know the history of some of the old farm
buildings up there.

Happy birding,
Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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