[birding] Vesper Sparrows, interesting female bunting near Kings Valley and cattle on the loose

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Fri Jun 21 12:46:52 PDT 2013


Hi all,

On surveys this morning I found 6 to 8 singing VESPER SPARROWS along
Price Creek Rd. and Pit Rd. just SE of Kings Valley (some may have been
duplicate detections from different survey points), then another singing
VESPER SPARROW heard just after seeing a non-vocal bird (probably a
female) along Cardwell Hill Rd. near Wren.

Along Price Creek Rd. I also saw an interesting female LAZULI(?) BUNTING
which had minimal wing bars. I thought about Indigo Bunting or a hybrid
Indigo x Lazuli, but the throat and upper breast coloration looked
normal for a Lazuli Bunting. A male Lazuli Bunting (no doubt about that
one) was singing and hanging around nearby.

The most exciting part of the morning was a thundering herd of about 15
young STEERS that were loose on Cardwell Hill Rd. According to the
residents that I talked to, they had been doing quite a bit of damage to
landscaping, and no one seemed to know how to get ahold of the LLC
company that's grazing cattle on the pastures out there. 

One of the residents herded them partway up Cardwell Hill Rd., past the
last residence, using his economy-sized car. For good measure I moved
them farther up the road in that direction with my minivan. 

Our border collie x Australian sheep dog Heidi, who dreams of being a
cattle dog, was riding in the back seat. She wanted to jump out and do
some herding, which I would have considered if we could have found
whatever gate the cattle were supposed to go back through -- but all of
the gates were closed and I couldn't figure out which pasture the cattle
belonged to.

On the way out, we met a couple of ranch-style pickups coming the other
way so hopefully they were cattle hands coming out to deal with their
stray herd.

Happy birding,
Joel

--
Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis






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