[birding] Jefferson area oak savanna burn birds

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Sun Oct 8 18:40:45 PDT 2017

Hi all,

This morning Bob Altman and I checked back on a private oak savanna
restoration site near Jefferson, to see if any migrant Lewis's
Woodpeckers were taking advantage of the good foraging opportunities
created by a controlled burn there last week.

We didn't find any Lewis's Woodpeckers there (we didn't check the spot
along Wintercreek Rd. where we found one last week). Reports from
Washington are that high numbers have been continuing in the Columbia
Gorge area, where they have thousands of burned acres to choose from.

A high-flying warbler seemed to be an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, based on
its chip notes as it flew over. A flock of 15 or 20 AMERICAN PIPITS
flushed out of the burned area. GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW flocks made
forays into the burn to feed, then retreated back to unburned brush
thickets around the edges. CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAYS were busying hauling
acorns to hiding places. NORTHERN FLICKERS and several DOWNY WOODPECKERS
were active in the oaks.

Perhaps the most entertaining bird of the day was a EUROPEAN STARLING
that had quite a repertoire of songs and calls. His imitations included
a very convincing Greater Yellowlegs (tew-tew-tew!), Sora (whinny plus
intro), California Quail ("chi-CA-go!"), and what seemed to be a Pacific
Chorus-Frog. The same starling, or perhaps another one nearby, was
probably also responsible for what I thought was a Varied Thrush's
trill, coming from very unlikely habitat for that species.

Happy birding,

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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