[midvalleybirds] Basket Slough

Carma Sue Henry cshenry at bywordofmind.com
Thu Jul 4 12:03:46 PDT 2019

Tues @ 7:30PM, we drove through Basket Slough on our way home from Portland without binocs or cameras (we hadn't expected to be there before sunset), which I vow never to do again.  But we saw almost no activity.  No coots, no geese, no egrets, no ducks.  Yikes!  Only a few swallows, some calls from distant RWBBs and several Brewer's BB gleaning the harrows. One Kestrel and one unid'd hawk.  Almost completely dry and very quiet.  Canal was full but standing water in only a small portion of north pond.  Some water in the distant SE section from the road, but too far to see any activity.  On the way back out to 99W saw two separate pairs of CQuail, another distant hawk and two scrub jays.  It felt very disheartening to see so little activity.  I hope their invasive species strategies work and they can go back to letting some water back in for next year.Coming home felt better as we provide water and food to a wide array of birds even if it's in an unnatural setting.  Have seen less of the Downy and Hairy WPs so I'm hoping their families will come around soon.  Male WBB is still solitary. Fledged Scrub jays are begging.Turns out Pepe lePeu is actually Pepita. Brought her four babes in for their first visit last night. Birds were unimpressed.  We need to be much more diligent about bringing in the seed bowls and cleaning beneath the feeders. On another fur instead of feather note, on 6/30 we saw a California Ground Squirrel for the first time,  then today there were 3. They are using our juniper hedge for cover and are extremely skittish of large bird fly-overs - even Jays startle them.  We have Merlin, Sharp-shinned, Red-tail, Kestrel, Great-Horned Owls and an occ Eagle (never stopped - just fly-bys).  The Brush bunny population is way down this year so maybe these fellows will taking their place in the food chain.  Mowing the pastures in a couple days so gophers and voles will be back on the menu.Carma Henry

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