[midvalleybirds] SAS Shorts: Minto-Brown Island Park Bird Walk Report

Mike Unger unger730 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 26 17:29:39 PDT 2019


*WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, 2019*


This is the 3rd annual SAS evening walk and the 1st of two in these summer
months of JUL/AUG for COMMON NIGHTHAWK.  Last years date was plagued by
smoke. This year the time of Sunset being 8:48 PM, and Dusk at 9:23PM we
had a plan to walk the loop past the OSPREY platform nest, identify the
signature park crab apple corner, and take the trail to the river. Then
along the river, await the possibility of this vocalizing aerobatic
nightjar. Mike Unger provided the eBird recording.

We are always hopeful with the landscape across the river being rocky;
sometimes, it is disturbed by camps which could interfere with nesting. Our
target bird builds no nest.  25 of us took this evening walk, enjoying the
post breeding period birds, the late-day feeding and evening calling
species, especially SWAINSON THRUSHES, and 3 young OSPREY practicing wing
exercising on the nest.

Many join this walk to reacquaint with the calls of this nighthawk, enjoy
the acro(bat)ic flight, and review the facts about this family of birds and
this particular species. Though this bird has a summer range across North
America, many back east residents, reflect their knowledge about behavior
of this species, and were accustomed to them as yard or city roof nesters.

We walked 1.8 mi, arriving at the River site point, halfway through our
time. The light was perfect, without glare. We had 6 nighthawks that came
up with their "peent" call at 8:44 PM, and were calling, flying, swirling,
taking some minutes for us to be able to visualize. We had good looks at
birds, especially when over us to see the white bars across the primaries.
A few flew together as noted on the scout a week ago. We followed them over
us, the river and rocky area until 9:04 PM when we had to hustle to return
due to park rules. 2 were reported from onlookers at the parking on our

This walk will be repeated in August to see if there are remaining birds.
In the meantime, suggest birders take opportunity to see and hear them,
using caution, protection or even avoidance trekking of areas where they
may nest. We reviewed the vocal and dive sounds and  the *descriptive
vocabulary* of same, using field guides, as well as Nathan Pieplow's
Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America.

Barbara Dolan

*Taxa seen - 26 + 2 other :*

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  18
Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)  2 - flying down river with beautiful
blue in the wings
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  7 - in eclipse and majorly scruffy in
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  10 - this is a nice number,
Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)  6 - 2 also seen at the parking area by
others there,
Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  2
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  4 - adult seen flying the river for late
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)  2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  3
Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)  3
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  4
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  23
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  1 - this
species has been seen using a trail drain pipe for their nest,
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)  4
swallow sp. (Hirundinidae sp.)  5
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  2
Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  11 - we hear qweep calls, rattle
calls, and flute song,
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  2
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  8
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  4
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  3
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  4
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  1
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  1
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  2 - at the river and across singing,
passerine sp. (Passeriformes sp.)  3


     July 27, Sat.,* Molt and Migration* Education Workshop by Mike Unger,
10:00 AM-12:00 Noon – ODFW, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr., Salem  Cost:
$10.00 per person.

     Aug 4, Sun., Minto-Brown City Park Field Trip, 3rd Parking Lot at the
kiosk, 7:00 AM

     Aug 19, Mon., Illahe Hill CC bird walk, Clubhouse, off Country Club
Rd. S, 8:00 AM

     Aug 20, Tues., Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge Field Trip, Pintail
Marsh Parking Lot, 7:00 AM.

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