[midvalleybirds] Spring migrants, sprouts, and spats

clearwater at peak.org clearwater at peak.org
Mon Mar 11 15:47:08 PDT 2019

Both yesterday and today I've seen TURKEY VULTURES soaring over E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area. Today about 6 TREE SWALLOWS were also flying around the headquarters area, where they nest each year. Unfortunately a HOUSE SPARROW was also present, chirping loudly to announce his claim to the area. 

In the north unit of Luckiamute State Natural Area yesterday, leaves of COMMON CAMAS and BLUE-EYED GRASS were starting to poke up in the prairie area. One OSOBERRY ("Indian plum") bush had a few blossoms open, and OREGON-GRAPE was also beginning to bloom in a couple of spots. 

On a prairie remnant in the south end of E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area today, TOUGH-LEAVED ("Oregon") IRIS was also putting up leaves. I looked for but didn't see any Lomatium dissectum (Fern-leaved Desert-Parsley) emerging. 

In the "spats" department, yesterday near Coffin Butte three RED-TAILED HAWKS were chasing each other with uncommon ferocity, across Wiles Rd, then around and through the oaks on the northwest side of the butte. One lost a few feathers when another slammed into it in flight. The battle ended with one hawk leaving the scene, as the other two soared upward together on a thermal. 

The Soviet-era writer Andrei Platonov once published a collection of short stories titled, "Fierce Fine World." That seems like a good description for this part of spring. 

Joel Geier 
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis 

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