[midvalleybirds] Teloh-Calapooia Park Area Update
JAMES D SMITH
JDSMITHOR at msn.com
Sun Mar 8 16:24:04 PDT 2020
This period has seen some perking up of native plants re-introduced into one of the Albany nature areas, a generally low bird count through the winter, and a few first arrivals, including the first visit by the supremo Violet Green Swallow family.
For the “pollinator area”, re-introduced plants that are showing green; include the Grindelia, Sidalcea, Horkelia, Balsam root, Alliums, Iris tenax, and Brodieae elegans. Sadly, the Solidago, donated by IAE, appears to have attracted ground squirrels/voles, and they’ve pulled them completely out of the ground. The possible cause could have been the chicken manure they use as fertilizer. My plants, with my made-up mixture, were just salad as they just ate the tops; there’s still hope for them later this year. The four native hawthorn (C. suksdorfii), which I cross staked the bare roots into the ground to prevent floating in floods, and provided deer screen, are now starting to shoot leaves. A nice touch, as I’ll be working with the City to eradicate the European hawthorn dominating the landscape. Other plants notable in the other part of the nature area include the Lathyrus holochlorus, gabella violets, Western trillium, and Oaks toothwort, either blooming or leafing out.
In the park area the Wood ducks have spread out since one of the residents no longer feeds them, I spotted a fledged Brown creeper (3/3), Belted Kingfishers are very territorial and vocal/three Red tails circling, one with the talons down (2/25), mature Brown creeper/juvenile Red tail/Ruby crowned kinglet (2/10). I had a close/personal experience with a juvenile Red Breasted Sapsucker on the trail (2/24), very nice. Lots of Rough-skinned newts out and about (3/6) on the trails.
For the yard; this year marks the noisiest from male Anna’s making their diving chips. The first appearance of a Western gray squirrel in many years; a female, whom continues to come by the feeding stations. The Eastern gray’s have boosted their numbers this year. Yellow rumps, both types, learned to eat medium hulled sunflower chips this year. Four female Red Wing Blackbirds at feeder (2/10). A couple of immature/juvenile White crowned sparrows have stayed in the area this year. A very large queen Black tailed bumblebee (Bombus melanoopygus) was visiting my Laurance Lake manzanitas. I also had a brief visit from a male Rufous (3/1), House finches are on a nest in the neighbor’s arborvitae, and the supremo Violet Green Swallow family spent a morning (3/5) buzzing “their” nest box and catching insects in the neighborhood. Last year “she” showed up first, then got a mate; apparently, she got a mate, then brought him to the box. No other swallows in the area. Sharp shins, parent/juvenile, were hunting the feeding area as a pair. Am still getting both White and Red breasted nuthatches at the feeders. Stellar Jays are the most common, with one doing a good job of mimicking a screeching hawk.
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