[midvalleybirds] Swans gone, Harrier displaying, Violet-green Swallows etc.

clearwater at peak.org clearwater at peak.org
Fri Mar 13 12:01:38 PDT 2020

We're getting a splattering of wet snow in the Camp Adair neighborhood right now, but flocks of Violet-green Swallows and Tree Swallows were foraging over Sourslaw Slough (near Airlie) when I went by there to check for any lingering swans. A male Northern Harrier along the Corvallis-Independence Highway was also undeterred by the weather as he performed his roller-coaster-like display, right over the Benton/Polk County line. 

Trumpeter Swans seem to have left the neighborhood since 8 Mar (though I haven't checked the Maple Grove area). Pairs of the resident Western Canada Geese are now staking out wet spots where they may be nesting soon (or already?). I've also seen some Killdeer doing distraction displays along gravel road sides, so they might be starting to nest too. 

Yesterday I caught a glimpse of a female Rufous Hummingbird visiting our feeder (the first of the season for us; we still haven't seen a male here). 

Meanwhile our wintering flock of mostly Golden-crowned Sparrows, juncos, and one adult White-throated Sparrows is still around. Today I noticed that they picked up an unusual friend -- a bird that's the same size as a White-crowned Sparrow and has a back pattern and strong eyestripes consistent with that species, but also yellow in the crown. I'm wondering if it might be a hybrid White-crowned x Golden-crowned Sparrow -- have been trying to get a photo. 

In the prairie plants department, yesterday I found a couple very small Kincaid's Lupine plants coming up in an edge of the native prairie remnant at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, which some of you have helped to maintain as volunteers over the past five years. Oregon (Western) geranium is also coming up vigorously, and several clumps of Fernleaf biscuitroot (Lomatium dissectum) are putting up shoots. 

Joel Geier 
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis 

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