January 7, 2018

I do not get Varied Thrushes in my yard yet (insert High Fidelity reference here), and because my friends Jim and Diana do get Varied Thrushes in their West Salem yard right now (along with Townsend’s Warblers, etc.), I started my Sunday birding day at their house to check out their feathered visitors. Jim also made pancakes with real maple syrup, so one could say the morning and day in general were being set up in a damn fine fashion. I had already had coffee at home, obviously.

Jim and Diana’s January 7, 2018 morning Top 5 yard list (yes, another High Fidelity ref):

Anna’s Hummingbird*
Downy Woodpecker*
Northern Flicker (red-shafted)
Townsend’s Warbler*
Varied Thrush*

Townsends

Townsend’s Warbler; January 7, 2018; West Salem, Oregon; photograph by Linda Burfitt

 

VariedThrush

Varied Thrush; January 7, 2018; West Salem, Oregon; photograph by Linda Burfitt

 

After not too many pancakes and a few new 2018 bird species, Diana and I headed over to the conservation area just past Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge in downtown Salem to hunt down a Harris Sparrow that I caught wind of on Saturday¥. Although we did not find the Harris Sparrow, we did find the following highlights in or near the river, ponded areas, and adjacent, drier areas.

California Quail*
California Scrub-Jay
Common Merganser
Fox Sparrow*
Great Blue Heron
Mourning Dove*
Northern Shoveler
Pied-Billed Grebe*
Ring-Necked Duck
Song Sparrow

CalQuail

California Quail; Minto Conservation Area January 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt. Apologies for the branch in front of him. This was taken with full 50X optical zoom.

 

That afternoon, after a quick trip home for lunch and to check out my feeders (the usual fare of visitors were there, plus a Downy Woodpecker), Clint and I headed over to the quarry ponds just northwest of Minto-Brown Island Park. My goal was to find the RedThroated Loon I found on December 30 (but was, of course, not countable for my 2018 big year). This individual was still there, albeit in the one of the larger ponds this time. Highlights from my quarry pond trip (in or near the ponds):

American Coot
American Wigeon
Bald Eagle
Belted Kingfisher
Bufflehead
Common Merganser
Double-Crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Green-Winged Teal
Hooded Merganser
Mallard
Red-Throated Loon*
Song Sparrow
White-Crowned Sparrow*

loon2

Red-Throated Loon; Quarry Pond NW of Minto-Brown Island Park; a January 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt

 

loon3

Red-Throated Loon; Quarry Pond NW of Minto-Brown Island Park; a January 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt

 

Loon1

Red-Throated Loon; Quarry Pond NW of Minto-Brown Island Park; a January 7, 2018; photograph by Linda Burfitt

 

En-route in between places: Rock Pigeon* and Ring-Billed Gull*

¥ I attended the TEDx Salem event on Saturday and Noah Strycker was one of the speakers. I actually had no idea who the list of speakers was before I went, so this was a pretty awesome surprise for me. Noah did a world Big Year in 2015 and saw more than 6,000 bird species of birds. They had his book, Birding Without Borders, and he was kind enough to sign it and chat with me for a good 20 minutes or so about birding, his talk, and the Harris Sparrow he spotted earlier in that conservation area.

*New Birds for 2018: 12 species
2018 Year-to-Date Talley: 55 species

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