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):
Northern Flicker (red-shafted)
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.
Great Blue Heron
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 Red–Throated 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):
Great Blue Heron
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