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 Harry Fuller Birding Tours

Backyard Bird Count, February, 2008

I'm writing this on my laptop, battery-powered. I will post it when the power comes back on. It's that season here in the Siskiyou foothills. Rainstorms come in, power goes out, usually for just a short time. My computer does fine on its batteries but the household wireless network needs shore power. Perhaps there's a solar solution in the offing.

It rained most of the night and resumed raining in late morning. I managed an hour of birding between, at North Mountain Park, Ashland. A heavily used park during the summer, I saw onlya couple workers during my hour today. The deciduous trees along Bear Creek have bare branches, the berry bramble forms a dense thicket along much of the creek bank. Open playing fields are a monoculture of clipped lawn, no birds there this day. Not even the usual Killdeer. Trees along the river and the feeders near the Nature Center were busy, however. There are four small ponds in the park and just across the road. I managed to make out a group of Wood Duck far back in the willow thicket at the largest pond.

 Lewis's Woodpecker; photo by Len BluminIt was windy so that kept down the count of some species like Spotted Towhee and Fox Sparrow, most of them stayed well down in the thicket. I didn't see a single thrush though there must have been several Hermit Thrush about, if neither Robin nor Varied Thrush.

The dangling mesh feeder bag filled with thistle seeds seems to always have Siskins and little clusters of Lesser Goldfinch were moving about.

On that walk we also had one of only eight White-tailed Kites seen in the state, and 30% of all Oregon's reported Lewis's Woodpeckers (3 out of 10). Four more were reported from nearby Medford, giving this small area 70% of the state's count for '08.

TOWHEE.NET:  Harry Fuller, 820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, OR 97128