Jan 16

Beginning the 2017 birding year

Because of the pneumonia, I missed the Salem Audubon Society‘s New Year’s birding trip around Minto Brown. Today was their regularly scheduled monthly outing to Ankeny. While I am still not feeling 100%, I know this trip usually involved more driving than anything else, so I resolved to get up and go see what I could.

At 8:00 we gathered at the hilltop to see the sun peaking over the Cascades and illuminating the Coast range.

Because of the recent cold weather, open water was in short supply. All the birds were gathered around, but the sleeping Tundra swans really took my breath away (pneumonia joke…)

With the birds in such close proximity, we saw a great variety of waterfowl. Red-winged blackbirds industriously supplied the background soundtrack. Spotted towhee were also particularly outgoing in the cold.

I marked 44 species off my list, including a Wilson’s Snipe, American Pipit, and Bald Eagle. I caught a very long distance shot of what I think may be a Shrike, but at this distance I can’t confirm.

As always, we ended the outing at Pintail Marsh, which yielded the greatest variety of waterfowl, including “Duskies”.

Returning home, I noticed a Yellow-Rumped Warbler hanging out by my new suet feeder.