Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Return of the Dawn Chorus

OK, so maybe not a chorus, but the heralds (Harolds?) of spring are starting to sing. A few days ago I could hear an American robin singing in the pre-dawn darkness. Yesterday a mourning dove joined in for a few rounds. Today, I heard a robin again; then it began to snow. Springtime in the High Desert. Check in again tomorrow.

Although this County Year project has been slogging along lately, I've added a few species to my initial list. Seems like for each outing there is either the regular winter residents or a lone individual representing a new species.

Turkey vulture

Though the waterfowl are mostly gone from the Old Mill District, I've picked up greater white-fronted goose, canvasback and greater scaup there in the past week. The greater white-fronted had teamed up with a pair of Canada geese, but that pair seemed to work at ditching the white-fronted. After circling and lots of noise, the pair landed on a rooftop while the white-fronted landed in the Deschutes River, then began an endless cacophony of calls. In addition to the waterfowl, there was a lone turkey vulture battling high winds in the district's vicinity about a week ago.

Killdeer

There was also a small flock of Barrow's goldeneyes at the Sunriver sewage lagoons and a lone killdeer near the Sunriver marina. Fortunately, this County Year is a list of species, not a tally of total individuals. Otherwise, you'd hear me honking, as well.

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