Thursday, April 25, 2024

Thursday's Bird Watch

This Bald Eagle was photographed on last Sunday morning at the Salem Riverfront Park.  I believe this is the male.  He looks pretty angry. Possibly he is protecting the female on the nest nearby which was impossible to see on this visit due to all the new leaves on the Cottonwood trees. A pair have had a nest at this location for several years now and we can always count on a sighting when we visit the park.  Coincidentally, Salem Riverfront Park is the location of our next Bus Birding Trip for Dallas Retirement Village residents on June 7th and 9th.  

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Ross's Snow Goose

At the end of March, a Ross's Snow Goose was reported at our nearby Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge.  It was a big deal, because its normal migration route is on the other side of the Rocky Mountains. It was a lone Ross's Goose mixed in with literally thousands of the very common Cackling Goose. Should be easy to spot as it is all white and the Cackling Goose has a brown body and black neck and head with only a small white cheek.  We went in search of it many times in the past three weeks, with no luck.  Today, I believe it was our tenth attempt, and finally success! As we inched along on the gravel road, looking intently through each group of Cacklers, we spotted this white goose. I grabbed the camera and snapped this photo, and in that instant the whole group took flight. But we got our Ross's!  Here is the link to our complete Check List.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thursday's Bird Watch!

If the minute you walk out the door, you hear a bird singing, chances are almost 100% it's a White-crowned Sparrow.  For the past month the song of the male White-crowned Sparrow has dominated the bird world throughout the Dallas Retirement Village.  He can be heard and seen in all four corners of the Village.  I can think of no other song-bird that puts its heart and soul into its son quite like the White-crowned Sparrow.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Thursday's Bird Watch

 An Osprey brings in a stick for the nest on April 5th, marking a new season of nesting.  This is probably one of my favorite times of year, when the Osprey return from their winter thousands of miles away to build their nest, mate, and raise their young. Jeanette and I keep track of about a dozen Osprey nest locations in Polk County, but this is the only one in Dallas.  It's easy to find, just off South Main Street in the old Willamette Mill site.  Check it out as they go about their housekeeping chores and hopefully raise some young.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

New Baby Hummingbird!

You will have to look closely to see this mother Anna's Hummingbird feeding her newborn. We have a scope set up in our living room in our second-floor apartment here at Dallas Retirment Village, trained on this hummingbird nest in a dogwood tree in the Central Courtyard.  We check on it many times a day, and notice when the female leaves the nest, and most of the time comes to the juice feeder in our balcony.  This morning on one of her return trips to the nest I spotted her feeding her baby!  Jeanette went to the garage and got a step ladder for me to stand on down by the nest to get this photo. We have been folowing this nest closely since finding it on Tues March 26th.   

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Village Birders at Sarah Helmick Park

The Village Birders from Dallas Retirement Village took their first Birding Bus Trip of the year to Sarah Helmick State Park today, April 4th, 2024.  This is our forth year of Birding Bus Trips.  We lucked out on the weather and missed the rain altogether. 

Sharp eyes, aided by binoculars, and e-Bird's Merlin Identification app allowed us to observe and identify 15 different species.  Here is our e-Bird Observation List

Our most interesting observation were the Turkey Vultures warming up in the morning sun and launching into circles to gain altitude and travel out to find their prey for the day. 

Of course all was not about birds, we enjoyed some of the first of the Spring wildflowers.
Shooting Star

Fawn Lily



Thursday's Bird Watch

Dale Pader, Facility Operations Director here at Dallas Retirement Village, stopped us on the street last Tuesday, March 26th, to alert us to a nesting Anna's Hummingbird in the Central Courtyard.  I went directly to the Courtyard, found the nesting bird, and took this photo.  Unfortunately, I lost track of the tree the nest was in, and mistakenly found an empty nest in another tree, which led me to conclude for three days that the bird had abandoned the nest.  Very fortunately, Dale just happened by the Courtyard on Friday the 29th,  and pointed out the bird and the nest to us.  I was both embarrassed and elated at the same time.  Anna's Hummingbirds have an average of 16 day incubation period, so we will be looking for the hatchlings in a couple of weeks