provided by:

Priscilla Sokolowski

Eugene, OR

Photos from personal trips  AND trips with

“Birds of Oregon and General Science” (BOGS)


Bird photography

BOGS Eastgate, Feb 23, 2017

Scroll down below Don Laufer's trip summary for slideshow

A group of about 20 met at Heron Park (West D St. and Aspen) in Springfield. The weather was mostly cloudy and cold in the high 30's. There were lots of Robins, Scrub Jays and Starlings in the area around the parking lot as well as a few Northern Flickers. We proceeded down to the boat ramp where a male Wood Duck was spotted about 20 feet up in a cottonwood on the river bank. A trio of Flickers were socializing near the top of another cottonwood nearby. We started walking along Pre's Trail as it follows the canoe canal towards Alton Baker park and soon spotted a female Common Merganser among Mallards in the canal. Further along the trail we noticed a group of five Great Blue Herons on and near a large tree that used to host a heron rookery in past years before weather brought down several of the main branches. There is only one nest remaining and a heron was standing on it. In the woods we could hear Bewick's Wrens and Chickadees calling in the trees. Eventually a group of about a half-dozen wrens were spotted as well as a lone Fox Sparrow. Hummingbirds would occasionally zoom over our heads, which they kept up for our whole walk. After we passed under I-5 we were soon serenaded by Red-winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows.

The canal was sparsely populated by Mallards and a lone Pied-billed Grebe but the thickets of blackberries and the open field were active with Song, Golden and White-crowned Sparrows and at least one Chipping Sparrow. Meadowlarks could be heard singing and soon were seen actively moving around the open field. An American Kestrel and a Red-tail Hawk were seen perched on small trees. Flocks of Bushtits, numbers of Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos and female Red-winged Blackbirds were also seen. Further along the canal, where a red fox has been seen in the past, a Ring-necked Pheasant was visible up in a tree squawking loudly and looking around at the ground. A number of American Goldfinches were moving around in the bushes down by the edge of the canal. The large pond beyond that hosted several Double-crested Cormorants, Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks and Pied-billed Grebes and a female Hooded Merganser. Our return trip through the middle of the old land fill was pretty uneventful but we were treated to a fly-over by an immature Bald Eagle as we approached the parking lot at the end of our walk.