Daily Observations

Dark-eyed Junco with Inchworms and flies

I went for a walk up Indian River Valley and visited some of the lower valley muskegs. I started in the bench muskeg, went down to the large pine tree clearing, back up to the bench muskeg and then into the larger muskeg up valley from the bench muskeg. Later in the evening I spent a little time looking around near the large spruce tree.

Weather: It was overcast but sun broke through in the early evening for awhile. There was a breeze out of the west. Throughout the morning there was light rain, though it stopped in the afternoon.

Birds: I heard hummingbirds a few times during my walk. I was also able to observe some juncos and a Lincoln’s Sparrow at fairly close range. The sparrow was doing a lot of singing, while the juncos seemed to be more active gathering food. One of them I saw had a beak full of green inch worms and flies (see photo). I am not sure whether it was collecting them for itself, its mate, or its young. For some reason it perched on a branch and chipped, while letting me approach it. Prior to this encounter I had a couple of juncos chipping rather aggressively around me. I took it to mean that I was encroaching on their territory. Perhaps they had a nest close to where I was walking through.

In the larger muskeg I heard a call that was a very fast trill changing to the more leisurely junco trill. I asked about it and found out that this is an occasional variation on the junco song.

There were a number of Pacific Slope Flycatchers calling along the trail at various locations. I was able to get a pretty good recording of one near the muskeg bench.

While looking around near the spruce tree, I saw a Townsend’s Warbler that had come down into the salmonberries. There is a Swainson’s thrush still singing loudly in the area as well.

Other: It appeared that a deer had bedded down by spruce tree sometime in the last few days. I have not seen the deer in at least a couple of weeks, but the scat around the tree was more recent than that. The bed also must have been more recent because it was not there the last time I walked through by the spruce tree.

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