Along the Swale: February 2018

February 3, 2018

Weather: Low clouds, 56/41F.

Northern Flickers are the only woodpeckers that frequently feed on the ground. I wonder if that’s because they prefer eating ants. Ants can make up 45% of their diet.

Red-breasted Sapsuckers have tongues that are adapted for collecting sap. How? There are stiff hairs on the tongue to collect sap. It drills holes in neat horizontal rows and eats the sap as well as insects attracted to it.


February 5, 2018

Weather: Partly cloudy, high 58F /40F.

Townsend’s Warbler brightened the drab winter scenery.These warblers favor coniferous trees where they forage for insects. Also found in wooded suburban habitats in the winter.

Chestnut-backed Chickadees often move through a forest in mixed feeding flocks; often seen in groups of bushtits and warblers.


February 7, 2018

Weather: passing clouds, 56/36F.

Raccoons prefer habitat with trees and water. So, it’s no surprise to spot these masked mammals along Glencoe Swale. This youngster napped most of the day in the bough of a Douglas fir. It did not seem impressed by the idea of being in a photo shoot… look at those fang-like teeth.


February 8, 2017

Weather: passing clouds, 53/36F.

  • Stellar’s Jay
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Song Sparrow
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch


February 13, 2018

Weather: Partly sunny, 51/23F.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet flitted energetically in shrubby willow row. Visits during migration and winter.

Indian Plum is one of the first shrub to flower in the spring. Male and female flowers occurs on separate plants. Fragrance is unusual- something between watermelon and cat urine.


February 14, 2018

Weather: Occasional rain/ mostly cloudy, 49/35F.

Metallic Wood-boring Beetle | Buprestis aurulenta. Also known as flat-headed borers, these insects are native, non-destructive species that feed on dying or recently dead conifers.


February 18, 2018

Weather: Snow showers/ partly cloudy, 41/32F.


February 19, 2018

Weather: Scattered clouds, 40/30F.

Raccoon slept throughout the day held by the limbs of a sturdy Oregon Ash tree.

Collared-Dove is larger than a Mourning Dove and smaller than a Rock Pigeon. This species favors farms and suburbs; avoids areas with extensive forests. Introduced from Eurasia to the Bahamas… it jumped the islands and spread rapidly across southern and western North America in the last decade.


February 21, 2018

Weather: Snow/ overcast, 36/22F.

Light snow on ground that fell during the night. More snow was in the forecast.


 Glencoe Swale is a remarkable sub-watershed of McKay Creek… which flows in the greater Tualatin River watershed. “Along the Swale” features photos and stories that highlight the natural history of Glencoe Swale. Find out what kinds of wildlife dwell in our suburban wetland/creek/forest ecosystems.



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