Along the Swale: March 2018

 This is an active post. I will be adding photos and information throughout the month.


March 25, 2018

Weather: partly sunny, 52/36F.

Dueling beaks! Northern Flickers

Fascinating behavior! There was a whole lot of “wicka-wicka-wicka” beak dueling and stare down going on this afternoon. I read that in early spring and summer, rivals may face off in a display sometimes called a “fencing duel,” while a prospective mate looks on. Two birds face each other on a branch, bills pointed upward, and bob their heads in time while drawing a loop or figure-eight pattern in the air, often giving rhythmic wicka calls at the same time. (All About Birds)


March 19, 2018

Weather: scattered clouds, 58/32F.

Mallards ducks are year-round residents. This is a particularly vivid pair heralding Spring breeding season.


March 18, 2018

Weather: Mostly cloudy, 50/36F.

It was frustrating, as a photographer/naturalist, to observe a coyote and to hear its calls… and not have any photo opportunities. Until this evening! What sounded like calls coming from our front acre of wetland actually were.

With long lens on camera, I went to take a look. My presence startled a lone coyote who  had been getting a drink of water. He trotted north before I could get a clear focus, but stopped in a clump of Reed Canary grass  a bit further upstream. What luck- I got a second chance. Imagine my surprise to observe a second coyote. The two appear to have stayed the night in this location, but were gone the next morning.

See related post and to access information about urban coyotes:


March 17, 2018

Weather: fog, rain.  51/38F.

Wood Duck pair visited briefly. Female arrived first. followed quickly by male. Both flew to top of Wood Duck house built many years ago… a structure ignored by wood ducks. The only residents this structure has experienced are squirrels. Looks like it will be the same scenario this year. Wood Ducks left as swiftly as they arrived.


March 14, 2018

Weather: Scattered clouds, 52/37F.

Fight or Flight?

The story, if told by this Canada Goose, is one of alert…earlier in the morning, a coyote was seen entering the wetland between Shannon Street and Glencoe High School. Later, a fire truck siren set the coyote to howling… in the vicinity of where this goose had been quietly resting.

March 12, 2018

Weather: Sunny, 70/36F.

Thanks to Clean Water Services- Steam-side Stewardship Program! This Red-flowering Currant from the Tualatin River Farm is in full-bloom splendor. These blossom are harbingers of spring and hummingbirds.



Sprouts, sprouts everywhere…

Cattails are popping up and are very welcome. We hope this native plant can help to hold back some of the invasive Reed Canary grass. Willow and Alder catkins are fun to watch. The bright yellow Oregon Grape blossoms are sure to cheer up even gray, cloudy days.



Wings in the willows: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Bushtit, Lesser Goldfinch.



March 11, 2018

Weather: Sunny, 68/37F.

More action in the willow row: pollinators were a buzz, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Bushtit are back again today. Dark-eyed Junco.



March 10, 2018

Weather: Sunny, 63/28F.

First bumble bee sighting. This one appeared to be emerging. Black-tailed Bumble Bee.



Glencoe Swale is a remarkable subwatershed 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s