Posted by: atowhee | November 18, 2007

Eagle eyed


Photo: Male Lesser Goldfinch in winter plumage by Don Bruschera.

I went on a local Audubon Field Trip today led by ace birder Vince Zauskey.  Also along: Dick Ashford, formerly Sonoma who’s a raptor pro and now chairman of the the Klamath Bird Observatory, and Jon Friedman who’ll take you anywhere you want to go for tropical American birding.

And we were definitely eyed by eagles.  We were not even at the first stop above Emigrant Lake when we spotted a hunting pair of Golden Eagles.  Along the lake shore were a pair of Bad Eagles standing around.  Probably the same pair I saw yesterday.  Later they lifted off and fished along the lake shore.  Near the end of the morning we saw a third Golden Eagle over the Siskiyou foothills east of the lake.  That’s where we stopped to watch dozens of Lewis’s Woodpeckers cavort through the oaks.  We’d gone there on the excellent advice of Dick Ashford.

The lake itself held only a few birds: at least a dozen male Common Mergansers in a tight group.  At one time they chugged along in a row.  There were a few Bufflehead and a lone female Ruddy Duck.  The only other birds on the water were some diving Double-crested Cormorant, two Western Grebes and a couple Coots.  Perhaps early morning hunters had scared off any others.  As always a couple hundred Canada Geese were grazing in the short grass and weeds that now cover the dried portion of the resevoir’s shores.

Other birds of the day included a colorful flock of Lesser Goldfinches, a singing Western Meadowlaarks.  We had fine looks at a pair of hunting White-tailed Kite who likely nest nearby and a line of Acorn Meadowlarks.  That is five of them sitting in a row on a power line.

 Re-checkiing my Oregon state list, adding in ones I’d overlooked like Ruddy Duck, American Pipit and Townsend’s Warbler (birds so common in Bay Area I never thought I’d need to put them onto a life list again), I find my Oregon life list is now 165.  Highlights of the list portion of the day, adding Golden Eagle and Lewis’s Woodpecker which are great birds to see under any circumstance.

Hey: anybody got a good picture of a Lewis’s Woodpecker I can post here? 

Location:     Emigrant Lake
Observation date:     11/17/07
Notes:     Also birded along Highway 66 about one mile ast of Emigrant Lake in an open oak woodland at about 2500 feet. There we had most of our Lewsis’s Woodpeckers and Western Bluebirds.  Also there: Lesser Goldfinches and a Western Meadowlark.
Number of species:     42

Canada Goose     220
Bufflehead     6
Common Merganser     15
Ruddy Duck     1
Western Grebe     4
Double-crested Cormorant     5
Great Blue Heron     2
White-tailed Kite     2
Bald Eagle     2
Cooper’s Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     4
Golden Eagle     3
American Kestrel     2
American Coot     2
Anna’s Hummingbird     1
Lewis’s Woodpecker     60
Acorn Woodpecker     6
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker     2
Steller’s Jay     2
Western Scrub-Jay     4
Black-billed Magpie     1
Common Raven     12
Black-capped Chickadee     2
Oak Titmouse     5
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Bewick’s Wren     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     2
Western Bluebird     10
European Starling     15
Cedar Waxwing     10                            Brewer’s Blackbirds  8
Spotted Towhee     20
Savannah Sparrow     1
Fox Sparrow     6
Golden-crowned Sparrow     16
Dark-eyed Junco     25
Western Meadowlark     1
Brewer’s Blackbird     8
Purple Finch     2
House Finch     1
Lesser Goldfinch     30

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(


  1. Hey, Harry

    I see you use eBird now. If you had done that since the day you started your Oregon life list, it would tell you how many state (and county) birds you have. Just go to My eBird to look at your data.


  2. I actually started my Oregon lifelist back in the 1990s before there was even an Internet and the bird list software was really awkward and primitive, sorta like Microsoft programs everywhere.

    But I do use it pretty regularly now.

  3. Oh, I thought you had started the state list just since moving! My mistake. I just can’t teach you anything!

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