Posted by: atowhee | April 27, 2008

Singing Oriole, Lingering Lewis’s, Mocker in Full Voice

I heard a singing Bullock’s Oriole for the first time this spring.  It was Friday afternoon at Newbry Park along Bear Creek in Talent.  There were still Wigeon and Ring-necked Ducks in the largest pond there.  Maybe they’ve seen the weather forecast for one more snowfall? 

Lower Table Rock 

I led a field trip on Saturday for Nature Conservancy and Klamath Bird Observatory. It was at Lower Table Rock.  At the base the elevation is around 1200 feet, and you climb 800 feet in elevation to reach the top of this volcanic mesa.  The top layer of hard stone is andesite.  On the climb you pass from grassland to scrub, to open oak forest to oak/madrone forest with dense underbrush and then ponderosa begin to appear as you near the cliff top.

Highlights included a large gobbling tom turkey (an introduced species), Violet-green Swallows and Western Bluebirds bickering over a comely nesting hole in an oak, and singing Purple Finches.  Before we got out of the parking lot: Lark Sparrow singing from atop a large oak, Western Meadowlark from the power line.  Lewis’s and Acorn Woodpcker at the farm north of the parking lot, a singing Mockingbird and rows of Savannah Sparrows sunning themselves from the fenceline along the road.  Some unconfirmed birds we heard/saw: Lazuli Bunting and Harrier.

Our best raptor was an Osprey fly-by. 

Several western fence lizards were sunning themselves along the trail.  The wildflowers were profuse and in rich variety.

Cat’s Ear, Calochortus Tolmiei

This fuzzy-faced delicate lily was named for its discovered Dr. Tolmie, a pyhysician with the Hudson’s Bay Company in Astoria in the early 19th Century.  He was a friend of Dr. John Townsend and an ardent naturalist who discovered many species in the Northwestern portion of what became the United States.  His discovery of the MacGillivray’s Warbler is also commemorated in its Latin binomial.



  Larkspur,  Delphinium menziesii.  This abundant forest wildflower wasnamed for Dr. Menzies, he was naturalist and physician on Capt. Vancouver’s expeiditon to the Pacific in the late Eighteenth Century.                                                                                                       

Here’s the checklist from our trip:

Location:     Lower Table Rock
Observation date:     4/26/08
Notes:     KBO/Natuire Conservancy field trip.
Number of species:     36

Wild Turkey     1
California Quail     1
Great Blue Heron     1
Turkey Vulture     18
Osprey     1
Red-tailed Hawk     2
Mourning Dove     6
Anna’s Hummingbird     4
Rufous Hummingbird     2
Lewis’s Woodpecker     1
Acorn Woodpecker     15
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher     1
Western Kingbird     4
Western Scrub-Jay     1
Common Raven     4
Tree Swallow     1
Violet-green Swallow     35
Barn Swallow     1
Oak Titmouse     8
Bewick’s Wren     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     1
Western Bluebird     2
Hermit Thrush     1
European Starling     6
Yellow-rumped Warbler     6
Common Yellowthroat     1
Spotted Towhee     5
Chipping Sparrow     4
Lark Sparrow     2
Savannah Sparrow     15
Western Meadowlark     4
Purple Finch     2
House Finch     1
Lesser Goldfinch     8
American Goldfinch     2


  1. […] mentioned earlier in my blogging that there’s a local larkspur named for Dr. Archiblad Menzies.  He was physician and naturalist on two expeditions to the Pacific Coast of North America.  First […]

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