Posted by: atowhee | January 23, 2009

White City’s white blackbird and other adventures afield

Today was my first day afield with six visiting birders from the Golden Gate Audubon Society.  We kept to the Rogue Valley and the weather was kind, the birding gods generous. While we did not build up a huge list (though we had over 50 species) there were a number of lifers for our group.   Here’s a picture of our most unusual sighting, a one-of-a-kind. leucisticleucisticperch


That’s a leucistic Brewers Blackbird, spotted and photo’d at the intersection of Highways 62 and 140 in White City.  White City’s white blackbird.

eagle-soarAdult Bald Eagle soaring over Agate Lake, one of a pair.








Mt. McLoughlin viewed from across Agate Lake.  McLoughlin is the Cascade volcano nearest to the Rogue Valley.

Our birding group was Marsha Maslan, Gloria Pass, Brandi Land, Michelle and Jerry Harrison, Obie Gilkerson.  Obie’s a seriously obsesses bird photog.  Here he is stalking a treed Short-eared Owl near Medford Airport.obieowl The owl is that dark spot just to the left of Obie’s head.  He’ll probably have much better pics I can share with you later.




seowlaerialShort-eared Owl in flight.

We saw a Peregruine take swipes at two of the circling owls.  Their response?  They circled ever higher on their limber wings (over three foot wingspan) and kept well above the Peregrine so he had no chance of swooping down on them.  Finally the Peregrine gave up and motored off at fifty miles an hour. Later I saw a large flock of panic-stricken dark birds in the air in the same direction as the Peregrine’s flight.  Dick Ashford tells me the Short-eared Owls are the most high-flying of the American owls.  They certainly showed that skill today, out-climbing a Peregrine.


One of the many Western Bluebirds we saw today, this one at Agate Lake.  Other birds of note: Northern Harriers at Agate Lake and Lincoln School,  Medford.  Lewis’s Woodpeckers at Agate Lake and near the Swan pond.  White-tailed Kite over Delta Waters Road, Medford. Trumpeter Swans north of Shady Cove. Barrow’s Goldeneye in Rogue River near Shady Cove.  Several Canvasbacks at Agate Lake.  Pair of Bald Eales at Agate Lake.  Dipper, W. Screech-Owl in Lithia Park, Ashland.  Cooper’s Hawk at Lincoln School.  Oak Titmouse, Agate Lake.


  1. […] I’ve seen: half-white (upper half) Song Sparrow, all white California Towhee and Surfbird, partially white Fox Sparrow and a partially white Brwers Blackbird, blogged here. […]

  2. […] My weirdest incterid ever was twelve years ago in White City, a top-white Brewer’s Blackbird, click here to see that one. […]

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