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Posted by: atowhee | May 8, 2010

Lower Table Rock on a Perfect Morning

A walk co-sponsored by BLM and Nature Conservancy got me to Lower Table Rock this morning.  It is the third straight year I’ve led this walk.  It’s a steep hike from 1200′ up to the mesa top at about 2050′. It never disappoints.

You’re tempted to look in different directions simultaneously.  Down at the various wildflowers from hound’s tongue to goldfields, larkspur to meadow foam (a rare species).  Across space at panorama that takes in the perfect snow-cone of Mt. McLaughlin and the mesa face of Upper Table Rock and the winding forest corridor along the Rogue River.  Up into the brush and trees for the newly returned insectivores and the over-wintering resident.

I saw some First-of-Season birds today for Jackson County included Ash-throated Flycatchers abounding, Townsend’s Warbler, Cassin’s Vireo calling, Chipping Sparrow, Wood-Pewee and Lazuli Bunting singing.





























































We saw only this one species of swallow today, but they were plentiful.  At one point the trail is open to the sky and some of the VGs flew back and forth near our warm-blooded heads which they surmised were good targets for hungry insects.

Did I mention the bright sunshine, calm air, temp around 65 by noon-time?  Great birds viewed against the bright blue.  Perfect morning.

NOT BIRDS, BUT LIVING CREATURES NONETHELESS

John Kloetzal had bent down to catch this lizard in the mesa meadow, but it simply ran up onto his warm hand.

The remaining vernal pools contained many small creatures: water beetles, tadpoles and numerous little green frogs.

larkspur above; cat’s ears, below

Location:     Lower Table Rock
Observation date:     5/8/10
Notes:     Among the birds singing or calling repeatedly: Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Lazuli Bunting, Spotted Towhee, Cassin’s Vireo, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bullock’s Oriole, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Meadowlark.  FOS in Jackson County: Gnatcatcher, Cassin’s Vireo, Townsend’s Warbler.
Number of species:     42

Wild Turkey     1
Great Blue Heron     2
Turkey Vulture     20
Red-tailed Hawk     2
Anna’s Hummingbird     4
Acorn Woodpecker     12
Western Wood-Pewee     1
Ash-throated Flycatcher     8
Western Kingbird     4
Cassin’s Vireo     3
Warbling Vireo     5
Western Scrub-Jay     6
Common Raven     6
Violet-green Swallow     60
Oak Titmouse     2
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Bewick’s Wren     3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     6
Western Bluebird     2
American Robin     2
European Starling     4
Orange-crowned Warbler     1
Nashville Warbler     2
Yellow Warbler     4
Yellow-rumped Warbler     6
Townsend’s Warbler     1
Wilson’s Warbler     5
Spotted Towhee     4
California Towhee     4
Chipping Sparrow     6
Lark Sparrow     2
Song Sparrow     2, Golden-crowned Sparrow 1 (belated migrant)
Black-headed Grosbeak     15
Lazuli Bunting     2
Western Meadowlark     8
Brewer’s Blackbird     15
Brown-headed Cowbird     1
Bullock’s Oriole     2
Purple Finch     1
Lesser Goldfinch     4
American Goldfinch     15

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Responses

  1. Nice pix. My only complaint was you didn’t invite us! 😉
    -Terry & Chiyemi

  2. A perfect temperature for a hike and it sounds like the wildflowers and all were in great profusion. Thank you, for sharing some of the beauty and interest of your trip!


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