Posted by: atowhee | October 28, 2010


A drive from Ashland to Medford and back provided two interesting raptor sightings along Interstate 5.  The distance is about 22 miles round trip on the freeway, from Exit 19 to Exit 30, and back.  Around Milepost 26, south of Medford, a brown-plumage Harrier was hunting on the east side of the freeway.  My first one in Jackson County this autumn.  They are not a regular nesting species, but pass through on migrations and some over-winter.

Later as we headed home an Osprey cross the freeway at Exit 24, Phoenix, Oregon.  These birds are usually gone by now though occasionally one is seen during the cold months when some of our lakes and ponds freeze over.  Mostly the Osprey winter south of the Siskiyou Pass or along the coast where winters may be wetter and are distinctly warmer.

Earlier this week a first-year Bald Eagle cruised over I-5 at Exit 19, the north end of Ashland.  This bird was headed north along Bear Creek and moved faster than  my car.  I tracked him  a couple miles and never saw single wing flap as he soared forward.


Yesterday the weather was foul, the waterfowl pretty fair.  At Newbry Park, Talent, there was a nice collection of wintering ducks on the largest gravel pond.  Wigeon, Shoveler, GW Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Gadwall, Wood Duck back in the weeds, plus Coots and the resident Pied-billed Grebes.

Ring-necked Ducks beyond the reeds.

Ring-necks behind the Canada Goose.

Female Shoveler motoring away from me.











Distant quartet of Wigeon males.

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