Posted by: atowhee | September 17, 2011



The weather forecast called for “mild.”  The actual conditions?  A downpour of Cedar Waxwings.  Over 100 of the busy berry eaters in the cottonwoods and fruit trees of North Mountain Park.  Today was the field trip for the Ashland Park Dept’s Migrant Bird class.  And we got the migrants:  Warbling Vireo, some hard to track warblers, the myriad waxwings, a tanager, some recently arrived Purple Finches down from the mountains, southbound Vaux’s Swifts.  Another handful of mountain birds mustering in the valley were the Lincoln’s Sparrows and two Chippies.

Thence to Ashland Pond where there were more swifts, my first Golden-crowned of the fall, a Wood-Pewee who’ll leave soon.  The Wood Ducks there are in new plumage, the two Green Herons intent on brunch.  It is likely the raptors we saw were all birds of passage: three Red-tails including one diving onto a passing Golden Eagle, several Turkey Vultures.

Green Heron out on a stick over Ashland Pond.  Photo by Graham Lewis.

Acorn Woodpecker photo by Graham Lewis.

From there we went to Enigrant Lake for picnic and shorebirds.  Both were satisfactory.  An Osprey was still fishing the reservoir.   More Turkey Vultures, including a kettle of 7 at the foot of the slope leading up to the Siskiyou Pass over which they must pass to enter the promised land of the Central Valley where road kill never freezes.

More swifts and a trio of Tree Swallows, not the hundreds a San Francisco birder and I saw there two days ago.  White-crowned Sparrows.  A flock of recently-arrived Lewis’s Woodpeckers near the Pioneer Cemetery.  Great Egrets up from California.  Coot here for the winter.  And did I say shorebirds?

Sanderling, Baird’s, Wrestern, Pectoral and Spotted Sandpiper.  The weather was mild as predicted, the shorebirds plentiful, the birding just fine.  we had fifty-five species on the day, quitting the field at 2 PM.

Our group at North Moutain Park.  Photo: Graham Lewis.

Emigrant Lake, Jackson, US-OR.  Sep 17, 2011 11:45 AM.  32 species

American Wigeon  1
Mallard  10
Northern Pintail  6
Common Merganser  8
Western Grebe  1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  2
Green Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Osprey  1
American Coot  1
Killdeer  10
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Sanderling  1
Western Sandpiper  10
Baird’s Sandpiper  1
Pectoral Sandpiper  3
Ring-billed Gull  7
Vaux’s Swift  2
Belted Kingfisher  1
Acorn Woodpecker  6
Western Scrub-Jay  10
American Crow  8
Tree Swallow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
European Starling  30
American Pipit  3
Spotted Towhee  1
White-crowned Sparrow  2
Lesser Goldfinch  5.

North Mountain Park, Jackson, US-OR.  Sep 17, 2011 8:10 AM.  31 species

Canada Goose  15
Mallard  2
Turkey Vulture  12
Killdeer  6
Rock Pigeon  25
Eurasian Collared-Dove  8
Mourning Dove  2
Vaux’s Swift  4
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Acorn Woodpecker  4
Northern Flicker  4
Warbling Vireo  2
Western Scrub-Jay  8
American Crow  4
Black-capped Chickadee  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  10
Cedar Waxwing  150
Yellow Warbler  2
Black-throated Gray Warbler  2
Wilson’s Warbler  1
Chipping Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  1
Lincoln’s Sparrow  3
Western Tanager  2
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Brewer’s Blackbird  6
Purple Finch  5
House Finch  2
Lesser Goldfinch  15
American Goldfinch  20.

Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR.  Sep 17, 2011 9:45 AM.   24 species

Wood Duck  2
Mallard  6
Hooded Merganser  2
Green Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  8
Red-tailed Hawk  3
Golden Eagle  1
Vaux’s Swift  2
Belted Kingfisher  1
Acorn Woodpecker  5
Northern Flicker  1
Western Wood-Pewee  1
Black Phoebe  1
Western Scrub-Jay  6
American Crow  3
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  4
Song Sparrow  1
Golden-crowned Sparrow  1
House Finch  3
Lesser Goldfinch  6
House Sparrow  30


  1. Birding group is at Ashland Pond watching Green Heron hoping for Wood Duck.

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