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Posted by: atowhee | March 4, 2012

KLAMATH REVISITED

I went to Klamath Basin Saturday with 19 students from my birding class for Ashland Parks and Rec. The birding gods were pleased and provided clear skies, windless weather and temps in the mid-30s. This is not the sort of treatment one expects in 4000′ high Klamath Basin in winter. No fog, almost no ice, no wind chill. We birded three main areas of the Klamath Basin and Butte Valley.

Click on landscape for full screen view.  That white volcano is Mt. McLaughlin, just under 10,000′ high.  It sits between Klamath Lake and Crater Lake in the Cascades.

That’s a Rough-legged Hawk. accompoanied by a Red-winged Blackbird.  Often the wntering raptors are accompanoed by a Raven. They’re always hoping the eagle finds some large prey and then drops crumbs around.  Ravens understand the much larger predators as labor-saving devices.

This elegant, slender-necked gent should need no introduction.  Don’t you wish you could look that good in your breeding costume?

It was fortuitous that during one stop along Township Road a Wilson’s Snipe flew up in front of us, circled, and then decided to settle down on the muddy margin of a canal that flowed straight away before us.  Through the scope everybody got a clear view of his yellow and brown back markings, the long beak going up and down in the mud like the needle on a sewing machine.  In some fields of the Butte Valley Grasslands we could count dozens of Belding’s ground squirrels scampering about, watched with keen interest by raptos from Harrier to both eagles. More than once we saw an eagle or hawk dining on what must have been ground squirrel tartare.

FOR SOME GREAT KLAMATH PICS FROM PETER THIEMANN, CLICK HERE.

TO SEE SOME MORE OF MY OWN IMAGES, CLICK HERE. 

TOTAL SPECIES FOR THE TRIP:  45.  Keno, Oregon, Klamath, US-OR. Mar 3, 2012 9:45 AM. 4 species. Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) 25; Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1; Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 1; European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 4
Stateline/Township/Lower Klamath Lake Rds., Klamath, US-OR. Mar 3, 2012 10:00 AM. 29 species. Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) X
Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) X
American Wigeon (Anas americana) X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) X
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) X
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) X
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) X
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) X
Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) X
Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) X
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) X
American Coot (Fulica americana) X
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) X
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) X
California Gull (Larus californicus) X
Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) X
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) X.
Lower Klamath NWR–Auto Tour Route, Siskiyou, US-CA. Mar 3, 2012 1:00 PM. 29 species. Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) X
Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) X
Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii) X
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) X
Gadwall (Anas strepera) X
American Wigeon (Anas americana) X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) X
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) X
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) X
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) X
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) X
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) X
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) X
Merlin (Falco columbarius) X
Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) X
American Coot (Fulica americana), Great Blue Heron,
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) 100
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) X
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) X
Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) X
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) X
California Gull (Larus californicus) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) X
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) X.
Butte Valley, Siskiyou, US-CA. Mar 3, 2012 3:15 PM. Comments: Fifty pronghorn. 10 species. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) X
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) X
Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Rough-legged hawk
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) X
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) X
Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) X
Common Raven (Corvus corax) X
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) X.            Our mammals for the day: mule deer, pronghorn, California and Belding’s grokund squirrel, one golden-mantled groudn squirrel crossing the road in the Cascades, coyote.

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  1. […] source: https://atowhee.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/klamath-revisited/ […]


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