Posted by: atowhee | March 28, 2012


Spring wildflowers (click here) and raptors galore were the highlights of a birding expedition for some folks who lead hikes for BLM. We were at Lower Table Rock overlooking the Rogue Valley north of Medford.  BIRDSONG:  Bewick’s Wrens were singing in their melodic voices.  Near the top of the trail there was a lone singing Purple Finch which we could never find.  Male Spotted Towhee were giving single note terrotorial calls.  A few Flickers also called out their presence.  Even one or two male Ruby-crowned Kinglets were singing as the morning warmed up.  That’s a sound usually heard only after they reach their breeding territory.  Best songs came, of course, from the Western Meadowlarks around the parking lot.   COMING & GOING:  Newly arrived species include Tree Swallows overhead, soaring and perched Turkey Vulture along the mesa, an Osprey on the nest platform at nearby Touvelle, perhaps the same one that soared past the mesa edge during our lunch break.  Birds we saw that will not linger to breed around Table Rock:  Merlin and Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Harrier hunting on the mesa top, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrush.  BIRDS SHOWING THEIR SPRING BEHAVIOR: Spotted Towhee males perched high above the ground in oaks; Ravens soaring in pairs along the cliff face; the nest platform Osprey; singing wrens; Anna’s Hummingbird males in aerial combat among the oaks; singing meadowlarks; Western Bluebirds already in pairs; and the Great Blue Herons in their nests high above the Rogue River at Touvelle State Park.  Best of all: the Horned Owl nest along Table Rock Road:
Lower Table Rock, Jackson, US-OR. Mar 28, 2012 7:15 AM. 31 species. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 5
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 1
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) 2 one male, one female
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 2
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Merlin (Falco columbarius) 1
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 5
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 12
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 1
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 4
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) 20
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 6
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) 2
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 12
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 16
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) 1
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) 6
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) 4
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) 40
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 10
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 4
Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) 1.

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