Posted by: atowhee | May 12, 2012

MT. ASHLAND AFTERNOON

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.”      –John Muir

On such an afternoon the mountains beckon.  Sun bright, light puffy clouds, a breeze but no wind.  And it’s May.  There weren’t many birds but there were some pleasant reunions with birds returned, or birds that are less accessible in winter.  Then our old garden friend, the Junco, was back in his mountain fastness.

It is perhaps a bad sign that Western Bluebirds are once again checking for nest sites in the parking lot of the Mt. Ashland Ski Lodge.  It seems that should be Mountain Bluebird territory.  One projection of the effects of global warming will be for low elevation birds to invade upper elevations as winter get milder and summers longer.

The manzanita was blooming up at 5000′ but most of the deciduous trees there were still leafless.  At Milepost 6 snow began to appear in weathered drifts.   By Milepost 7 snow covered mosat of the ground.  There were a couple dozen snowboarders just before the ski lodge parking area.  And the road still ends just beyond the ski parking lots at the metal gate which is only just as high as the drifts beyond. Birds above: male Cassin’s Finch; male Western Bluebird. Both were around the ski lodge parking area. Also present: a Whitepbreasted Nuthatch which I normally expect in lower elevato deciduous or mixed forest. Up there it’s all pine, true firs and spruce and small clumps of manzanita and other hardy shrubs.

Mt. Ashland, Jackson, US-OR. May 12, 2012 2:45 PM.11 species.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) 1
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 3
Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli) 1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1 at 6500′ elevation.
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) 2 at 6500′ elevation.
Hermit Warbler (Setophaga occidentalis) 2 near milepost 2 on Mt.A Road.
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 4 at 6500′.
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 1 at Colestin Rd.
Cassin’s Finch (Carpodacus cassinii) 10 at ski lodge. Chipmunk. View southeast toward Mt. Shasta from Mt. Ashland.


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