Posted by: atowhee | September 4, 2014


A busy octet of Caspian Terns were the show this morning at Emigrant Lake. There were a few intrepid human fishermen around the lake, but the real pros were the terns. All were molting so their black skull caps were a little motley-looking.CASP BACKCASP CU

CASP ON BAR1 (1280x960) The shorebirds are Greater Yellowlegs.CASP WINGS OPN

casp-dux (1280x960)I believe there was a trio of Shovelers.of Cinnamon Teal on the lake, two seen speeding past here. In flight they had the pale blue wing windows and were much smaller than a nearby Mallard. I don’t often see this species in Jackson County though it is a common breeder east of the Cascades. I tried to track them down for a better and closer look but they disappeared to some part of the lake where I couldn’t relocate them.


CASP-QUAD1 (1280x960)CASTER3 (1280x960)

CAS-TRIO1 (1280x960)
When they’re loafing on the sandbar the terns are quiet, but once aloft and fishing their raucous “kwee-ooo” can be heard all over the shriveled lake.THREE ALOFT

P2130426 (1280x960)

P2130429 (1280x960)

P2130479 (1280x960)

Here are two of the yellowlegs on the lake shore, the only shorebirds I could find. Not a single Killdeer!


Savannah Sparrows are abundant right now in the dense weeds that fringe the upper portion of the lakebed where the water was gone before spring passed


sav sprw-2 (1280x960)

sav takeoff (1280x960)sav flite (1280x960)
Red-breasted Sapsucker in the oaks near the pioneer cemetery. There was a single Black-throated Gray Warbler there as well.
rbs hed

rbs on oak-lim

rbs tall

Turkey Vulture having a fish snack on the baked lake bed.
Emigrant Lake, Jackson, US-OR
Sep 4, 2014 10:05 AM – 11:05 AM. 21 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 50
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 1
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 1
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)Shoveler 3
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 3
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 3
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 1
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) 3
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 8
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) 5
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 2
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 1
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus) 1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) 1
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) 30
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 20


  1. Hi Harry. Looks like an interesting day at the lake. Fun to see all those terns. Those “teal” look like eclipse male Norther Shoveler (large head and bill, paleness on the head, brownish/reddish body). They happen to have almost the exact inner wing pattern of the Cinnamon Teal.

    • that makes a lot more sense, thanks for the correction

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