Posted by: atowhee | January 25, 2015


One of three Pine Grosbeaks at Bull Gap parking area on Mt. Ashland mid-day.  At about 6100′ elevation. These unusual visitors were first spotted yesterday by Jim Livaudais and Norm Barrett.PGROS1 PGROS2 PGROS3 PGROS5 Siskins in same trees:PGROS ATOPPGROS-PAIRIn a fir treetop below a Pine Grosbeak sits just above a smaller finch, the Pine Siskin.PGROS-PSIS

There are no eBird records for Pine Grosbeaks in Jackson County in this century.  Sibley’s guide describes them as uncommon and irregular.  I describe them as a lifer, one of the few western species I had never seen before.  Thought I’d finally have to go chase them in Idaho or at least eastern Oregon.

In some places along the road the wind was visible in the tops of the firs.  Air that may have begun the day rising over the sun-warmed savannah near Red Bluff had been pulled north and now was part of the rush over the Siskiyous.  It was if the air couldn’t wait to get into Oregon.  The sound of air through fir needles raised a murmur of approval from the forest.  Far different than the moans and whines of complaint from the forest when a major storm drives damaging winds that rip limbs and fell treetops.P2300663 (1280x960) SHAT VU1 SHST-VU2 SHST-VU3 SHST-VU4The above shots look across the purple mountains majesty into California and to our local giant volcano, Mt. Shasta.  Below, looking down from Mt. Ashland into the fog and trapped beneath the temperature inversion in the Rogue Valley. As I took this picture it was 57 degrees in the shade, at 6600′ elevation.  Shallow streams of snow-melt flowed across the ski lodeg parking lot to pour off the edge and downhill toward the Klamath River VALE FOG

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