Posted by: atowhee | May 3, 2015


Today was the first field trip for my OLLI class on birding the Klamath Knot.  We visited two locations and each presented us with a single bird I would not have expected.  It was very nice to see the scuffling oriole males, hear the endless song of several Black-headed Grosbeaks, chase Yellow and Wilson’s Warblers through the thicket, trace slow-moving Warbling Vireos through new spring foliage.  But those were the sightings one expects here in southern Oregon in early May.  Then we found a single Ash-throated Flycatcher in the riparian habitat of North Mountain Park. Later and a mile away at Ashland Pond we spotted a single young Black-crowned Night-Heron.

There have been hundreds of checklists submitted for Ashland Pond and for all weeks of the year over multiple years.  Only one previous Night-Heron was reported there, in mid-September.B-C-N YNG1 (1280x960) B-C-N YNG1-2 (1280x960)

This far south of the Rouge River the night-heron is not expected and is uncommon at best. This young bird may be just wandering around looking for good hunting spots while the adult birds do this year’s nesting.

The Ash-throated Flycatcher is seen occasionally over the summer at North Mountain and may even nest in the area.  It is never as evident as the more obvious kingbirds and wood-pewees that nest in the park.ATF SIDE-VU (1280x960)Female Anna’s drinks deeply, thinks deeply.A-H DRINK1 (1280x960) A-H GLANC (1280x960) A-H THINK (1280x960)  B-F UPP (1280x960) HANGOUT (1280x960)Sharing the raft. MORE TURTLS (1280x960) N-M DEER (1280x960) SUPER MOM (1280x960)If you had to convoy nine ducklings you’d have grass hanging from your jowls, too.  Mother-of-the-year nominee, if you ask me.

The White-breasted Nuthatches were carrying food into a nest hole they have used at least three straights springs along the main trail at North Mountain.  Meanwhile, momma Tree swallow was pushing grass into a nest box there in preparation for the year’s nursery business.tree-tailtree-tail2tree-tail3tree in hole TREE TOPP (1280x960) TREE TOPP2 (1280x960) TREE TWO (1280x960)

North Mountain Park, Jackson, US-OR
May 3, 2015 9:10 AM – 10:25 AM.  33 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  14
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  X
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  1
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  3
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  3
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens)  1
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  20
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  2     carrying food to nest hole
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  1
Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  2
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  2
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  6
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  5
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii)  6
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  2
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  4

Ashland Pond, Jackson, US-OR
May 3, 2015 10:50 AM – 11:35 AM.  25 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  X
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  3     mother with 2 ducklings
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  X
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  1     immature bird, unusual here
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  2
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)  5
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  X
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  1
Common Raven (Corvus corax)  1
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  12
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  1
Oak Titmouse (Baeolophus inornatus)  1
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  1
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  X     saw one Robin chasing away a cowbird female
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)  2
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  X
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)  1
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii)  X


Klamath Bird Observatory is sponsoring an overnight trip to Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, June 19-20.  Those of us on this trip will help the refuge biologist survey for this elusive, hard-to-find nocturnal rail.  If you are interested contact me or Klamath Bird Observatory in Ashland.

Klamath Marsh is the largest known nesting area for this species on the Pacific Slope.


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