Posted by: atowhee | May 11, 2019


This was a fund-raising field trip for Klamath Bird Observatory.  Misses included Great Gray Owl, all three resident “chickens” and White-headed Woodpecker.  No flycatchers found.  Reservoir level low at Hyatt and Howard Prairie both.  Cranes, Pileated, winnowing and calling snipe, iridescent Tree Swallow male and Purple Martins nesting on Hwy 66 were highlights.  A few years back there were apparently no martins nesting in Jackson County.  Now there are at least three known nesting locations.

Here are three fine photos from one of the birders on the trip, Kdent Patrick-Riley of Ashland.  Click on pic for full size image:

Above: robin’s nest low enough for photo, three eggs.  Osprey with fish clutched to belly, always carried head first.  Shows those sure-grip talons with their anti-slime bumps at work.  Then the male tree swallow with full sun on his back.  Photo is fine.  To my eyes the glowing wings and lower tail were a burnished brass, shining as brightly as a pool of clear water or polished silver might in the same light.  I have seen lost of Tree Swallows in bright light but this one was the first that made me think I was birding at Tiffany’s with Holly Golightly.  What a beauteous spectacle was he.

Here are two great shots from Karl Schneck.  Snipe along Dead Indian Memorial Road where the males traditionally post themselves along the fence before milepost 17–this guy one of the winnowers for sure.  Then Canada Geese en famille.cago2

Our route was from Ashland up Dead Indian Memorial Road, around Howard Prairie Lake on roads, not boat, then up to Hyatt Lake (five hundred feet higher in elevation), down old Hyatt Lake Road to Little Hyatt Lake on road paralleling Keene Creek, then west on Hwy 66 back to Ashland.

Howard Prairie Circuit, Jackson, Oregon, US
May 10, 2019 9:15 AM – 2:55 PM

Comments:     Saddened that we found no Mountain Bluebirds anywhere.  Howard Prairie Lake water level quite low.  Hyatt Lake not full either.  Keene Creek flowing, but at low level.  North end of Howard Prairie lakebed now grassland with Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes foraging.  NO water visible from Dead Indian Memorial Road.
46 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose  X
Wood Duck  2
Mallard  X
Ring-necked Duck  4     Little Hyatt Lake
Bufflehead  15     Hyatt Lake
Common Merganser  7
Western Grebe  1
Sandhill Crane  4
Killdeer  X
Wilson’s Snipe  X
Ring-billed Gull  2
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Great Blue Heron  X
Turkey Vulture  X
Osprey  X
Osprey (carolinensis)  3     one carrying fish, apparently to nest
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  X
Great Horned Owl  1     fledgling at Belle Fiore entrance road
Lewis’s Woodpecker  X     Hwy 66–milepost 10
Acorn Woodpecker  X
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  X
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  X
Warbling Vireo  1     Keene Creek
Common Raven  X
Purple Martin  2     mated pair, apparently using nest hole in utility pole at Hwy 66, milepost 10
Tree Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Mountain Chickadee  X
White-breasted Nuthatch  X
House Wren  1
American Dipper  1
Western Bluebird  1
American Robin  X
Chipping Sparrow  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)  X
Vesper Sparrow  X
Savannah Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Green-tailed Towhee  X
Bullock’s Oriole  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)  X
Western Tanager  X
Black-headed Grosbeak  X

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