Posted by: atowhee | October 2, 2021

KLAMATH AND TULE: DROUGHT, DOUBT AND, YET, SOME JOY

October 2, sample images from Albert Ryckman. The Rock Wren was five miles south of the Tule Lake NWR visitors center, right at the base of cliffs at the west rim of the basin–we saw at least rockers there:

EBird thinks Hooded Mergansers aRe uncommon on Link River but we saw at least fifteen there. This guy was the star of their show:

Today we birded Klamath Lake, Lower Klamath NWR, Tule Lake NWR and Butte Valley.
Conclusion one: the on-going drought and climate change are making serious changes to habitat and birds’ breeding success.
Two: Lower Klamath is largely waterless. Waterfowl are crowded into one part of Tule and Indian Tom Lakes and natural Klamath Lake. This cannot be good for the health of the birds. Last March I wrote about the disease killing waterfowl in the overcrowded Tule Lake sumps, and that was when both had water. Now Tule Sump #1 is powder dry.
Three: White Pelicans are endlessly fascinating to watch. A side bay of Klamath Lake today had 72 of them settling in for a night or fishing and napping. After sunset they were out fishing in the near-dark.
Four: at that same bay there were about 60 Ring-billed Gulls–only two were first year birds, indicating a drought-stricken breeding season.
Five: The most abundant bird of the day was not Green-winged Teal or even coots. It was the many thousands of White-crowned Sparrows passing through on their way south. The sagebrush was alive with sparrows. Juniper stands were bustling with hungry Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Six: Mosquito season at Tule NWR.
Seven: Putnam Point is closed. Link River Trail is open and the low water means dozens of birds loafing on the exposed rocks. There we saw at least a dozen Hooded Mergansers who my have trouble now finding those quiet, shrubby ponds they prefer tospeedog rivers.

Tule Lake NWR (MOD Co.), California, US
Oct 2, 2021
45 species

Snow Goose  X
Ross’s Goose  X
Greater White-fronted Goose  X
Canada Goose  X
Cinnamon Teal  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Gadwall  X
American Wigeon  X
Mallard  X
Northern Pintail  X
Green-winged Teal  X
California Quail  X
Pied-billed Grebe  X
Eared Grebe  X
Western Grebe  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Mourning Dove  X
American Coot  X
Sandhill Crane  X
Killdeer  X
Ring-billed Gull  X
Double-crested Cormorant  X
American White Pelican  X
Great Blue Heron  X
Great Egret  X
Turkey Vulture  X
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  X
Northern Flicker  2
American Kestrel  2
Black-billed Magpie  X
Common Raven  X
Barn Swallow  X
Rock Wren  3
Marsh Wren  X
European Starling  X
American Robin  X
Cedar Waxwing  X
White-crowned Sparrow  X
Savannah Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Western Meadowlark  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  X

Link River Trail, Klamath, Oregon, US
Oct 2, 2021
22 species

Canada Goose  X
Northern Shoveler  X
Mallard  X
Green-winged Teal  X
Hooded Merganser  15
Common Merganser  40
Western Grebe  X
Clark’s Grebe  X
Killdeer  1
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Ring-billed Gull  X
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  X
Great Egret  X
Black-crowned Night-Heron  15
Turkey Vulture  1
California Scrub-Jay  1
White-crowned Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler  X


Responses

  1. Thanks for showing us how those birds persevere. Wish I had been there to squint and see.
    Barb

  2. Who is “we” birded I Can maybe join the “we”? Is it a local meeting spot? All bird sightings sound delightful. Stephanie Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • This is a trip from Salem to California, but hope to do some McMInnville trips with my birding classes later this month.


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