Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

Musings about birds, nature, and our meanderings on the Central Oregon Coast

Monday, September 10, 2012

Out-and-About: Lithia Springs Inn

Every now and then we head inland, this time it was for a trip to Ashland to see a play, visit family, and relax.  If you haven't been to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, you really need to try it! The trip was a surprise for me from my hubby, and the hotel he chose was a true gem.  Called Lithia Springs Resort, it sits on the north edge of Ashland just off the freeway.

We stayed two nights and could have stayed longer - the amenities were nice, great breakfast, relaxing mineral spa tub, tea and scones in the afternoon - but the thing I loved best (of course) were the birds.  Birds were everywhere, and of every kind imaginable.  We saw 25 species within yards of our cottage! 

It was no accident - the resort has laid out the grounds intentionally for optimal privacy, and mostly for optimal birds!  You enter the grounds through a grape arbor that circles an ugly, but popular fountain.
Seating in the grape arbor

Ugly Fountain
American Goldfinch

A variety of odd-looking AMERICAN GOLDFINCH were enjoying the fountain when we arrived.

Beyond the arbor, a number of cobble paths lead to the cottages and rooms, winding through fruit trees, berry shrubs, and flowers.  Comfortable chairs are scattered throughout, most arranged in sets of two.

Quiet seating
Trumpet Vine

Ripening Grapes

Star Thistle
This stream connected three Koi ponds, the largest of which was right in front of our cottage.
Koi Pond

There was plenty of seating, but my favorite spot was a bench on the edge of the pond.

We saw most of our birds while seated on this bench, sipping coffee or wine and enjoying the pleasant mornings and evenings. 

These bull frogs resided in the largest koi pond (did you notice them in the pond photo?).

At the back of the grounds is a large open meadow with a lovely gazebo.  This butterfly bush is planted nearby.
Black Phoebe

This BLACK PHOEBE was using one of the chairs as a vantage point for fly-catching.  There were also a pair of Black Phoebes using the roof of our cottage for the same purpose.

Yellow Warbler

The tree by our cottage, visible from my bench, was always full of birds - ORANGE-CROWNED and YELLOW WARBLERS, CASSIN'S VIREO, BUSHTITS and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. 

Acorn Woodpecker

The feeder outside our window was a popular spot for WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS, and ACORN WOODPECKERS (a first for me!).

White-breasted Nuthatch

Western Scrub Jay

SPOTTED TOWHEES and WESTERN SCRUB JAYS enjoyed picking up whatever fell below.

The TRUMPET VINES and other flowers, as well as the ugly fountain, were magnets for hummingbirds.  We saw BLACK-CHINNED, ANNA'S and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS.  We saw most of them while walking back and forth for breakfast or tea, so I have only a couple of photos.

I love this series of an ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD bathing. 
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird


The staff at Lithia Springs Resort were considerate and helpful, and they kept the feeders full and the chair cushions clean.  The food was delicious and the facilities were comfortable, clean, and well-cared for.  It was a lovely, relaxing, wonderful experience.  You should try it!

I'll leave you with a few more of my favorite pix.
American Goldfinch

Bull Frog

American Goldfinch

Acorn Woodpecker 
American Goldfinch 
American Robin 
Anna's Hummingbird 
Black Phoebe 
Black-capped Chickadee 
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-headed Grosbeak 
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Cassin's Vireo 
California Towhee 
Downy Woodpecker 
House Finch
House Sparrow
Lesser Goldfinch
Northern Flicker 
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Orange-crowned Warbler 
Spotted Towhee 
Steller's Jay 
Western Scrub-Jay 
Western Tanager
White-breasted Nuthatch 
Yellow Warbler


  1. Already planning our next trip!

  2. Wow, it looks so relaxing! Love that Acorn shot- they are such cool birds. I also love how many times you called that fountain ugly, haha.. So your American Goldfinches- it might just be the lighting but at least one kinda looks like a Lesser (the one on the left in the ugly fountain). Anyway, awesome trip post!

    1. Thanks Jen! I think you're right - there were Lesser's there as well, so that makes sense. The birds loved that fountain, even though I didn't :o) I was amazed at the Acorn's woody-woodpecker sound - had heard recordings but it's different hearing it from the bird in real life!