Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 Dancing Grebe Trip - Day 3

Howard Prairie Lake is midway between Ashland and Klamath Falls off of Dead Indian Memorial Road.  We had seen reports of a Great Grey Owl, plus it was listed as a good birding spot, so we changed our planned route and headed that way. It's a beautiful, winding drive - worth taking.  We drove up and down looking for the owl, with no luck.  Then pulled into the main Resort area and purchased our day pass.  At the marina, we saw a few birds, including this merganser.
Common Merganser
It was cold and raining, so we got back in the car to drive around the lake.
Ring-billed Gull

A stop in one of the campgrounds yielded the most birds.  I was getting drenched while I took these few pictures though.

Spotted Sandpiper
An Audubon's Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Killdeer and a couple of American White Pelicans were in the same area but I was getting too wet so headed back to the car. We drove once more along the road looking for the Owl, but again had no luck.

Siskiyou Monument

Yellow Warbler

Resuming our trek to Klamath Basin, we made a few stops along the way - stopped and walked around Buck Nordic Track, drove up a dirt road at Siskiyou Monument, and a few waysides where we just stopped and listened and looked.

One of them yielded some several Yellow Warblers, a Common Yellowthroat and a couple of Warbling Vireo as well as several Red-winged Blackbirds. Dark-eyed Juncos were the bird of the day - we saw dozens on the drive over until we reached Klamath County.

At the Welcome to County sign, we debated about which bird would be our first county bird.  I picked Dark-eyed Junco, while Desi chose American Robin.  He was right, as one flew across the road in front of us. I don't remember the second one, but the third was a majestic Bald Eagle overhead.

We pulled in to Howard's Bay at about 4pm, where we got our first look at lovely Klamath Lake and lots of  Western Grebes (none dancing yet).  Across the highway, we noticed lots of gulls wheeling above the water so we stopped..
Franklin's Gull

... dozens of Forster's Terns and Franklin Gulls - both new birds for me!   A couple of Bonaparte's Gulls were floating in the water, along with a flock of Western Grebes with a couple of Clark's Grebes, and a small flock of Ruddy Ducks.

A truck pulled into the wayside behind us, and the guy asked, "Hey, do you know what kind of birds those are?"  I turned around to answer and laughed - it was my Tillamook County Raptor Survey partner and his wife.  We enjoyed watching the spectacle and chatted for awhile (they're on their way to Malheur).  Finally, we headed on to our stay for this leg of the trip,  the Lodge at Running Y Ranch.  

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