When we stepped out of the car, we were overwhelmed by the sounds - songbirds, marsh birds, waterfowl... It was incredible.
We immediately saw several Yellow Warblers, followed closely by foraging Wilson's and Orange-crowned Warblers. Tree Swallows were guarding nests, Black-headed Grosbeaks foraging on the ground.
|Tree Swallow near nest|
As we walked down the trail, the trees and brush initially hid the water from our view - but not the sound. "Sensory overload!" I commented, smiling.
Coming out of the shaded portion of the trail, we had a nice view of the wetlands - and a greeter...
There were several snakes - mostly Garter Snakes - either sunning on the path, or curled up in the nearby grasses.
Although we now had clearer views of the water, it seemed that most of the waterfowl were back in areas that were hidden from view - there were a few that we could see well...
... and we were excited to see both a Green and a Black-crowned Night Heron.
The next stop was to have been Collier State Park, but it was packed with people so we moved on to the last site - Klamath Marsh NWR.
|Western Kingbird and Mountain Bluebird|
Heading up Silver Lake Road, we noticed a bird atop a leafless bush -- we stopped to see him better, and enjoyed watching a pair of Mountain Bluebird join him, taking turns hunting in the bush. After a few minutes, a Green-tailed Towhee popped up from below, only to be chased away by the female Bluebird.
The marsh was full of Red-winged, Yellow-headed and Tricolored Blackbirds. From the many waysides along the road, we spotted a number of Common Yellowthroat and Marsh Wrens. A soaring Red-tailed Hawk was chased by two Northern Harriers - we probably never would have seen the Harriers if the Red-tail hadn't caused them to rise up out of the tall grass and give chase.
Following the suggestion in the Klamath Basin Birding Guide, we drove back on Forest Road 690 along the edge of the marsh. We were hoping to see some Woodpeckers, but it was very quiet - a few warblers and a Mountain Chickadee. Returning to the main road, we decided to continue on our journey rather than seeing more of the Marsh.
We waited to let families of Canada Geese cross the road (this happened a couple of times), then we were on our way to Bend.
I had been a little dubious about staying at a hotel that was right on Highway 97 Business, but The Riverhouse was great - our room overlooked the river, complete with a bridge housing a family of American Dippers! Worn out and with my hubby finally succumbing to the cold he had been fighting, we settled in for a couple of nice, restful days before heading home.