MOUNTAIN BIRDING IN SOUTHERN OREGON—MAY 22-25, 2015
Harry Fuller will be your guide for a birding trip to Mt. Ashland and Klamath Basin over Memorial Day Weekend. Arrive Friday, May 22 in time for dinner in Ashland, Oregon. It is about 340 miles from the Carquinez Strait Bridge.
On Saturday, Harry will drive the group to the Siskiyous to see Sandhill Crane, nesting Osprey, possible Great Gray Owls, Mountain Bluebird, Hermit and MacGillivray’s Warblers Vesper Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, among many others. You will enjoy lunch at Greensprings Mountain Resort. More birding on the way back to Ashland that night.
Sunday morning will include birding in the Ashland parks and around Mt. Ashland. You can expect to see Western Screech-Owl, Vaux’s Swift, Calliope Hummingbird, White-headed Woodpecker, Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatcher, Casin’s Vireo, Townsend Solitaires, Yellow-breasted Chat and Lincoln Sparrow, among others. Return to dinner in Ashland.
On Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day), you will rise at 6 am and head to the Klamath Basin looking for White-faced Ibis, Black Terns, nesting Bald and Golden Eagles, Swainson’s and Ferruginous Hawks, Yellow-headed Blackbirds and more. This will be a long day so we may eat dinner in Klamath Falls before returning to Ashland.
Other birds we hope to see or hear include Mountain Quail, Mountain Chickadee, nesting Osprey, Clark’s Grebe, Common Merganser, White Pelican, Band-tailed Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-breasted and Williamson’s Sapsucker, Gray Jay, American Dipper.
Harry knows the area well and is a resident of Ashland.
COST: $285 per person. The trip includes transportation once you are in Ashland, dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday and guide services. The trip does NOT include lodging, transportation to Ashland or meals (except otherwise noted.)
Contact Pat Kirkpatrick at email@example.com or Alexis Hummel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
General information: Ashland is at 1800’ elevation. Much of our birding time will be spent above 4000’ elevation. There will be some walking at that elevation though not on any steep terrain. By late May there will be some high elevation wildflowers and some butterflies evident. Some of our birding will near or along the Pacific Crest Trail in both the Siskiyous and Cascades. If it’s a warm spring there may be some mosquitoes around the Klamath Basin.
DAY 1: FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015 Plan to arrive in Ashland in time for a 630pm dinner. Meal included in trip fee. We will eat at the Black Sheep Pub on the Ashland Plaza. Its address is 51 North Main Street.
We will preview the weekend’s plans and answer any questions about logistics, target species, etc.
DAY 2: SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2015 We will plan to leave early in the morning. Check with your accommodation to see how early they supply breakfast. This day will focus on the Cascades Mountains east of Ashland. There are meadows where Sandhill Cranes, Vesper Sparrow and Mountain Bluebird nest. There are regenerating clear-cuts where Chipping Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting and Mountain Chickadee may be found. In regrowth of a burned area we may find White-headed Woodpecker. The forests around Howard Prairie and Hyatt Lake hold Pileated Woodpecker, Red-breasted and Williamson’s Sapsuckers, Tree Swallows, Hermit Warbler, Northern Pygmy-Owl and the elusive Great Gray Owl. Osprey and Bald Eagle fish the lakes and nest along the shoreline. Most of this day is spent between 4500’ and 5500’ elevation.
Lunch will be at Greensprings Inn, meal included in the trip fee.
DAY 3: SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015 We will again try to leave by 7AM at the latest. Today we will climb as high as 6800’ elevation. Today we bird more open areas as well as the dryer forests of the Siskiyous. We will expect to find MacGillivray’s Warbler, Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatcher, possibly Olive-sided as well, Townsend’s Solitaire, Rufous Hummingbird. This area can sometimes have Cassin’s Finch and Red Crossbill as well.
Before we leave Ashland and its environs we will look for Vaux’s Swift, Dipper, Nashville Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat and Calliope Hummingbird, North America’s smallest bird.
This afternoon we can encounter strong updrafts and a jacket may be needed. We will need to carry sack lunch this day and plenty of water as there are no facilities on Mt. Ashland besides toilets and picnic tables.
DAY 4: MONDAY, MAY 25, 2015 We will leave at 6AM this morning because we have more miles to cover. We will go east from Ashland on Dead Indian Memorial Road and down into the Klamath Basin. We will bird from Rocky Point on the northwest corner of the lake south to Klamath Falls and then further souht into the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge. We have President Teddy Roosevelt to thank for its preservation over a century ago. The refuge straddles the stateline so some of our birding will be in Oregon, some in California.
Klamath Lake is home to breeding populations of Redhead, Eared, Clark’s and Western Grebe, Black and Forster’s Tern, White Pelican. Along the shoreline we may find Bald Eagle, Osprey, woodpeckers, flycatchers, Bullock’s Oriole, Yellow Warbler. In the marshes and fields of the wildlife refuge we will hope for Swainson’s and Ferruginous Hawk, Golden and Bald Eagle, Harrier, White-faced Ibis, Short-eared Owl, Black-billed Magpie, Horned Lark, Yellow-headed and Tricolored Blackbirds. In dry sagebrush country we will look for some Chukar. There’s a possibility of pronghorn this day near Dorris, California.
Plan to carry a sack lunch. There will be some chance to pick up water or other consumables along the way. We will likely choose to eat dinner in Klamath Falls before we return back over the Cascades to Ashland.
OTHER BIRDS TO EXPECT: Without looking too hard we should run across California Quail, Ring-necked Pheasant, Downy, Hairy and Acorn Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, Anna’s Hummingbird, Band-tailed Pigeon, Western Kingbird, Western Wood-Pewee, Steller’s Jay, Raven, several species of swallow (Bank unlikely), nesting Juncos, Spotted Towhee, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatch (Pygmy found only in Klamath Basin), Black-capped Chickadee, Oat Titmouse, Bushtit, Wrentit, Western Bluebird, Western Meadowlark, Lark and Song Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Lesser and American Goldfinch, Purple Finch.
DAY 5: TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2015—DEPARTURE
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
Check out the Klamath Basin Birding Trail
Birding along I-5 around Ashland and north of the Bay Area
Birding around Ashland in May
Birding up Dead Indian Memorial Road
If you don’t have a copy of FREEWAY BIRDING [available as ebook from Amazon], I will happily provide info on places to bird en route to Ashland from the south. There is a breeding colony of Lewis’s Woodpeckers at the south end of the Collier Rest Stop on the Klamath River north of Yreka. We will not encounter them in our birding around Ashland or in the Klamath Basin.