Eagles ’n More
February 18-19, 2003
Tuesday morning, 35 Obsidians and guests boarded the bus driven by Larry Edwards, and headed over the Willamette Pass. Our first stop was at the Middle Fork of Willamette Ranger Station. We then proceeded up Hwy. 58, fording light snow and sunshine. Our driver chained up as the Sheriff was requiring it. But he turned around and took them off at Willamette Pass Ski Area, where we had coffee and goodies. Ray, a ski area employee, gave us a briefing about the ski area delivering good news that the chair lift will be operating this summer. So check it out. After we reboarded the bus Rick got his chance to start our ongoing birding seminar. The visibility was great and Mt. Scott was a glorious white—not a common scene on the Pass this year. We stopped at Chemult to pick up rider #37, and arrived at Applebee’s in Klamath Falls about 12:30 p.m. It was there we found the roads from the Medford side too icy for Nola’s sister to join us. Ewart educated us on the thermal and geological distinctions of Klamath Falls. After lunch we headed south to Lower Klamath Lake, seriously looking for birds. There were large flocks of swans, geese and ducks and a bald eagle sat on a road sign. There were a number of eagles along the dike as well as flying by. We stopped several times for viewing. Thanks to Glenn and Rick for sharing their scopes; it made it possible for all to experience close-up viewing.* We took the auto tour around the refuge. When darkness fell we surrendered ourselves to the Olympic Inn for the night.
The bus rolled out at 6:30 a.m. for the eagle flyway. We had a good spot but the eagles flew far away and up higher than last year. So we were fortunate to have gotten good views on Tuesday. Everyone’s interest remained high, even when the snow started to stick. We took a drive down state line, again finding most birds sleeping and staying warm. There were several times when very large numbers of birds filled the sky. So we turned back to the motel and had coffee and packed. Our next stop was for a hike on the Link River Trail where about 60–70 Black crowned night herons were studied. At least six more species were spotted on the trail. At 11:00 we went to the Klamath County Museum where there many bird dioramas and Captain Jack’s skirmishes were well presented. About 12:15 found us back at Applebee’s for lunch. We then boarded the bus for Eugene at 5:30 with a perfect sunset. A great time was had by all. Perhaps Rick can be persuaded to join us again in 2004.
Riders were: Ewart Baldwin, Mary & Richard Bentsen, Patricia Bitner, Shirley Cameron, Nicole Chase, Alea DeJung, Leona Devine, Judy Dobell, Bea Fontana, Shirley Froyd, Margorie Jackson, Vi Johnson, Catherine Jones, Rosella Jones, Ben Kirk, Gloria Layden, Marty McGee, John & Lenore McManigal, Rosemary Mason, Glenn Meares, Nola Shurtleff, June Smith, Nadine Smith, Nan Smith, Karen Seidel, Bobbye Sorrels, Gene Thaxton, Millard Thomas, Kay Ullman, Mary Ellen west, Margaret Wiese, Vera Woolley and leaders Liz Reanier, Ray Jensen & Rick Ahrens.
*—Birds sighted included: American magpie, American kestrel, Bald eagle, Black crowned night heron, Great blue heron, Black capped chickadee, Canada geese, Common mergauser, Coot, (ducks) Mallard, Canvasback, Red head, Ruddy, Bufflehead, Green-winged teal, Ring necked, Common golden eyes, Barrow’s golden eye, American widgeon, Lesser scaup, Gull, Golden crowned kinglet, Great white fronted geese, Hose sparrows, Mountain chickadees, Northern harrier, Winged black birds, Red tailed hawk, Raven, Rough legged hawk, Rock dove, Ruby crowned kinglet, Snow geese, Starlings and Tundra swans.