Eagles ‘n More

February 22-23, 2005

Leaders: Liz Reanier, Ray Jensen, Rick Ahrens

We left Shopko at 8 a.m. with 41 Obsidians and guests, enroute to birding activities in the Klamath Falls basin. After a rest stop at the Mid-Willamette Ranger Station, we went on to Willamette Pass Ski Area Lodge for coffee, goodies and a short history of the ski area by Ray Gardner, general manager. He also told us of special education opportunities for Oakridge students learning ski programs and of ideas for year-round usage of the area.

We arrived in Klamath Falls at 12:30, had lunch at Applebee’s and then went out to State Line and Tule Lake for birding; stopping at the interpretive center just before closing. Lots of birds (see following list for birds sighted on this trip). The eagles starred as usual, but had to share top billing with the snow geese, which started arriving in their “V” formations just before 5 p.m., filling the sky as far as you could see in all directions. We estimated 6,000 to 8,000 geese. As we drove on, we saw them landing and turning a field absolutely white. After that excitement we returned to Klamath Falls for the night.

Day 2 began early with a 6:15 departure to see the eagles at the flyway. Maybe 15 eagles—not spectacular, but with the dry, warm weather, many apparently do not return to their nests at night. We returned to State Line and Rick set up his scope, allowing us to watch a wide variety of birds. We returned to the motel to have a second breakfast and check out. Our next stop was the Link River (which runs beside the Favel Museum), where we spotted about 100 black crested night herons (filling three trees). Some of us elected to visit the museum (a real gem) while the rest hiked the river bank, being rewarded when Rick spotted a great horned owl in a tree. The mild clear weather yielded spectacular views of the snowcapped mountains all the way to Mt. Shasta. We returned to Applebee’s for lunch before retracing our steps to Eugene, with a stop at the Willamette Pass Ski Lodge on the way.

Birds sighted: American kestrels, American robin, American widgeon, bald eagles, Bewick’s wren, red winged black bird, black capped chickadee, black crested night herons, cedar wax wing, common mergansers, coots, double crested cormorants, ducks (Barrow’s golden eye, ruddy, bufflehead, canvasback, northern pintail, green-winged teal, ring necked), European starling, flicker, geese (Canadian, white fronted, Ross, snow), great blue herons, great egret, great horned owl, gulls, harriers, hooded mergansers, killdeer, lesser scaup, magpies, mourning doves, pheasants, prairie falcon, ravens, red tailed hawk, rock pigeon, rough-legged hawk, song sparrow, stellar jays, tundra swans and violet green swallow.

Bus Trippers sighted by the birds: Rick Ahrens, Ewart Baldwin, Louise Bauder, Mary Bridgeman, Barbara Chinn, Linn Crooks, Judy Dobell, Phyllis Early, Roberta Fair, Rachele Fiszman, Donna Halker, Dora Harris, Mildred Houghton, Diane and George Jeffcott, Ray Jensen, Marilyn Kerins, Joe Lowry, Natallie McClatchey, Evelyn McConnaughy, John and Lenore McManigal, Barbara Mickelson, Kathryn Miles, Bonnie Jean Nelson, Judy Newman, Joyce Norman, Marcia Peterson, Carolyn Rayburn, Liz Reanier, Kathy Riddle, Ardys Ringsdorf, Edith Rode, Harold Schyberg, Lottie Streissenger, Dirk and Lori TenBrink, Millard Thomas, Doris Wimber, Mary Ellen West and Vera Woolley.

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