Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Heading Back Northwards

Tuesday we left Klamath Falls for our next destination of 'Bend' in Deschutes County, this means that we now begin to head back northwards through the mountains on our return journey to Seattle.

Ring-necked Duck - Absent from our first week we've come across more of these around the inland waters
While on route we stopped off at Wood River Wetlands, around 30 miles north of Klamath Falls. The wetlands have been recently restored, the land once used for cattle grazing for four decades. In 1996 the BLM and partners restored over 3,000 acres of wetland and two miles of Wood River channel. The wetland is located adjacent to Agency Lake on the north-eastern end of Klamath Lake.

The aptly named Yellow Warbler were in double figures at Wood River
We spent a pleasant hour or so walking the woodland path which runs adjacent to the wetland area. As we set off a booming Bittern could be heard and a flash of yellow that caught the eye turned out to be a Bullock's Oriole, they nest here one local birder told us. The aptly named Yellow Warbler were in double figures and at least two Willow Flycatchers were recorded. A singing Warbling Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, House Finchdrumming Downy Woodpecker and a Golden-crowned Sparrow before we had our first look over the open water. Here Canvasback and Ring-necked Duck and within the reedbeds the unmistakable call of Sora could be heard.

Common Garter Snake - Photo by Dee
Halfway through the walk Dee was in her element when she came across a Porcupine, this one curled up in a ball and fast asleep, these animals being mostly nocturnal. Further wanderings and more discoveries with Yellow-bellied Marmot and two Common Garter Snakes to add to her growing amphibian and mammal listings.

Cliff Swallows - Gorgeous looking birds! Although the photo doesn't do them justice!
We arrived at a bridge at the top end of the walk that crosses the Wood River and here it opens out to produce good views of the open water, reedbeds and surrounding mountains. A large colony of Cliff Swallows were nesting under the rafters, an American Bittern flew over the reedbeds, two Ospreys, Northern Harrier and Raven over, plus as we were heading off back to the car a party of four Black Terns flew through.