Sunday, October 18, 2015

Klamath Falls part 2

One of the reasons we chose Klamath Falls for a stop on this trip is that tons of birds stop here on their migrations. An estimated one to two million ducks and geese migrate through the basin each October and November. Shelley and I aren't serious birders, but we enjoy seeing and photographing them.

So our second day in Klamath Falls we went to Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. There are lots of birding sites around but we chose this one since it had a visitors center. Unfortunately the person there was one of the most unhelpful I've come across. When we walked in I told him we were visiting the area and looking for suggestions where to go and what to look for. He told us to watch the video. Which was fine for background, but not very helpful otherwise. Afterwards I again asked for suggestions and was told to follow the signs.

I always find it somewhat contradictory that "wildlife refuges" allow hunting. Of course, historical that's why many of them were established in the first place. Maybe this will change eventually since wildlife viewing and photography are growing faster than hunting (but are less organized as a lobby group).

We walked around the nature trail and drove the car route around the lake. There were lots of birds around and we could only identify a few. I didn't have my big telephoto with me so the photos aren't great, but they helped with id's. We didn't see anything particularly rare or special, at least not that we recognized! I'm not very good identifying birds, so corrections are welcome.

One of the first we saw were these small raptors. At first I thought they were American Kestrels, but looking at the photos and the guide, I think they are Merlins, small falcons.

American kestrel

There were lots of red winged blackbirds around, but they were very skittish and didn't sit still for photos. This Killdeer was a little more cooperative although still too far away.


There were also lots of red shafted northern flickers around. They liked to perch on the observation buildings.

Red-shafted northern flicker

There were some big congregations of white pelicans. I wonder if any of our Saskatoon pelicans stop here?

White pelicans

I haven't seen big groups of Great Egrets before. They were hard to photograph hiding in the tall grass.

Great egrets

And some other hawks, I think this is a red tailed.

Red-tailed hawk

It was another still morning, good for reflections.

reflection of tree

reflections of trees

There is lots of other wildlife around but all we saw was this one lone deer.


On Lake Ewauna in Klamath Falls we saw these Greater white-fronted geese (which I've also seen in the fall in Saskatchewan). I suspect people have been feeding them since they swam right over when we walked by.

Greater white-fronted geese

One of them had quite a different head, although the body looked the same. I couldn't find anything like this in my bird app.


Some nice fall colors here as well.

fall colors

See all 30 photos as a slideshow or overview

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