First new bird of the day was this dazzling Mountain Bluebird
After six weeks of continuous birding – dawn ’till dusk, I confess to occasionally feeling a little jaded. If the weather’s not good or you have to work particularly hard for the birds, the days can seem long. But then you get a day like today and all that changes! When we arrived in Weed yesterday it was pouring with rain, the light was fading and there was low cloud restricting our view. As we drove out of Weed this morning, heading for Klamath Falls, the scenery was transformed – the rugged landscape dominated by the imperious, snow-capped Mt Shasta, a potentially active volcano, and at just over 14,000 feet, the fifth highest mountain in the USA. We visited several reserves in the Lower Klamath Basin during the day, adding nearly twenty new birds for California and seven trip ticks. The day just got better and better! As we drove to our motel in Klamath Falls this evening we crossed the State line into Oregon – a new State and a new list!
Lower Klamath Basin is a regular winter location for Bald Eagle. Although they’d mostly dispersed, we did see around half a dozen, including this low-flying immature
Having missed out in other States, we were keen to ‘score’ with Sage Thrasher, before we get too far north. Looking not unlike our own Song Thrush
This is one of those birds that if you think you’ve seen it – you haven’t. When you do, it’s immediately obvious – Tricolored Blackbird. At long last, after scrutinising every Red-winged Blackbird since we got to California
Last of the days highlights was Bufflehead, on the amazing Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge reserve. We saw fourteen species of duck today, that’s the same number as breed at the internationally recognised wildfowl hotspot of Lake Myvatn, Iceland