Southern Oregon.

 I spent last weekend down in Jackson County, the last county before you hit California.  I had never visited this part of the state, only driven through on the way to other places.  It's freakin gorgeous.  My home base was Medford which my coworker today referred to as a "shithole with only one strip club."  So yeah, there's that.  I actually thought it was just fine with easy access to all sorts of loveliness.

My first stop was Valley of the Rogue State Park along the Rogue River.

The trees were loaded with Yellow-rumped Warblers.  This was a recurring theme in my southern Oregon adventure.

The mutts were stoked to be on vacay.

We stopped by the Kirtland Road ponds only to find they were closed on the weekends.  A singing Western Meadowlark felt our pain.

We happened upon a park nearby called Tou Velle State Park, another park along the Rogue River.  This is where I realized that Jackson County is smothered in Acorn Woodpeckers.

And some of them are a tad naughty.

Heh. White-breasted Nuthatches shared the oak trees with these dirty birds...

After securing a motel room for the next couple nights I took the dogs out to Agate Lake for the last hours of daylight.  Mt. McLoughlin provided a sweet backdrop.

The only Snow Geese of my trip

 After walking around and getting seriously stuck in mud several times we called it quits.  I am so glad I made it back to this lake on Monday before returning home, but that is a story for another post.

Sunday morning I headed up to a higher elevation area along Dead Indian Memorial Road, for the slightest chance of finding a Great Gray Owl (or three) seen the previous week.  No luck, as expected.  That would have been WAY too easy.  I stopped at nearby Howard Prairie Lake and enjoyed the scenery...

And the abundance of Eared Grebes...

Our next stop was Emigrant Lake, a rather beautiful reservoir just outside Ashland. 

Here we finally found some swallows which had been oddly absent at our previous stops.  A pretty Red-shouldered Hawk made a brief appearance...

Emigrant Lake had good numbers of lizards too.

That's all from my trip for now... More to come soon!  Good times!!


  1. Wow, that is really gorgeous stuff. It felt very odd, almost uncomfortable, to see a bunch of gorgeous Oregon photos with blue skies above them. This Climate Change is some weird stuff man.
    Greatly enjoyed this post.

    1. I hate to shatter your visions of Oregon, but most of the state doesn't get the same rain and gloom that we get in PDX. Even Portland is not that bad, but we must keep telling people it's awful or everyone would move here...

  2. It's such a different land down there. Looks like you had a great time. Love the naughty acorn woodpeckers.

    1. I kept thinking it was the perfect combination of central Oregon and California. Which, duh, is of course what it really is...

  3. Jen, beautiful scenery and I love the birds. The Acorn woodies are one of my favorites. Great birds and photos.

  4. Awesome post, especially the shot of the Acorn Woodpecker plow fest.

  5. That's a bit more than naughty, don't you think? And what's up with that sketchy nuthatch watching from the trunk?

    What happened Monday, what happened Monday???!!! Baird's, Peregrine?

    Also, "plow fest"? Where does one draw the line on this blog? ;-)

    1. Hope Monday does not disappoint! I think "plow fest" is still within the realm of PG-13, no?

    2. I stand by "plow fest." I was going to go with "slam party", if that makes you feel any better.

    3. I can't decide which one sounds dirtier.

  6. You "happened upon" Tou Velle State Park. Dude, "Birding Oregon" p. 102. RTFM ;)
    And I think "plow fest" is a common term in the ornithological literature.

    1. Ha!! I brought Birding Oregon with me but didn't open it up till later on my trip. Did Michele tell you I saw you on TV a couple weeks ago talking shorebirds?

  7. I cans see by the photos why the area is smothered in Acorn Woodpeckers. I like the hawk shot too.

  8. We visited TouVelle to scout for our book (thanks John!) and saw G-rated Acorn Woodpeckers. So many great birding spots down there!


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