Date: 7/23/17 1:59 pm From: Tim Rodenkirk <timrodenkirk...> Subject: [obol] Curry Mt Bluebirds et al.
Just spent the last two days in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness along the Chetco Divide trail (7/22-7/23/17). This is an hour and 45 min drive east of Brookings via high clearance forest service rutted roads (no cars). I hiked 7 miles in, past Chetco Lake, and back into some forest that was spared from the Buscuit fire 15(!) yrs ago. The first 4 or so miles is basically a big snag field with scattered trees here and there. The lake has no live trees. I camped a couple miles past the lake back in a forested area with fantastic views. Best birding was from the lake eastward. It was very hot and very windy. My highlights and bird list:
Two different female MTN BLUEBIRDS feeding young.
A total of 12 ROCK WRENS in 7 different locations with one family group of 6 that followed me a few hundred feet on the trail while scolding me!
Two COMMON NIGHTHAWKS that were flying all around my tent and displaying right overhead (a great 0430 alarm clock). I walked down the trail at first light and a bit further east of my camp site and the nighthawks came down low and were flying at eye level through the snaggy forest all around me. Then suddenly they flew right at me and split with one going around each side of my head at the last second before impact- I beat feet down the trail then as I must have been very close to their nest. On my walk back the sun had just come out but they immediately stopped calling and their was no sign of them.
A family group of 5 MTN CHICKADEES were in the same area just after sunrise.
Other birds included: 2- Turkey Vultures 2- Anna's Hummers 4- OS Flys 3- WW Peewees 1- Wrentit 6+ Audubon's Warblers 8- Spotted Towhees 1- GT Towhee 2- RB Nuthatches 7- Townsend's Solitaires (several recently fledged including one sitting on trail this morning) 1- A. Robin 6- juncoes
Low numbers but the winds were blowing 25-30mph on the ridgelines out of the NE so much of the trail was like a wind tunnel. Also, the Chetco Bar fire could be seen 8 miles to the north. It is in the wilderness and with no one on it (too nasty). There were fire crews cutting trees along the road on my way in and out, looks like indirect line. They didn't have roads closed yet and the fire is moving really slow and doing a lot of underburning and partially in the old burn. Anyhow, was able to watch the smoke cloud from it yesterday and today also. I bet the fire burns until the rains come in November- who knows how big it will get?
Fun couple of days for sure!
Tim R still in Brookings were there are a thousand+ gulls- mostly Westerns in boat basin but a few hundred Heermann's and CAs also plus pelis, 10+ G Egrets, and DC Cormorants.