Date: 7/2/18 7:36 am From: W. Douglas Robinson <w.douglas.robinson...> Subject: [obol] Josephine County blitz
We completed the Josephine County blitz for Oregon 2020 and the 2018 season of blitzes yesterday. A great group of birders helped: Janet Kelly, Mamo Waianuhea, Carolyn Coyle, Will Wright, Kim Nelson, Mark Baldwin, Chad Marks-Fife, Jesse Laney, Jenna Curtis, Tyler Hallman and Douglas Robinson. A highlight of the blitz was the evenings of socializing with a great crew.
The scenery, especially in the northeast portions of the county, was remarkable and well worth further exploration. We worked very hard to find 132 species. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the birding was the biogeographic extension of eastern Oregon birds into the county. We found Dusky Flycatchers, Cassin’s Finches, Green-tailed Towhees, Lark Sparrows, Mountain Chickadees and Rock Wrens in several places, including just across the Curry County line. A Canyon Wren along the Rogue River was nice to find. Flammulated Owls were still present up along Savage Creek Rd in the thinned forest. Our shorebird and waterbird list would not impress anyone, but we checked the usual places repeatedly. A pair of American Bitterns at Lake Selmac may have been the most interesting.
The human culture in the county was alarming at times. One could make a fortune investing in companies that sell 8-foot high fences and, especially, black tarps that extend above the fencing. We could tell other stories about incidents we experienced, but none are all that edifying. The good news is that we added into eBird several hundred counts of birds across this comparatively poorly-represented county. Many of the places we counted birds had no data in eBird, so we feel great about our contribution of new knowledge.
Onward to the (last) blitz season in 2019! The project is a year ahead of schedule.