Yesterday (Saturday) was up near Game Lake in Curry, about an hour and a
half uphill from Gold Beach up around 4,000’. Lotsa brush fields with big
snags near Snow Camp. The most common bird species being TOWNSEND’S
SOLITAIRE and DUSKY FLY. No Green-tailed Towhees in but several TB FOX
SPARROWS was really cool. Had male Anna’s Hummers at 4,000’ feeding on the
plethora of red-flowering
currant which there was literally miles of flowering everywhere in the
brush fields (too bad I wasn’t here a week earlier- bet there was Calliopes
coming through then). Also a Rufous/Allen’s male with about a 30%
green-back adding to the idea that Rufous/Allen’s cannot be reliably
separated in Southern OR and maybe into NW CA but I will not get into that!
Plus a couple quick look at Calliope-sized hummers that I let go because
they zipped by- darn! No Lazuli Buntings yet which are super common in this
habitat soon. Hardly any snow except on highest peaks and too early for
Rock Wrens. I did find MT CHICKADEE at the base of Collier Butte (3700’)
which I rarely see in this portion of Curry.
Very cool were Purple Martins overhead at Fairview Meadow (an old growth
stand with many snag patches nearby). Much good nesting habitat for a
species not here just a few years previous- rock on PUMA saviors (you know
who you are)!
Today we were up high in Curry at 4,000’ at Iron Mt. west of Port Orford in
serpentine country complete with Brewer’s Spruce, Sadler Oak and a whole
host of serpentine endemics. So cool to be in lodgepole, western white
pine, knobcone, and Jeffery pine habitat with views of the ocean (socked in
by fog all day). Many singing Hermit Thrushes and mega cool flowers. Purple
Martins overhead here also- long live PUMA! Gotta love the calling Sooty
Grouse and Mt Quail and the quick three beer bird. We saw no one all day
between climbing out of gorgeous Elk River and landing back on the
Powers/Agness highway (like 6 hrs)- SW OR rocks!