After not having a bird field trip for a long time, due to concerns with Covid-19, Umpqua Valley Audubon was inspired by a recent successful Portland Audubon fieldtrip with safety protocols we could emulate for our own trip. Interest brought out 6 community members to sign on, leaving 4 board members to fill in our quota of ten. The weather threatened to cancel the trip and made it difficult for leader Jimmy Billstine to travel from Tillamook, so board member Mark Hamm stepped in to lead the trip. Expecting 70% chance of rain, it turned out to be a fairly nice day, with just a little bit of light rain for a short time. At Ford’s pond, we saw 29 species: 15 water birds, 10 passerines and 4 raptors. Some highlights were the Western Grebe, a beautiful view of a Red-shouldered Hawk, the antics of 2 Belted Kingfishers, and a Virginia Rail answering the recorded call at Chevy’s pond.
At Plat I Reservoir, we saw 19 species, of which 9 were new for the day. The standouts were definitely the Peregrine Falcon perched in one of the dead trees on the opposite side, a flock of killdeer flying close by, the 10 White Pelicans, and a close visual of a Western Meadowlark that we had heard at both locations.
As Bill and Nancy Fuller summed up after the trip was over, “it felt so good being out in the field again with old friends and meeting new people as well. Also, a thank you to the weather gods!”