Umpqua Valley Audubon Society

Event Report, March 9th, 2024, Ford’s Pond


The morning forecast of strong rain and wind got waylaid to the afternoon so we lucked out with only occasional light rain and wind. A highlight was a rainbow expanding over Ford’s pond while 2 immature Bald Eagles were flying around!

We had 17 participants this month that included 7 individuals new to birding with us (2 Thrive members, and our first child – already a birder!), 5 returnees (1 Thrive member), 4 UVAS volunteer Board members, and our AmeriCorp member.

Timing wise, March 9th is pretty early in the spring migration and that was reflected in only seeing newly returning turkey vultures and an unidentified swallow species. We had a total of 27 species, which is only one species above February’s low count. A big difference between February and March were the fewer number of individual birds this month (427). Standing at the overlook from the parking lot it looked pretty bleak. Based on that view, one of the new participants was concerned we were not going to see much, but he expressed at the end of the walk that he realized that even spending time in one spot, bird activity can be dynamic and bring surprises! So true!

Another highlight to the morning was watching a flock of 300 American Wigeon land and move on Ford’s pond. They got spooked a couple of times by the eagles but quickly returned. We found a European Wigeon in amongst the group. Unlike the last one we saw in December, this one was much more vibrant and easy to spot with its reddish head. It was exciting to watch everyone look through the scope to spot it within all those birds and to catch it within the bobbing of the water! 

Thank you to Stacy Burleigh who volunteered as the bird leader as well as to Tracy Maxwell our AmeriCorp member who was Umpqua Audubon’s greeter of information and logistics. Volunteer UVAS Board members Diana Wells, Stef Neyhart, and Bill Fuller contributed in many aspects. A special shout out to participant Lucas Liles who has been to every one of our monthly Ford’s Pond fieldtrips and contributes greatly to finding and identifying the birds with us!

See the Full Bird List and More Photos Below. 

4 Pied-billed Grebe; 4 Double-crested Cormorant;2 Great Blue Heron; 20 Canada Goose; 2 Wood Duck; 1 Mallard; 300 American Wigeon; 1 Eurasian Wigeon; 10 Northern Shoveler; 10 Ring-necked Duck; 11 Bufflehead; 2 Turkey Vulture; 1 Cooper’s Hawk; 2 Bald Eagle (Immatures); 10 American Coot; 1 gull sp.; 1 American Crow; 2 Common Raven; 4 swallow sp.; 2 American Robin; 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler; 6 White-crowned Sparrow; 7 Golden-crowned Sparrow; 11 Red-winged Blackbird; 2 Brewer’s Blackbird; 2 House Sparrow.

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