Umpqua Valley Audubon Society

Event Report – 5/11/24 – Ford’s Pond


It was a beautiful day. We were eagerly looking forward to seeing and hearing a lot more songbirds since May is the peak of migration. There was no wind, and the water was smooth as glass. It was oddly quiet.  The reflection on the water combined with the land/trees themselves looked like what you would see in an arm of a kaleidoscope. Hardly any waterfowl were on the pond as most had migrated north to breed. We had 18 participants, which was a new high from 17 in March; a good mixture of returnees and newcomers. It was spring World Migratory Day; the theme this year is “Protect Insects, Protect Birds”.

The trail we normally walk on the south side of Ford’s Pond was closed due to the start of finishing the ADA accessible paved pathway. So, we walked along the eastside of the pond toward the north side. Lucky for us, we had Matt Hunter co-leading again so his keen eyes and ears got us to 34 species encompassing 205 individuals. In comparison to April’s walk with Matt, we had 57 species with 786 individuals. (See Matt’s ebird list below)

Besides the phenomenal water reflection, a highlight was watching several female Red-winged Blackbirds flying onto dead willow trunks in the water, 15-20’ out from the shore snatching recently emerged damselflies. Good protein for the blackbird nestlings. We think this is a good example of “Protect Insects, Protect Birds”.  At one point, during this “nature show”, a Green Heron flew in directly toward us, just about to land in one of the willow trunks, when it noticed us and did an amazing aerodynamic maneuver to fly away. It was the first Green Heron we have seen since starting these monthly bird field trips back in September!

Thank you to volunteers Matt Hunter and Stacy Burleigh for co-leading and to our Americorp member Tracy Maxwell for being our greeter of information and logistics for this field trip!

Photos in order of appearance:

Featured image: Ford’s Pond Reflection 5/11/24 by Stacy Burleigh

Anna’s Hummingbird at Ford’s Pond 5/11/24 by Liz Gayner

Female Red-winged Blackbird at Fords’ Pond 5/11/24 by Liz Gayner

View of Ford’s Pond 5/11/24 by Liz Gayner

Feather in Ford’s Pond 5/11/24 by Liz Gayner

See last 2 photos below!



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