Jackson County and point north--some observations

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Harry Fuller

May 20, 2023, 10:55:21 PMMay 20
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South of Eugene many hillsides display forests pocked by dead conifers. Mostly pinderodsa and Doug-fir as far as I can tell. Ponderosa likely beetle victims; Doug-firs felled by drought and heat. In southern Oregon west of Cascades summit the oaks and madrone thrive. Near Hyatt Lake I saw no ill effects on the cedars. A few surviving sugar pine showed no beetle infections, yet.

Roadside color between Roseburg and Eugene: yellow bloom of broom, pale blue and white of lupine. Champion weeds were cow parsnip. North of Eugene some California poppy color. In the southern Cascades above 3000 feet--creamy ceanothus, above 4000' some manzanita still in bloom while below that they already had fruit.

In Jackson County Howard Prairie and Hyatt Lake reservoirs are partially refilled after drought. Hyatt once was home of dozens oif nesting DC Cormorants. As the lakes vanished that colony was starved out. I presume they moved...to Klamath River or the Rogue or maybe some natural lakes that persevered? In three days with many views of both lakes: no nesting, and only a single cormorant seen once! At Howard Prairie the main resort boat docks still shelter marmots, not minnows. Neither of these lakes will be filled this spring and summer.

Exactly zero Osprey nest sites along I-5 south of Eugene were occupied, including one that used to be occupied every spring at Emigrant Lake south of Ashland. No fish, no fowl. That reservoir will not be filled either though it is not longer just mud flats.


Harry Fuller
author of: San Francisco's Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars:
author of Freeway Birding: freewaybirding.com
birding website: http://www.towhee.net
my birding blog: atowhee.wordpress.com
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