Klamath Wildlife Area, Lava Beds National Monument and Tulelake Wildlife Refuge (and a few alpacas )

It’s been a whirlwind few days. I’ve had this birding trip planned for a couple months and I had high hopes I’d be able to add to my “lifer list”. It’s been just one full day of birding so far and it has not disappointed !

Rather than give you too much information to absorb, I’ll keep it brief and share as much as I can of what I’ve seen so far ( you know, in photos).  

I am vacationing here with two friends, Susan and Keitha, that I met at Nisqually. They have traveled here several times in the many years they have known one another and they are exceptional guides for this beautiful area. 

On my drive to Klamath Falls I stopped at the very cool Crescent Moon Ranch, an alpaca farm in Terrebonne, OR. Cuteness overload.

Klamath Falls boasts around 300 sunny days a year and is known as a bird-watchers paradise. It sits just 25 miles north of the California-Oregon border. As I write this morning, I am hearing of an early start to fire season with wildfires burning along Hwy 140 in Klamath County. 

May the recovery happen quickly. 

The area has been suffering an epic drought year. Water is in dangerously short supply and many sections of local refuges have run dry. There will be long term effects from these conditions.  How they will affect the wildlife is a big unknown. 

While it’s hard to see the dry cracked riverbeds and barren landscape in what once were thriving areas, it’s still home to a surprising number of song and shore birds. Let me a share a bit about my past couple of days. 

As always, thanks for indulging me. 

First stop yesterday, the Klamath Wildlife Area- Miller Island unit.

Lower Klamath National Wildiife Refuge

Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge

Great-horned Owl

Lava Beds National Monument

Putnam’s Point City Park

I counted a dozen new lifers today ! I’ll post a full list at the end of my adventure. We’re off on another adventure today. The heat is rising and sun is peaking above the horizon. Thanks for coming along !

Keitha and I

10 Comments on “Klamath Wildlife Area, Lava Beds National Monument and Tulelake Wildlife Refuge (and a few alpacas )

  1. So cool! You must be over the moon. So fun to meet a new part of the corner. I’m sad to hear of the fires and the havoc and loss they cause. It’s going to be a smoky hiking year, eh? Beautiful bird shots,

    • Thanks, Gretchen. Yes, I’m a little worried for summer hiking when fires begin this early. It’s been over 90 down here every day and thunderstorms tonight might put the area where I’m staying in the red zone. So beautiful though ! Makes me eager for another roadtrip already !

  2. The days spent with you and Susan have been a very fun learning experience. Your curiosity and amazing photography skills are a delight! Great new birds added to your knowledge too.

    • It’s been such a wonderful trip so far ! And I still have another full day ! Thanks for the kind words. Maybe I’ll see that Clark’s nutcracker tomorrow !

  3. You’re in some of my favorite land! If you drive back through the Bend area, the Newberry Volcanic Nationsl Monument is worth checking out (it includes East Lake, Paulina Lake, and the Big Obsidian Flow!!) and Smith Rock in Terrebonne is divine with the Crooked River flowing through it.

    In Klamath, the Ana River (where it flows out of the Ana Reservoir) is a beautiful and diverse ecosystem. I was there in September but it wasn’t a drought year and things were still blooming. And Summer Lake down the road is incredible!

    I hope you continue to have an incredible time! Be well, stay safe.

    • Jennie, this place is amazing ! I worry about the fires, having driven through so many charred places today, but I can’t help but love it all. The birding has been awesome despite the drought conditions. Just one more day but I’ll make the most of it ! I’m adding your ideas to my list. If not this trip, next time !

  4. You saw a lot so far! I liked your ibis and stilt photos. Hope you are avoiding the smoke. It’s getting smoky here in Bend.

    • Today was Wood River Wetlands. Sat for 30 minutes about 20 feet from a Black-crowned Night Heron. This area is spectacular ! Stay safe in Bend. I already can’t wait to come back and I still have another day !

    • Right ?? There are fires raging through Bend and one not too far from here. Different world in so many ways. I love the area for birding though. Amazing !! I’ll be back !

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