Birding & Boating in the Klamath Basin

Eco Journal

Saturday, April 21th, 2012

It is raining lightly. The lake is flat. Later a west wind comes up and the clouds part as the sun shines through.

First thing this morning Jim saw a bald eagle perched on a treetop across the Link River at Putnam's Point. There were some birders at the park, but they did not see the eagle above their heads! Who was watching whom?

Looking out the front window towards the dock and our sailboat "Windhorse" we see a white heron, pelican and three night herons plus a mink feeding on the fish. The family of 6 otters has come and gone. There are some wading shorebirds taking advantage of the low water and the many little fish, which rise to the surface.

Occasionally we see a large fish leap out of the water in the channel between the house and Putnam's Point.

Flocks of cormorants wing south. Pelicans come swooping into the bay to feed and preen on the rocks in the middle of the channel, where some spend the night.

The rocks are home to kites and shore birds.

One night heron has taken up residence on the motor off the back of our sailboat "Windhorse". Another perches on the kayak on the dock. Others suspend themselves off the ropes for a perfect launch into the water.

The Kingfisher lands on the mast and swoops down to the swallow birdhouse to position itself for prime fishing.

The last summer batch of baby grebes cries out for lunch. Their parent's surface with fish to swim over with necks low & outstretched to feed the babies. Some grebes are testing their wings, never quite clearing the surface and making patterns on the golden green water as they splash their wings on the water. Grebes are very territorial and chase away any stray male intruders who get too close.

We see flocks of small white birds fly north skimming across the water so fast we cannot tell what breed they are.

Pelicans cruise in from the Upper Klamath Lake and splash down to join the others in making a slow circle around the riparian edge herding the fish into a corner to gulp down for. The pelicans are filling up with fish for the migration south.

Tonight on NPR, Wynton Marsalis hosted a jazz fundraiser at Lincoln Center in New York, "Higher Ground" to benefit the people of New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Everyone hopes for the re-creation of wetlands.  Birds & people will benefit.