Day 5: July 3, 2002
Little Grayback Peak

Little Grayback
Little Grayback Peak.

Fox Sparrow
Thick-billed Fox Sparrow.

Little Grayback
Clearcut on Little Grayback Peak--Fox Sparrow habitat.

Snowbush
Snowbush Ceanothus.

Manzanita
Two types of Manzanita--Perhaps Green-leaf and White-leaf, though others are possible.

Chinquapin
Golden Chinquapin.

Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse.

It's our final morning and I still haven't found the local Thick-billed race of Fox Sparrow. So that's my goal for this morning, before we head for home. I drive up the Oregon Caves Hwy to Little Grayback Creek and follow the logging road that heads up the mountain (DeLorme Atlas, page 19, C5).

On the drive up the mountain I pass a couple of openings where I pick up Townsend's Solitaire, Mountain Chickadee, Hairy Woodpecker, and Dusky Flycatcher.

Finding the Fox Sparrows turned out to be easy. I drove up the mountain until I came to and old clearcut just below the summit. It had been replanted about 10 years earlier and most of the pines were about 8 feet tall. However, the dense Snowbush Ceanothus and the various manzanita bushes are the indicator plants for the Fox Sparrows in the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountains. Nashville and MacGillivray's Warblers are also typical birds of this habitat. The elevation is about 4600 feet.

Listen to this Fox Sparrow song

I walked up to the summit and talked for a while with the fire lookout, who was just having breakfast. I had to leave, though, as I wanted to be back at the cabin at 9 AM to pack up. When I reached the bottom of the mountain I noticed a grouse in the road. A pair of Ruffed Grouse crossed the road, giving me one of my best-ever looks at these colorful birds.



Marlene and I headed back to Portland. I finally pick up Oak Titmouse--at the Merlin rest area on Interstate-5, north of Grants Pass. I never located Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Lewis's Woodpecker, or White-tailed Kite, but I found just about everything else I looked for. I ended up seeing 109 species in Josephine County during the 5 days. With effort, a determined birder could see most of these species in a single 2-day weekend.




The End

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