provided by:

Priscilla Sokolowski

Eugene, OR

Photos from personal trips  AND trips with

“Birds of Oregon and General Science” (BOGS)


Bird photography

BOGS Fern Ridge Royal

July 27, 2017

Mid and late Summer offer a special challenge to birders. Young birds of many species have fledged but are still sporting some or most of their first plumage. In many cases, that first plumage of a young bird has striking differences from its parents, making the species of the young bird difficult to call.

It was the end of July. We went into an area dry enough to access only in late Summer. From the parking lot off Royal, instead of going West on Royal we turned South right at the gate and cut a path through the tall grasses. A few birders had walked here already so there were places where there was some semblance of a trail. Either way, we only needed to go roughly South to eventually come to the East-West dike forming the boundary of the ponds. Meanwhile, we went South along the East edge of that same thicket of shrubs and small trees which we usually walk past as we begin walking down Royal. That patch always has lots of bird activity and we found plenty of action on the edge we walked. Lots of birds, especially young birds, and lots of difficulty identifying them. I should mention too ... we might be wrong in some of our conclusions.

After reaching the dikes, we walked towards the observation platform (West). Since most of the pond between their and where we were was a dried up mudflat, we walked across that. At the far side, where some water remained we saw Black-necked Stilt and some other shorebirds. Stilt have tried to nest at Fern Ridge in recent years, but only rarely breed in the valley. Most of the shorebirds we saw were in that wet area near the observation platform.