Monday, May 26, 2014

Aumsville Ponds County Park

I took the old adage, let sleeping dogs lie, to heart yesterday morning and slipped out the door early leaving Buster still asleep in bed.  I wanted to check out the Aumsville Ponds for birding, and dogs are not allowed.  Plus with Jeanette gone for five days to hike the Rogue River Trail, he has little motivation to get out of bed. If memory serves me right the ponds were formerly used to raise fish by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife years ago. They are now maintained by Marion County as a day-use park. At the east end of Aumsville I took Bishop Road south to Bates Road and parked in the parking lot at the largest pond, Young Lake.  It has a restroom, a picnic table, and a one mile trail, more like a path, circles the lake. The habitat looks good for birds, with lots of smaller ponds, and lots of vegetation, but I left being un-impressed with the birds I saw, even though I counted fifteen different species in the thirty minutes I was there.  I would have expected to see a Kingfisher or two and some Great Blue Herons, and more ducks than just a few Mallards.  I’ll probably try it again another time and I’ll try exploring some of the smaller ponds, which access seems unsure. If you go, keep in mind the park is only open 8 AM to sunset, May 1st to Oct. 31, and no dogs are allowed.
male Rufous Hummingbird 

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