The Klamath Basin is well known amongst birders for its spectacular winter collections of raptors and ducks and geese, but did you know that it is also on the spring migration route for wading and shorebirds? April is the month to plan your visit to see Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, White-faced Ibis, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Long-billed Dowitcher, Western and Least Sandpipers, and Wilson’s Phalarope.
And of course expect to still see numerous waterfowl and raptors. Reports are that Rough-legged Hawks and Bald Eagles are still in the area along with the resident Red-tailed Hawks and Kestrels.
Try the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge auto tour route off of Stateline Rd ( Hwy 161) and visit the refuge headquarters on Hill Rd (about 5 miles further east on Hwy 161) to access the Tule Lake Refuge and pick-up maps and updated bird sighting lists at the visitor center.
Tip: if you’ve never visited the refuges go directly to the Visitors Center (4009 Hill Rd (530) 667-2231 http://fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges) to pick up the maps and lists before setting out on the Lower Klamath refuge tour. The staff will be happy to offer suggestions and answer questions.
The migration peaks the last week of April so be sure to plan your trip! Call or come by the shop if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to answer and provide suggestions and maps! And be sure to let us know what you’ve seen, so that we can pass along the most up to date sightings!