Whether you’re grabbing shots of birds or mammals, reptiles or amphibians, we’d love to see your results. When you submit your photos to ODFW they could appear on our website or signs, or in social or brochures. What a great way to share your experience with others!
Waterfowl are arriving the bays on the Southern Oregon coast in good numbers. Many of these birds move into the area from northern parts of the flyway, and initially spend much of their time in the saltwater portions of the bays, near the coast. As rains come to the coast, they’ll scatter inland. So, now is a really good time to see and photograph ducks and geese near mud flats where they feed on invertebrates and eel grass. Good places to do so are Cape Arago Hwy near Charleston and Bullards Beach near Bandon.
Deer and elk numbers are very strong on coastal agricultural land around the county. You’ll see large herds of elk almost regularly during morning hours and right before dark. Good places to see deer are along the fringe of these valleys where the habitat transitions from open agriculture to forested types. Good binoculars are essential to finding deer and elk in these areas.
Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area is a good place to watch elk as several herds are currently spending most days in the fields near observation points. Dean Creek is also a good place to see a variety of birds from waterfowl to neotropical migrants.
Lots of sea lions and seals are using the Simpson’s Reef haul out of Cape Arago Hwy. Now is a great time to visit lookout at Simpson’s Reef, which offers a great view of these animals.
Watch for goose and duck nestlings following adult waterfowl in the following weeks as they learn to forage. Be careful as you drive next to watered ditches, bodies of water and fields where these young birds are hanging out.
You can see Columbian white-tailed deer and black-tailed deer throughout much of the Umpqua Valley’s agricultural lands in strong numbers.
Viewers can see Roosevelt elk taking advantage of the Umpqua Valley’s agricultural lands. Large herds of elk nightly visit many local grass producers, and there are good chances to see them during early morning and evening hours as they move between food and cover.
Look for this loud and vocal woodpecker in Roseburg at River Forks Park, N. Bank Mgt. area and Whistlers Park. Since this woodpecker is a hoarder, look for signs of a granary in the bark of large pine trees that are used to store insects and acorns in cracks and crevices.
JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES
The two Table Rocks of southern Oregon provide excellent nearby hiking opportunities. Upper Table Rock is located off Modoc Rd and is slightly shorter of the two, whereas Lower Table Rock is located off Table Rock Rd it is longer yet slightly less of a steep climb. Both of these trails provide a good opportunity to see a variety of wildlife that the Rogue Valley has to offer. Once you reach the top you have great views of the surrounding Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges.
Jacksonville Forest Park
The Jacksonville Forest Park is located just outside of the historic town of Jacksonville, Ore. This is a 1,100-acre park with 17 trails covering over 15 miles of the area. This is a great area located on the foothills just above the valley floor. There should be plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities for many different species within this section of land.
Rogue Valley Audubon Society
Bird Walk-On the first Wednesday of every month the Rogue Valley Audubon Society gathers at Denman Wildlife Area outside of White City to conduct a bird count. The event is open to the public and starts at 8:30 a.m.
Project Feederwatch returns on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9-10 a.m. at North Mountain Park in Ashland. This is a chance for citizens to collect species information to contribute to a national bird-monitoring database. It is also a great place to come and get help with your bird ID from experts in the field. No registration is required.
Take one of two trails off TouVelle Road and enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing. Below the fourth pond and to the north, you will find the Denman horse trail (2.5 mile) that provides great views of the Upper Table Rock and opportunities to see birds that live in oak trees, wedge leaf ceanothus and areas of riparian vegetation along the Little Butte Creek. The trail to the south that runs along the fourth pond dike is our interpretive trail, come in to the office and pick up and interpretive trail guide. You will learn of some of the history of the wildlife area and the different environment unique to our area. A wide variety of wildlife can be found along this 1.5-mile trail.
A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The Oregon Hunters Association built the structure and it is accessed by a paved, ADA-accessible pathway. Two additional fishing dikes have been created on Whetstone pond to provide more fishing access, it is possible to catch bass, bluegill, bullhead catfish, black crappie, and carp. Warm water fishing should become more productive as the weather improves. The pond is located just north of the ODFW Rogue Watershed Field Office in Central Point.
The wildlife area is a great place to come and view different waterfowl species. We have 10 grain fields that flooded this time of year. In addition, there are over 10 permanent ponds frequented by waterfowl on the wildlife area, as well as the Rogue River and Little Butte Creek. So far this year we have seen Canada geese, white-fronted geese, lots of mallard, wigeon, and green-wing teal ducks, as well as a few reports of cinnamon teal.
Waterfowl are moving into the area as we get deeper into winter. Come out to the Whetstone Pond on the Denman Wildlife area for a chance to see a variety of waterfowl species. Waterfowl tend to be the most active on stormy days so pay attention to the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
Another area that waterfowl species seem to congregate at is near the confluence of the Rogue River and Little Butte Creek. You can access this are by getting a key for the green gate on Touvelle Rd at our office, and then driving to the end of Touvelle Rd.
Black-tailed deer are in their breeding season right now, typically referred to as the rut. This could be a good time to see deer in more open areas as bucks will tend to chase does that they intend to breed. Deer during this time of year are less focused on being secretive and therefore are easier to spot and view for longer periods of time.
Reptiles and amphibians: Stop by the ODFW office on the Denman Wildlife Area to pick up a couple free coverboards. A coverboard is a 2’ by 4’ sheet of plywood that provides habitat for reptiles and amphibians. If you pick a couple up, deploy them on your property, and check them a few times during April and May, when reptiles and amphibians are most active, you might add to your knowledge of the animals using your property.
A parking permit is required to park at Denman Wildlife Area. Find out .