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Klamath Marsh event planned

Myriad things to do for any birdwatching enthusiast

by Lee Juillerat, Herald and News 6/9/08

   Stay for several hours, the evening, or for those wanting a chance to possibly see and hear unusual birds, the night.

Mountain bluebirds may be seen at the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. 
   Tours of the remote, little-visited Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in northern  Klamath County are planned Saturday and Sunday.
   Reservations are necessary and can be made by contacting Dave Menke of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges at (530) 667-2231. There is no charge for the trip, but participants will be responsible for their own meals and transportation. Trip guides and participants will meet at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Klamath Falls on Oregon Avenue at 8:30 a.m
   People can either drive back to Klamath Falls or reassemble later for evening wildlife viewing, when other opportunities may be available. The refuge is known for the reclusive yellow rails, a nocturnal bird that, according to Menke, “is more often heard than seen.”
   Sightings of snipes, which do aerial displays in the evenings, and listening for owls and other nocturnal birds and wildlife, will also be possible.
   For people willing to stay overnight in the northern Klamath County area, an early morning refuge birding trip will be offered Sunday.
   “The trip is expected to provide views of some of the Basin’s most spectacular scenery, in addition to searching out mountain bluebirds, western tanagers, black terns, wood ducks, sandhill cranes and many other species,” Menke said.
   For families
   He sa d the main trip, which is designed for families and beginning birdwatchers along with experienced birdwatchers, will run until mid-afternoon. Most of the viewing will be done from vehicles.
   The Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1958 to protect the high elevation marsh, which has excellent views of mounts Thielsen and Scott. It originally had 16,400 acres but was expanded to 40,646 acres following purchases in 1990 and 1998. Of that acreage, 37,023 acres, or more than 90 percent, is in wetlands.
   That trip is expected to end about 11 a.m. There is no housing or camping on the refuge, but there are motels in Chiloquin and Silver Lake and camping on neighboring Forest Service land.
   Participants should provide their own food, drinking water, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, light jackets, sturdy shoes and, in case of wet weather, rain gear.

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