Viewing Outlook: March 19, 2009

JACKSON/JOSEPHINE - Raptors and other birds are still plentiful and easy to spot along the Bear Creek Greenway around Ashland, Talent and south of Medford.

Hawks will start becoming tougher to spot in trees around rural roadways and farms with the spring greenup. Keep your eyes trained on power poles and trees to see various species of hawks looking for rodents.

Turkey vultures are becoming a little more common now that more birds have reached the area after spending the winter in warmer environs.

The first spring chinook salmon have yet to reach the valley, but schools are reported in the lower Rogue River.

A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area in White City provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure is on Whetstone Lake off East Gregory Road. It has a wheelchair-access pathway.

DOUGLAS - Winter steelhead are migrating through the Winchester Dam fish ladder on the North Umpqua River. The fish ladder is free and open to the public, with the best viewing in the late afternoon when the water is clear. To get there, take Interstate 5 to exit 129, then head south on Highway 99 to the dam's north edge.

Good numbers of elk are visible at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area off Highway 38 east of Reedsport. Several bulls are still sporting their antlers.

COOS - Spring whale-watching has been good, especially on calm days. Gray whales are approaching the peak of their spring migration past Oregon. On calm days they can be seen within a mile of shore.

KLAMATH - Thousands of snow geese and tundra swans are in the Klamath marshes. Bald eagles and other raptors are still hanging around. The best areas to see high concentrations of bald eagles are within the Lower Klamath and Tulelake national wildlife refuges and nearby private lands.

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