Sierra Club Outings

Sierra Club Outings

Saturday: A moderate, 5- to 6-mile hike in the Jacksonville Woodlands. For information, call 488-8517.

Dec. 7-8: A ski/snowshoe trip into the Grouse Gap shelter near Mount Ashland is planned. The group will stay overnight at the shelter. Those wishing to gain winter camping experience can bring a tent. At the shelter, there will be a clinic on treating cold-weather injuries and illness in the backcountry, including frostbite, hypothermia and cold-water immersion. The next day, participants will ski/snowshoe up to the summit of Mount Ashland. On the way, they will discuss techniques for tracking and identifying animal tracks in the snow. Lunch will be at the summit. Call 531-7623 for more information.

Ashland Fitness Studio is sponsoring fitness adventures the third Saturday of each month. Dec. 15: Moderate, 5-mile roundtrip hike into the southern Cascades to the east portal of an abandoned train tunnel. Cross the meadow to where the workers camped, hike up the slag rock removed from the tunnel and follow an ancient drainage ditch to the mouth of the tunnel. Call Kit at 488-8431.

Mountain bike ride at Applegate Lake: Southern Oregon Mountain Bike Association will be riding trails at Applegate Lake on Saturday. Riders will cover up to 18 miles of single-track trail that is mostly smooth and with little elevation change. The riding time will be from 3 to 4 hours. The public is welcome. Meet at the parking lot across the street from the Britt theater in Jacksonville for carpooling at 10 a.m. For information, call Bob at 482-1143.

Cycling

Rides every Wednesday, John's Peak, Jacksonville: Sponsored by Cycle Analysis, these rides are for all ages and abilities and are group-oriented. They begin at 6:30 p.m. from Cycle Analysis in Jacksonville and include the John's Peak trail system. Every ride ends with free refreshments. Helmets are required. For more information, e-mail Southern Oregon Mountain Bike Association, infor@somba.org or check somba.org.

Every Saturday: A mellow ride of 20-plus miles begins at 10 a.m. at Bear Creek Park in Medford. Twenty-plus miles. Rider leader is Phil Gagnon. Call 488-4289.

Every Sunday: A valley training ride begins at 8:30 a.m. along the bike path at Bad Ass Coffee Co. in Medford. Race pace, 20-plus miles. Rider leader is Glenn Gann. Call 779-6986.

Every Monday: A Siskiyou Velo Club 25-mile ride begins at 9:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and journeys to Jacksonville. Gently rolling terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

Every Wednesday: A Siskiyou Velo Club 25- to 40-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. at the Roasting Co. in Ashland. Moderate terrain, brisk pace. No ride leader.

The Klamath Bird Observatory and the Northwest Nature Shop are sponsoring free bird walks around the Rogue Valley on the first Saturday of every month. The walks are led by an experienced birder from the Klamath Bird Observatory. Call 482-3241 for information.

Dec. 1: Birdwalk to Bear Creek Greenway Hotspots. View resident and wintering species in the riparian areas along the Bear Creek. Meet at 8 a.m. at Northwest Nature Shop (Ashland). Leader: Frank Lospalluto. To register, call 482-3241.

December 8: Hawks! All-Day Field Trip with Dick Ashford. Hawks and eagles have captured our imagination like few other birds. Want to observe them with an expert? Here's your chance: join Dick Ashford for a guided outing to the Klamath Basin to view these majestic raptors. The Klamath Basin hosts the largest contingent of wintering Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states, and we'll try to see as many as we can. Additionally, there are large numbers of Ferruginous Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks and a few falcons, as well. Throughout the day, we'll examine the natural history of these magnificent creatures, including behavior, habitat and adaptations for survival. Meet at 8 a.m. at Shop N Kart in Ashland to carpool. Return at 4:30 p.m. Advance registration required (limit: 15). Donation to KBO: $25 nonmembers, $15 members. To register, call 201-0866.

Help count birds that visit the feeders at North Mountain Park while learning to identify a variety of species with the help of experienced Audubon volunteers. This is a great opportunity for all-level birders to get acquainted with local birds and mingle with other birders. The information collected will be submitted to Cornell University's FeederWatch project, a nationwide bird monitoring effort. Ages: 10 & up; When: Alternate Saturdays Dec. 8 through March; 9-10 a.m., except Jan. 5, 10-11 a.m.; North Mountain Park Nature Center, 620 N Mountain Ave., Ashland. For more information: 488-6606.

Wildlife viewing

JACKSON — Lost Creek Lake has plenty of blue and green heron, kingfishers, osprey, geese, ducks and many others. A pair of bald eagles has been seen every week, indicating they are nesting in the area. Try the easy walking trail at McGregor Park located 30 miles northeast of Medford along Highway 62 just below Lost Creek Lake and near ODFW's Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery. This ADA-accessible site includes picnic areas, recreation facilities, an overlook and a visitor center.

For information on McGregor Park online, visit www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/mcgregor/

DOUGLAS — Columbian white-tailed deer viewing is good at Whistler's Bend County Park about 10 miles east of Roseburg. The recently de-listed Roseburg sub-population of white-tailed deer is not hunted inside the county park, and they are easily viewed from a vehicle. Along with an isolated population along the Columbia River, they are the two remaining populations in Oregon and Washington. White-tails have shorter ears, pronounced white eye rings and a larger, wider tail that, when down, is light brown in color fringed with white.

COOS/CURRY — Fall rains have begun flooding inland valleys, causing waterfowl to follow. Bird viewing along bays has slowed, but the edges of flooded inland fields can produce good numbers of waterfowl sightings. The "winter lake" around Coquille is popular.

KLAMATH — Bald eagle numbers will continue to increase as they migrate into the lower Klamath Basin from northern nesting areas. Good viewing areas are along Township and Stateline roads, where they can be found scavenging on sick or dead waterfowl. Also look for rough-legged hawks in agricultural areas.

Pinyon jays were seen recently near Moore Park at the south end of Upper Klamath Lake near Klamath Falls. White-headed woodpecker, Lewis' woodpecker, red-shafted flicker and many other passerine (perching) birds can be found within the park.