Flickr album link: Birding At Sumpter Valley Wildlife Management Area
The Powder River runs trough the Sumpter Valley near Baker City, Oregon and where there is water, there is bound to be wildlife. Back in the late 1800s, the historic Sumpter Valley was a massive gold dredging operation and the valley turned into a disaster area. Restoration projects during the last century have made the most of the situation and now the old rows of dredging canals have turned into a vast wetlands area that attracts all sorts of western waterfowl. A reservoir lake was constructed in the eastern edge of the valley, which guarantees a steady food source for shore birds and birds of prey. The Sumpter Valley is surrounded by deep pine forests with patches of mountain meadows, which adds plenty more bird species to encounter in this unique environment.
The South Shore Campground is the perfect place for setting up a basecamp, since it is located next to the reservoir lake and the old dredging meadows. This campsite was mentioned in a previous article, so be sure to have a look. The old dredging canals are now reed marsh ponds that shelter all sorts of nesting birds during the spring season, so it is best to view these areas from a distance this time of year. For those who seek a hot spot for a spring season migratory birding venture, the Sumpter Valley Wildlife Management Area is the place to go!
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