Suttle Lake - Easy to Enjoy - Often Overlooked

October 26, 2020  •  4 Comments

At one and a half miles long and half a mile wide, the lake's well-maintained lakeshore trail makes for an easy and interesting four-mile walk just about any time of year.  With an average depth of about 50 feet, [it] regularly attracts a nice variety of vagrant sea-birds which always impress whenever present.

The lake is located five miles east of Santiam Pass. Most of the lake water comes from groundwater seepage. Link Creek is the only year-round tributary flowing into the lake. It drains into the west end of the lake, with water from Blue Lake. The lake's only outlet is Lake Creek, which begins at the east end of the lake, eventually flowing into the Metolius River near Camp Sherman. In addition to fish, the lake provides a habitat for a wide variety of bird species. From the Forest Service campgrounds, you can view an abundance of waterfowl, songbirds, and birds of prey. [1]

If you're like us and generally prefer to bird in solitude, then you'll enjoy your time birding here since only 286 eBird checklists have been submitted for the area since 1974.  

PACIFIC WREN - are common along the southwest portion of the lakeside trail, while HERMIT THRUSH regularly inhabits the north side of the lake directly across from the Pacific Wren. Look for PILEATED WOODPECKER on the southeast side of the lake a quarter-mile west of the lake's marina fifty yards upslope.

AMERICAN COOT is an abundant year-round resident that you have not fully enjoyed until you've seen their feet and they're newly fledged young, LESSER SCAUP, COMMON MERGANSER, BUFFLEHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSER, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER; and if you're lucky you'll get good looks at LONG-TAILED DUCK, SURF SCOTER, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, and BARROW'S GOLDENEYE.

A full list of birds reported at this location is available by following this link  https://ebird.org/pnw/hotspot/L1161099?yr=all&m=.


COMMON LOON

COMMON MERGANSER

VARIED THRUSH

GREAT BLUE HERON

PACIFIC WREN

HERMIT THRUSH

RED-BREASTED MERGANSER

SOOTY FOX SPARROW

PINE SISKIN

LODGE MARINA

PILEATED WOODPECKER (male & female)

COMMON GOLDENEYE

HOODED MERGANSER

 


Citations:

[1] “Suttle Lake (Oregon).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Sept. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suttle_Lake_(Oregon).

 


Comments

Hilary Dearborn(non-registered)
Beatiful photos. Thanks for the reminder about this wonderful spot!
David Vick(non-registered)
Once again Jack, you remind us of the incredible beauty right in our own county. Thanks.
Jill Punches(non-registered)
Nice photos, Jack!
Chuck Gates(non-registered)
Very nice photos of one of our birding gems here in Central Oregon.
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