A few birds from Wheeler and Crook Co, OR (06/05/11)

This confiding MacGillivray’s Warbler was displaying nicely at Shelton Wayside in Wheeler Co.

The star of the show though was this Great Gray Owl in the Ochocos (first breeding record). Generously shown to me by the gatekeepers.

Finally a Western Bluebird …

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A Malheur trip, part 2 (05/28-05/30/2011)

This Townsend’s Warbler was at Fields, always close to the pond’s surface. I was wondering about Black-throated Green due to the lack of yellow on the breast, but the dark cap and the streaking on the mantle rules that out.

Also very active at Fields were many Black-headed and Evening Grosbeaks.

The only eastern vagrant was a Hooded Warbler at the school in Frenchglen (only documentation quality here). We also easily found 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers uphill from the corral at the north end of town.

The star of the show on our last day at Headquarters were 2 really close Hammond’s Flycatchers.

And finally, how can you not adore the Great Horned Owl chicks from Fields oasis! These birds were real obvious near the water’s surface, with a parent nearby.

The cold weather made this a really unusual trip. We had snow on our tent and on the ground in Frenchglen one morning. The mercury never rose about 46F that day. A cold wind made birding challenging.

We also tried for Black-throated Sparrow, but struck out at several locations. A reported Cattle Egret at Diamond didn’t pan out for us. We only found a Snowy. Long-eared Owls at Page Springs CG brought a smile to our frozen faces.

A Malheur trip, part 1 (05/28-05/30/2011)

Rhett Wilkins and I got our first bad surprise of the weekend when we went over Santiam Pass: We had to deal with a good 10mi of snow-covered roads and – heavy snow. It was to be the theme of the trip. Nevertheless, it was fun and many life, state, year and county birds were had among us.

Pinyon Jays were again easy at McKinney Butte Rd & Trinity Way. We also had 3 Green-tailed Towhees at the south end of Cold Springs Cutoff Rd (just north of the campgound).

Sage Thrasher, Sage Sparrow and Ferruginous Hawk were all easily found along 20 between Bend and Burns. This obliging Lark Sparrow was at Chickahominy Reservoir west of Hines.

Many Brewer’s Sparrows, some singing, were along Riley’s Pond.

At the Narrows, Clark’s Grebes are easy …

Also present were many Forster’s Terns and this Long-billed Curlew. We could not find a reported Burrowing Owl. Water levels were very high, so some birds may have been flooded out of their burrows.

Headquarters had good numbers Evening Grosbeaks and Pine Siskins.