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.



  1. It’s such a shame that you couldn’t get any decent photos on this trip. You may want to invest in a more professional-quality camera. These shots just aren’t cutting it, especially the Hammond’s ;-)


  2. Great photos. Your Townsend’s Warbler looks like hybrid with a Hermit Warbler known as HETO Warbler. The majority of HETO Warblers (~80%) have the face-pattern likes a Hermit Warbler so this Townsend’s looking HETO is very scarce away from the small area where this species hybridize. So, this picture is a real prize. I’d love to see other angles if they are available. Great bird. Thanks for posting.

    Joe Kaplan
    commoncoast at gmail


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