Posted by: atowhee | September 2, 2009

Howard Prairie by canoe

John Bullock and I scouted a canoe route for this weekend’s KBO birding field trip. Wow!CRANE FAMILY 9-2-09   There’s one pair of Sandhill Cranes that nest around Howard Prairie, but this morning we saw eleven of Oregon’s tallest birds in the meadows along Dead Indian Mem. Road.  It must have been a flock that migrated in, stopping long enough to eat.  We saw them around 730AM, by 11am there were none to be seen.

sandhill buglesHere is one pair bugling.  It is a wonderfully strong, primitive sound.  The deep notes reverberate through the long trachea giving the crane’s bugle calls a rattle and virbrato that is unforgettable.

 

 

 

“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands, through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language. The quality of cranes lies, I think, in this higher gamut, as yet beyond the reach of words….Our appreciation of the crane grows with the slow unraveling of earthly history. His tribe, we now know, stems out of the remote Eocene. The other members of the fauna in which he originated are long since entombed within the hills. When we hear his call we hear no mere bird. We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution….And so they live and have their being–these cranes–not in the constricted present but in the wider reaches of evolutionary time. Their annual return is the ticking of the geologic clock. Upon the place of their return they confer a peculiar distinction. Amid the endless mediocrity of the commonplace, a crane marsh holds a paleontological patent of nobility, won in the march of aeons….”             –Aldo Leopold, SAND COUNTY ALMANAC, 1949

LESSER BEINGS

It wasn’t all about the cranes.  From our canoe I saw more Hermit Warblers in one day than ever before.  They were part of migratory bird flocks feeding in the first sun-warmed trees of the day, those facing east across Howard Prairie Lake. Other goodies included a Willow Warbler Flycatcher in the willows, a Cassin’s Vireo and a flock of Mountain Bluebirds insect-nabbing on the shore.  We has close-up looks at shoebirds, only the hunted ducks seemed to worry about our approaching canoe.  Out in the meadows the Vesper Sparrows were also forming little flocks.vesper spar--perfect frontal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE PICTURES FROM HOWARD PRAIRIE IN MY NEXT BLOG.

Location:     Howard Prairie Circuit
Observation date:     9/2/09
Notes:     John Bullock say the lone Gray Jay in the north campgrounds at Howard Prairie Resort.  Hrmit Warblers were in migrant flocks along the reservoir’s shoreline.  Shorebirds were seen from canoe,not shore.
Number of species:     60

Canada Goose     250
Mallard     300
Cinnamon Teal     25
Green-winged Teal     60
Pied-billed Grebe     6
American White Pelican     4
Great Egret     3
Turkey Vulture     4
Osprey     1
Northern Harrier     1
Sharp-shinned Hawk     1
Cooper’s Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     2
American Kestrel     1
American Coot     6
Sandhill Crane     11
Semipalmated Plover     6
Killdeer     50
Spotted Sandpiper     14
Greater Yellowlegs     1
Western Sandpiper     120
Least Sandpiper     50,  Long-billed Dowitcher     3
Mew Gull     1
Ring-billed Gull     35
Herring Gull     1
Caspian Tern     12
Band-tailed Pigeon     2
Mourning Dove     2
Lewis’s Woodpecker     4
Acorn Woodpecker     6
Red-breasted Sapsucker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     1
Willow Flycatcher     1
Cassin’s Vireo     1
Warbling Vireo     1
Gray Jay     1
Steller’s Jay     15
Western Scrub-Jay     2
Common Raven     25
Tree Swallow     5
Violet-green Swallow     2
Barn Swallow     10
Mountain Chickadee     6
Red-breasted Nuthatch     8
Brown Creeper     1
Mountain Bluebird     10
American Robin     3
Cedar Waxwing     35
Yellow Warbler     4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)     15
Townsend’s Warbler     1, Hermit Warbler     20
Spotted Towhee     1
Vesper Sparrow     20
Song Sparrow     3
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     100
Western Meadowlark     2
Brewer’s Blackbird     75
Pine Siskin     3


Responses

  1. […] HOWARD PRAIRIE BLOG SEQUENCE:   1) CHECKLIST AND FIRSAT CRANE PICS    2) HOWARD PRAIRIE, PART 2, GREAT PICS FROM CANOE OF SHOREBIRDS .  Also great shot […]


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