Posted by: atowhee | January 16, 2011

Juniper, Sagebrush and Waxwing

A second straight day in the Klamath Basin and Butte Valley.  A storm was coming in by the time Dan Elster and I headed back across the Cascades in the afternoon.  But the morning valley fog burned off, giving us a colorful morning for photography and birding.  Pronghorn like ghosts in the fog.  Cedar Waxwings, their golden hues brilliant against the gray-green juniper, the whole thing nicely punctuated by the purple juniper berries.  Clouds of Robins in the same juniper grove.  Buteos of all hues from deep reddish-brown to the snow-white chest of a Ferruginous.  Bald Eagles of all ages.  And one of my favorites: a little scurry of Horned Larks disappearing in the frozen stubble, until they look over their shoulder and those golden collars show.  Some images:

Click here for some information about pronghorn, unique among the ungulates of the world. Our fastest land animal here in North America.

Rough-legged surveying his hunting grounds.  Note small beak, banded tail.

Here’s the downtown Dorris Cooper’s Hawk which we had missed on Friday.  The muscular little accipiter is one of the least common wintering raptors on the eastern side of the Cascades.  Note, the nicely rounded tail, often a useful field mark for Coop v. Sharp-shinned.

This raccoon goes onto the mammals list for two days in Klamath Basin and Butte Valley: pronghorn, coyote, bobcat, and much sign of beaver.

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