Posted by: atowhee | September 14, 2017

Malheur–Sept. 14

Today our Klamath Bird Observatory field trip birded the length of the Malheur Basin from Then Narrows south to Page Springs. We went through a cold light rain, some wind at Krumbo Reservoir and ended with the usual fine dinner at Diamond Hotel.
Some things to note if you’re headed out this way:
Only one pond distant from the Buena Vista overlook has any water. A pair of cranes today hunted on the parched lakebed just below the overlook cliff.
Benson Pond is low and has welcoming mudflats so there were many shorebirds, including yellowlegs and LB Dowitchers.
Krumbo Pond is dry. Krumbo Reservoir is crowded with diving ducks: Redhead, Canvasback, Lesser Scaup and Ruddies.
Right now White-crowned Sparrows out-number even cattle in Harney County.
The Great Horned Owl nesting attempt at the Field Station failed this year.

There was a single Eastern Kingbird in willows near the old drovers stone cabin east of Benson Pond.
Sagebrush Sparrows are still present. Sage Thrashers are abundant.
At The Narrows Caspian Terns screamed and fished, Greater Yellowlegs pulled fish from the shallows and a Prairie Falcon raced back and forth along the escarpment east of the highway parking area. Three harriers stayed out of his way.
Buena Vista was dry in every sense of the word.
Benson Pond had plenty of ducks, shorebirds, coots and Barn Swallows. We saw only a single wood-pewee along Central Patrol Road besides sparrows and icterids, vultures and ravens.
Hairy Woodpecker and Townsend’s Solitaire were at Page Springs.
We had two immature Golden Eagles kiting in the storm winds along the ridge south of Krumbo Pond.
We saw no Trumpeters on our route and missed Long-eared Owl.
We watched every imaginable plumage of Sage Thrasher among the many birds at the waterhole outside the Evereds’ home at Field Station.


  1. We were there yesterday afternoon. Besides what you saw, we saw a single American avocet, a GBH, and two great egrets at The Narrows. A herd of pronghorn were grazing nearby close to the road.

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