Posted by: atowhee | May 2, 2021

MALHEUR–MAY 2

Our second full day of birding from Malheur Field Station has brought our species total up to 90. Among today’s goodies: a loud Great-tailed Grackle at Refuge HQ who auditioned most of his calls for us, and a Lazuli Bunting pair there along with three Purple Finches…Lark Sparrow, White-throated Swift, single Trumpeter, sounding rails and bittern at Benson Pond…Forster’s and Black Tern at Knox Pond plus a half-dozen Trumpeters, two pair of Western Grebes, swallows chasing a migrating Sharpie overhead…Marsh Wrens in song at all marshes all day…snipe winnowing and in flight along Diamond Loop where we also found our first Long-billed Curlews for group viewing, pair of Canada Geese with a few goslings already, as well as dozens of Wilson’s Phalarope in one flooded field though we saw our first ones south of Benson Pond in a slough along Central Patrol Road…we saw only one pair of cranes in a full day of birding south of The Narrows. We had Sagebrush and Brewer’s Sparrow at Saddle Butte along Hwy 205.

Western Kingbird and Say’s Phoebe are the only flycatchers so far. No sign of Bobolink yet, either.

There are some flooded areas in the south basin and water flowing in the Blitzen River at least. Benson and Knox Ponds seemed at decent levels with some diving waterbirds in each. Besides the innumerable swallows today’s most abundant birds were the various Icterids and hundreds of White-faced Ibis. I don’t try to count the coots who must out-number even the Belding’s ground squirrels out here right now.


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