Posted by: atowhee | May 3, 2021


Malheur means disappointment. Today was not disappointing for our little coterie of Field Stations birders. First, a Prairie Falcon right where the Field Station entrance road meets Sodhouse. Then a Lincoln’s Sparrow, a lone Lewis’s Woodpecker and another of those unavoidable Great Horned Owl nests at Page Springs. The Bald Eagle nest at P Ranch. Western Bluebirds at French Glen. On the southern portion of the Steens Loop (open only to the lowest elevation gate): Mountain Bluebirds, Bushtits, Chipping Sparrow. Blue and white lupine, lomatium and a few other low-growing wildflowers were already in evidence. Late afternoon at Refuge Headquarters two male Lazuli Bunting glowing the in fading light of sunset. Then we saw our first wood-pewee of the year. These Great Horned Owls were drawing a crowd. One adult brought a ground squirrel to the nestlings. Then both adults perched in full view of the audience down below, one would occasionally fly silently to another, exposed perch and look at the lookers.

Albert Ryckman showed me a picture of a duck he took this afternoon at the farm pond near MP10 along Hwy 205 south of Burns–male Blue-winged Teal, quarter moon bright white on his cheek. We’ll check that out tomorrow.

Right now White-crowned Sparrows are dense on the ground.

One sad sight today–a pair of cranes marching across a desolate, desiccated field around MP44 on Hwy 205. If they cant dig up enough food there’ll be +no nesting this season.

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