Posted by: atowhee | May 8, 2022


Wind. Blizzards, with brief respites in between.  Wind. Hail.  Ice.  Yet we birded on.  Temps from 41 down to 32 before 5pm.

This was day to make any observer pity the fate of spring migrants.  A group of eight or more Eestern Kingbirds feedng from a bare willow over a small pool alongside road east of Frenchglen about one mile. Accompanied by warbler and blackbirds. Find food, no time for territorial tussles. Along the same stretch of road an equal-sized flock of hungry Lewis’s Woodpeckers.  Snipe winnowing from all sides there.

Along the Central Patrol Road south of P Ranch a ravenous female BH Grosbeak, first in the grass, then  moving  low in the roadside shrubs, feeding and searching.  Large mammals a few feet away didn’t enter her consciousness.  During a lull in the winter weather we ground up some trail mix and put it nearby.  Hope she found and enjoyed.  At nthe same spot a female quail feeding a few feet from our vehicles in driving snow.

At Page Springs four famished-acting Lark Sparrows hunted food along the road as wind drove ice sideways.  Not since Minnesota winters have I seen so m8ch rain and ice pellets moving horizontally.

Besides weather: Sagebrush Sparrow at Saddle Butte, Hwy 205, MP 32.
Male and female adults and three owlets in small cave holding Great Horned Owl nest.  Near MP 32, 100 yards north of pull-out on east side of highway.  Cliff face west of 205.  There are numerous Rock Wrens and at least one pair of Say’s Phoebe there.  Many geese on the rocks and cliff faces.
Raven nest near base of largest of small Russian olive grove on lane to Malheur Field Station.  Not far north of small out building at north extent of the field station campus.
One Trumpeter at Benson Pond.  Also Sora, Marsh Wren.

Dawn at HQ: Bullock’s Oriole and Western Tanager (males), yellow-rump (Audubon’s), male quail showing off on stone wall.

At Frenchglen we missed bluebirds due to wind and ice.

Bald Eagle nest at P Ranch is active.  We saw one two-thirds sized nestling plus adult.


The grosbeak weatherbeaten and starved. The kingbirds too hungry to bother with one another, warbler or blackbirds.


  1. […] Both birds and birders were hit with freezing wind, high in the 30s, sleet, hail, graupel, snow, rain. Click here for my blog posted that day. […]

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