Posted by: atowhee | May 10, 2022

MAY 10 AT MALHEUR

This was the fourth and final day of the Malheur Field Station May birding trip.  We had a total of 116 species seen, despite what the weather did to us.  The snow, hail and rain was very good news for a drought-distressed environment.  We even saw some puddles

A day without snow…well, until we got back down off the Steens to Frenchglen at 445PM. It was waxwing Tuesday. It was also the day I realized that the unsual bird at the field station feeders wasn’t a buntinbg…it be a BLUE GROSBEAK, not even on the checklist for Malheur NWR! Click here for my pics.

Dozens of waxwings at Franchglen, even more dozens at Page Springs. There we have four warbler species—Yellow, Wilson’s, Yellow-rumped and a single sneaky MacGillivray’s. There was also a male Broad-billed Hummingbird along the springs at north end.

Rock and Canyon Wrens, Brewer’s Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler at canyon on road between Buena Vista and Foster Flat. Not far away was a singler male Bullock’s Oriole traveling across the sagebrush with his cousins, a gang of Brewer’s Blackbirds.

Flicker hollowing out old railroad tie in fence behind Frenchglen Hotel.

One birders’ vehicle found Prairie Falcon on post about MP50 along Hwy 205. Then they had badger slouching across the highway in front of them.

Mountain Bluebirds near the gate closing off traffic at current upper limit of south section of Steens Mtn. Loop. There is toilet there, first one south from Frenchglen. Wildflowers have begun above 5000′ elevation. Lomatium, phlox, low-bush lupine with blue and white florets. The junipers retain some berries.

At MP 42 on Hwy 205, not far from the GH Owl nest, we had a marmot on the cliff top, in rare sunshine of the morning.

A pair of well-fed ravens are nesting in Russian olives north of mfield station and they have a local support group among bipedal hominids hereabouts.

The next Field Station sponsored birding trip: June 2-7. There are some seats on the van still open. Best trip for Bobolink and Eastern Kingbird (not here in early May) and Common Nighthawk. Call 541-493-2629 for details.
September trip is 7-12, includes trip to summit of Steens Mountain and a visit to the snow-tortured aspens with horizontal trunks.

Nighthawk pics from June, 2020. Black line shows gape many times larger than beak used for preenIng, not biting.


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