Posted by: atowhee | May 14, 2022


Deep pools of water are not abundant in Harney County. Many ponds are puddles, some simply dry steppe. Above is what we found at two artificial pools of deep water. The Black Terns were swiftly swallowing (the two birds they mimic in style) insects along the berms of the Burns sewer ponds. These terns are elegantly outfitted, sharp-winged and boyant fliers, quick to rise, to dive, to swerve or even reverse course. Hungry, they ignored the slow-moving onshore mammals and would speed past us less than ten feet away at times. Their speed made them very hard to photograph. Chris succeeded>
The Osprey was at the Burns fishing ponds west of town on Hwy 78. The Caspian Tern was, too. He loudly objected attacked the Osprey who ignored him, caugght a fish and departed. he did not re-tern while we were there. Those pondas also had Black Terns.
Sewer ponds had diving ducks, Eared Grebes, cormorants, gulls and eight Snow Geese hanging out.

Birds below, top to end: Sagebrush Sparrow; Rock Wren on his rock; Great Horned Owls at nest along Hwy 205; Burrowing Owl with scowl; Norther Rough-winged Swallow over sewer ponds.

Next month you could see images like this. My 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.

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