Monday, May 31, 2010

Malheur NWR, Part One.

I spent the weekend in southeastern Oregon visiting the Malheur National Wildlife Refgue.  It was freakin amazing.   I felt like every five minutes I was seeing something I had never seen before!  Definitely worth the drive.   I'm not even sure where to begin.... I guess I'll start with the dead stuff:

I had never seen a badger before so this dead one was exciting for me.  He was lying on the side of the road off 26 in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.   And no, this is not supposed to be on the way to Malheur... I accidentally stayed on 26 when I should have turned off towards Bend.  Oops.  Beautiful drive, though!

A porcupine!  I had no idea they were so big!  Another first.  This fella was on Highway 205 in the refuge.

Ok, no more dead stuff, I promise.

My best guess for this one is a male Red-necked Phalarope?  Unfortunately I could only get pictures through my windshield...  Here's his back:

A pair of Canvasbacks along Highway 395 just before Burns...

This raven had a posse of blackbirds... I'd never seen anything like it... He kept flying off and all the little Red-wingeds and Yellow-headeds and other blackbirds would swarm around landing wherever he landed.

Black Terns all over the place..

Long-billed Curlew.

Dirty birds! 

I saw several Black-necked Stilts on Saturday but not one on Sunday...


The best cow face I've ever seen.

Underneath a little bridge along 205 was a nest of these birds...  (as well as a ton of swallow nests).

Is it just ravens or crows or something else?  They look odd.

My first real stop was at the refuge headquarters..

Belding's ground squirrels were everywhere...

More dirty birds! 

These mule deer were hanging out along the Center Patrol Road.   I love the fuzzy new antlers.


Ok, more photos to come!

2 comments:

  1. I've only been to Malheur once, exactly 2 years ago and it was wonderful! I saw so many birds I had never seen before. We saw a badger cross the road in front of us before getting to Burns. That was my first badger siting too. I can't wait to see more photos.

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  2. "Malheur" is French for "misfortune", so all those dead critters seem weirdly appropriate. Bad day for them, but fortunately, not for you!

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