Monday, May 31, 2010

Malheur NWR, Part Four.

Ok, I'm almost done!

I got lots of bad pictures of warblers up in the trees at headquarters... Don't ask me what they all are..





I had been seeing Black-billed Magpies since John Day, but this was the first good photo I got of one... I love how they look when they're flying..

It was a beautiful morning...

The ibises never got old...

Lots of Black Terns were flying over this pond..

Ruddy Ducks and a coot. 

Pied-billed Grebe. 

I assume this is an off-duty herding dog taking a stroll by the water.  Hopefully he's okay and not lost.

This bright yellow bird flitted from bush to bush and disappeared.  I wish its head had not been stuck in the sage for this photo...

Near the Buena Vista Ponds is this building housing tons of swallows..

Looks like mostly Cliff Swallows..


I drove back down the road towards Benson Pond and looked down to discover this giant beetle in my cup holder... Eek!

Is it a Japanese beetle?  Whatever it was, I scooped it up with my refuge map and tossed it out the window.

A Great Egret near Benson Pond.

Is this a beaver?  It was like 10 feet from me gnawing away... I took a couple shots and figured it was just a nutria or something.. Plus little deer mice were running towards my feet making me jumpy.  Now looking at the picture I don't think it's a nutria after all.  Hmm.

Barn Swallow perfectly perched. 


In addition to the mice running around were snakes..  Funny enough, I'd rather have snakes slithering around than mice popping out at me.

Cedar Waxwings up in the trees...

I'm a moron!  I took this one picture while looking for the Blackpoll Warbler and discounted it as a blackbird.  Of course had I looked at it more closely I would have realized it was the Lewis's Woodpecker again. 

My final bird of the trip was another new one for me:


A Bullock's Oriole!  Too bad he wouldn't sit still. 

What an amazing trip!  I don't even know how many kinds of birds I saw...

Malheur NWR, Part Three.

After visiting Benson Pond I continued down the Center Patrol Road towards Frenchglen.

I saw this bird fly by and took a quick picture...  Thought it was just a blue heron till I looked at the picture closely... I backed up to find where it landed...

A Black-crowned Night-Heron!  Another first for me.

This bird and I stared at each other for a bit.  Is it just a Western Tanager with not as much red in the face?

A Northern Harrier near the P Ranch. 

A snipe on the side of the road to Frenchglen.

This Ring-necked Pheasant concludes my birds for Saturday (which felt like 10 days of birds)!

Sunday morning I woke up around 5:30 to hopefully get lots more birds in before heading back to Portland.

At that same bridge on 205 I found a Western Meadowlark singing with its mouth full...


Also a California Quail..

From this spot I got my first sighting of pronghorn!

I was afraid these would be the only ones I saw on the trip, but luckily there were more to come...  Later that morning on the Center Patrol Road:

4 more pronghorn!  Just across the creek and through the trees!

Beautiful!

I only saw about five Sandhill Cranes my whole trip... These cranes were along Sodhouse Lane.  Some others along the CP Road:
The one on the left is actually banded...



I returned to the headquarters to look for more birds... Found lots of bunnies and more ground squirrels...



Several Turkey Vultures were up in the trees...


A Black-headed Grosbeak..  Startled by a vulture:


Ok, one more post to come after I eat some lunch.

Malheur NWR, Part Two.

I took a wrong turn off the Center Patrol Road and found this bird...

I think it's the female Ring-necked Pheasant.

The Buena Vista Overlook was pretty in every direction (even towards my car).


Down in the Buena Vista Ponds was this Eared Grebe.  Very cool.

Some kind of sparrow?  Here's another one near Benson Ponds:


Of course I have a million pictures of the White-faced Ibis.  Gorgeous bird and all over the place too!
This ibis was along Diamond Lane.

 They were constantly flying overhead..

Some Barn Swallows along Diamond Lane...

I must have seen hundreds of Franklin's Gulls.. This one on Diamond Lane... Tons more at Krumbo Reservoir:


 Also at the reservoir...

A White Pelican and a pair of Gadwalls.

A Western Tanager across from the reservoir...

Between the reservoir and Benson Ponds are tons of little warblers and other migrants...

I'm having trouble with this guy...Warbling Vireo?

Lots of Yellow Warblers everywhere...

A MacGillivray's Warbler at Benson Pond on Saturday.  On Sunday morning when I was there a Blackpoll Warbler was seen but I couldn't find it for the life of me...
Yay!!  A Lewis's Woodpecker!  (also at Benson Pond).

So pretty.

A tree full of Tree Swallows.

A coot working on its nest...

Even more to come!