Sisters, Oregon (Part I)

I spent the weekend camping with the dogs near Sisters in central Oregon.  Had a blast, saw tons of birds, can't wait to sleep in my bed... We headed out on Friday when I got off work and made it to Cold Springs Campground by 5:00.

I tied the dogs to the picnic table and went about cooking up some veggie dogs.  Unfortunately Ralph ate all the hot dog buns while I was at work that morning, so it was just veg dogs and spicy mustard.  Not bad, really.  After eating, I took them for a walk around the campground.  Saw Western Tanagers, robins, juncos, flycatchers, and a lone Townsend's Solitaire:

The next morning we got up early and headed over to a forest road a couple miles west of the campground.  FS 1018, I believe.  A Green-tailed Towhee was the first to greet us:

Also along this road were Black-headed Grosbeaks, Mountain Chickadees, mystery empids I am still trying to figure out, and lots of deer.  Back in Sisters I wandered around the Trinity Way area.  Couldn't find the Pinyon Jays there, but did find some Western Bluebirds...

There were tons of Brewer's Blackbirds around... Watched one feed its baby:

Next I drove over to Cold Springs Cutoff, which leads from Highway 20 back down to the campground on Hwy 242.  There was tons of good habitat to explore and I dragged the dogs all over the place for hours.  Saw my first Williamson's Sapsucker!

White-breasted Nuthatches were abundant...

Saw my first Pygmy Nuthatch too... He was far away though, and disappeared before I could get too close.  Here's a photo for evidence...

There were more Western Bluebirds in this area... Here's a lady for ya:

A raven perched on a tree and yelled at us for a bit...

Oh, and there were little ground squirrels or chipmunks or whatever everywhere...

 I walked the dogs in another area along the cutoff with some extremely curious Mountain Chickadees...

So cute!  Everywhere we went there were caterpillar nest things...

Fun stuff.  My next stop was Calliope Crossing.  I didn't have a ton of success here, but saw a few cool things.  First off, House Wrens were flying in and out of a nest cavity.  And singing on branches.

A Red-breasted Sapsucker was flying around, pausing to work on this one bush:

He finally came out and posed in a tree for me...

So many good birds!  More to come soon from this trip!


  1. Camping is fun, great post. I love all the bird photos. Congrats on your Sapsucker lifer. I love the Western Bluebird shot, I would love to add it to my life list. Happy birding.

  2. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  3. Your caterpillars are Forest Tent Caterpillars. They are one of my favorites. Nice birding, and congrats on the lifers!

  4. It is always fun the find lifer birds. Great pictures. Sounds like you had a lot of fun.

    I got a lifer bird this week - A Summer Tanager. It was very rare around here and it is still in the area.

    I read your post about trying to find one - hope you do.

  5. Great Camp trip I'd say!!! love that shot of the blackbird feeding the young..its just a super shot--
    Awesome sapsucker shots too!!
    I know you and the BOYS had FUN!! Im off to read part II

  6. This is my favorite location on the planet, Jen. I love the blue sky and golden brown bark of the ponderosa and the green needles overhead.

    Of course, the birds here are unique and fun!

    But then, it's a bit too hot later in summer, and very cold and snowy in winter!

    It's perfect for June camping, though!


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