There's a dirt road near Sisters that leads from the main highway (20) to highway 242, right next to Cold Springs Campground. I kind of love the road, especially the first quarter mile from 20.
When I pulled in on Friday afternoon I was planning on just taking the
dogs out to pee really quick but immediately got distracted. A Hairy Woodpecker zipped by us while a White-headed fellow called nearby. Bluebirds were catching snacks and Williamson's Sapsucker nestlings were loudly calling for their parents from a nest hole.
After an hour and a half of being distracted I finally made my way to the campground to enjoy the summer solstice...
A much tastier beer than I usually bring camping, I highly recommend it.
Saturday afternoon I headed back to Calliope Crossing to try again, in much warmer weather. A Common Nighthawk was soaring above us when we got out of the car.
And a flicker was peeking out of a nest hole along the creek...
Farther up along the creek was an active Red-naped Sapsucker nest hole.
After watching them fly around for a bit I started walking the dogs back to the car. I came across a couple of other birders, one of whom (his name was Peter I think) mentioned he had seen the Northern Pygmy-Owls when he arrived. He was able to quickly refind them for me and the other birder and we were treated to a most awesome show.
My photos were mostly crap, unfortunately. We watched the parent owl feeding a juvenile a little dead rodent. They were quite active and changed location a number of times. Finally the bloody-faced parent came to rest on a tree branch just ahead of us and sat for a long time.
Ahhhh so awesome... and a lifer! I have heard them several times on Larch Mountain but never been able to see one. Yay!
In the evening I drove around town looking for the local Pinyon Jay flock. I never found it but did find some entertaining bluebirds at the middle school. Dad had obviously just caught a worm and wanted to bring it inside the nest box. Dumb baby was obviously in the way.
He never made it in the box while I was there, hopefully the baby moved after I left. Also found during my jay search:
Cute. That evening when I was driving down Cold Springs Cutoff I noticed some color through the trees. I went to investigate and found a random field of lupine buzzing with bumblebee activity. It was super random and kinda magical.
Sunday morning I woke up warm, but to the sound of rain drops. I packed up our stuff and we headed back to Portland. I stopped at one of the sno parks along the way to go to the bathroom and found these beauties...
It was excellent weekend! Good times!