More from Sisters.

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.

 Western Bluebird

Williamson's Sapsucker

 White-headed Woodpecker (from Cold Springs Campground Saturday evening)

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!


  1. Wow, what great trip! The owl sighting is really cool! And I love the whitehead woodie! The bluebirds are pretty and the lupine field is gorgeous. Awesome photos, Jen!

  2. Nice birding!

    Oh how I miss Cold Springs Campground! Where the heck was I when the Pygmy showed up? And you didn't call me to alert me? I thought we had a nice owl exchange going? What???

    Congrats on a great trip!


    1. Oh man, did you not get my text?? I sent it right after I got the one about the WESO fledglings! :P

  3. YAHOO, I think the photos are great of the owl as long as you can ID the bird in the photo its a great one! Love that field of is magical looking!

  4. Damn!!!!! How did you get that owl to sit still like that? Haha. Super jealous of that bird. I'll trade you 50 EASO's for one.

  5. Hey Jen, that was an exciting weekend trip. The field of Lupins was the biggest surprise to me. Congrats on another lifer.

  6. Wow. So many great birds! What a fun trip. I'm very jealous of the owl sighting.


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