Rooster Rock Burn.

This weekend I took the dogs camping out in central Oregon near Sisters.  The scenery there is gorgeous and the birds, just plain rad.

On Saturday morning when we woke up I was super cold, but figured I was being silly.  I stopped for some hot coffee and drove up to Calliope Crossing to explore.  I made it about ten minutes before nearly crying from how frozen my fingers felt.  A quick weather check on my phone indicated the temp to be 33 degrees.  Oh.  I changed my plans and drove down to the Rooster Rock Burn, figuring I could at least car-bird until things warmed up.

A quartet of bucks completely escaped the notice of the dogs...

 Interesting that the front fellow is missing half his antlers.  I drove up until it seemed like things were getting birdy, and I took the dogs out to start walking.  Thankfully it warmed up quickly and we ended up spending over four hours wandering and it was pretty awesome. 

I found a bird along a creek that I really want to be a Gray Flycatcher.  Thoughts?

I may be way off.  Nearby a speckly young bluebird confused the heck out of me for a second while I turned it into a Wrentit.  Obviously it is not.

Farther along the creek I was trying to locate some Lazuli Buntings singing from somewhere when I heard a woodpecker behind me- a young Hairy.

And the bunting...

Some more highlights from the burn:

Mountain Bluebird

 Pygmy Nuthatch

 Mountain Chickadee

 Townsend's Solitaire

We were making our way back to the car along one of the dusty roads when I saw hawk soaring.  It appeared to be an accipiter, but I tried to contain my excitement that it looked pretty big...  Indeed it was a Northern Goshawk!  A lifer, confirmed later by a nice local birder I met at my campground, Tom Crabtree.

So awesome!!  Some other good birds around the burn that I didn't manage to get decent photos of included Black-backed Woodpecker, Common Nighthawk, Say's Phoebe, Cassin's Finch, and others I am probably forgetting.  Such a great morning!  More to come from my trip soon!  Good times!


  1. Ugh. Envy overload on all your NW birds. Where's the Northern Pygmy-Owl?!?!?

  2. Lots of good stuff and BLUE SKY! The deer are gorgeous.

  3. Congrats on the Goshawk! I am counting the hours until we are birding the central Oregon burns next week.

  4. Great trip, Jen! Wonderful bird sightings, the nuthatch is one of my favorites! And the deers are cute! Cool sighting of the Goshawk!

  5. OH what a find on the Goshawk!! You saw some awesome birds and the deer are really nice too....I cant believe it was 33 degrees Thats COLD, I camped once in Jan. and it went to 16 degrees that night we had frost on us when we awoke that was FUN, but the coffee couldnt get hot fast enough.

  6. Well...if its a flycatcher comment you want, its a flycatcher comment you will get.

    Gray Flycatcher has a stronger eyering, short primaries, a long tail, light and relatively long lower mandible and is generally pretty pale. This bird is.....

    Goshawk is an awesome bird. I've still never gotten a good look at an adult like you did.

    1. This bird is... the new header of my new blog, i still hate flycatchers.

    2. Yeah, someone emailed me that it was a pewee after I posted it. This is obviously not the summer I finally understand them.

  7. A late comment indeed, but...

    How about Slate-colored Fox Sparrow for your mystery bird?

    The flycatcher is really tough to decipher from this photo. The primaries appear longish, but it may not be true with the angle and lighting. I also think, outside of a strong Pac-slope type teardrop, assessing its eyering qualities is sort of joke from this distance. In favor of Gray Flycatcher, I like its coloration - very light and cool. That said, the bird doesn't necessarily appear long and thin. I love, in the field, when you assess a bird as one thing (particularly an Empid.) and then it sings and becomes something else.

    You mean you didn't record the song for us?


  8. Oh my heart leapt into my throat when I saw that Goshawk. Fantastic.


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