I spent this weekend camping with my friend down in the Deschutes National Forest outside of Sisters.  Before we looked for a camp site we stopped along Cold Springs Cutoff to walk the dogs and check out the birds.  Mountain Chickadees were abundant. 

After that we drove out to FS 1018 and starting looking for a good spot.  About six miles down the road we found a pullout that had a fire pit and a couple trails leading out from it.  Looked good.  Jake was bummed on the heat so we took a break in the shade nearby,  where a couple wood nymphs came to visit.

We set up camp and then headed back into town.  A California Quail family crossed the road in front of us- my first quail kids!

Cute.  Since it was about 90 degrees and Jake was not doing so well with the heat we decided to take an air conditioned drive down to the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.  It was a pretty drive, though most of the pulloffs and lake spots were packed with people.  A few weren't bad, and Jake was even able to cool off in the crazy green yet clear waters of Devils Lake. 

We stopped at a viewpoint for Mount Bachelor and Sparks Lake where I found some Pine Siskins. 

We made it back to camp where the mutts seemed completely refreshed and ready to keep tabs on the local ground squirrels.

Common Nighthawks called overhead while we ate dinner...

The next morning my friend and I woke up super early and walked the dogs down a nearby trail.  Our camp area was surrounded by healthy trees, but just a quarter mile away there were huge areas of burned trees.  As the sun rose we started hearing more and more woodpeckers. 

Many of my woodpecker views looked like this:

Hairy Woodpecker

Sometimes they actually hopped out into the sun. 

Black-backed Woodpecker

Throughout our hike we would catch glimpses of North Sister between the trees and didn't want to turn around till we found a good clean view of it.  Finally...

We hiked back down to our camp spot to finally indulge in some coffee and breakfast.  Gray Jays and this little beetle guy came by to check us out.

Just after breakfast some Red Crossbills came by...

The dogs napped for awhile before we set out on another hike, but I will save that for next time.  Good times!!


  1. What a great place to camp - the scenery is incredible and that is quite the impressive bunch of birds you saw. I'm especially jealous of the Red Crossbills and Black-backed Woodpecker. We've got them both in MN, but they are tough to get!

    That picture of the brilliant sun peeking over the horizon through the dead trees is absolutely captivating!

  2. I love Sparks Lake! All the lakes on that hwy are so pretty. Very cool birds too. I don't think I've ever seen quail babies either!

  3. Fun was had by all!! Wow on the R. Crossbill...Never seen one!! Love the scenery shots and the mutts enjoying that blazing fire is really cool!!

  4. I love that North sister between the trees shot-awesome! I love camping and can imagine how great it is to be camping there. Black-backed Woodpecker is a bird that too several years for me to finally get a glimpse of one.


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