Showing posts from June, 2015

Summit Lake, etc.

Early yesterday morning I took the mutts up to Summit Lake by Mount Hood in hopes of finding the American Three-toed Woodpeckers that nested there a couple years ago.  No luck, but the lake and the surrounding area was completely deserted so I was stoked.

On the way up to the lake along NF-42 the Cascade lilies were blooming...

We spent over two hours walking around the campground and the surrounding dirt roads.  The first birds encountered were two Evening Grosbeaks lurking around a campsite, likely eating the ash from the firepit.

The lake itself was pretty tame.  No Barrow's Goldeneye as I had on my last visit, but instead a Mallard family and a lone Bufflehead.

More birds were to be found along the dirt roads nearby including singing Hermit Thrushes, Hermit Warblers, Pine Siskins, juncos, and this curious Gray Jay:

Now I'm going to show you a crappy photo of a Yellow-rumped Warbler because the little worm in his mouth made him look like Yosemite Sam.

There was this one y…

Camping in the middle of nowhere.

Pronghorn, Hale Ridge Road, Morrow County

I thought I had a good plan for camping with my friend this week.  There were a bunch of spots I wanted to bird in Gilliam County, and then figured we could dip down to the Umatilla National Forest for the night.  It all made sense.

We left Portland Wednesday morning and made our first stop in Wasco County for White-throated Swifts and nesting Peregrines.

We even witnessed a mid-air food exchange between the adult Peregrines.

Showy milkweed

We continued driving east, down into Sherman County, across the John Day River to Gilliam.  And then it occurred to me.  "Oh my god," I said.  "I forgot the tent."

The lone rock of Lonerock, Oregon

Gilliam County was hot, too hot for Jake to walk around.  We decided to drive straight to the forest where we could at least get some shade.  A rocky road out of Lonerock would get us there in just 8 miles.

Red-tailed vs. Golden Eagle

The road seemed so promising until boom, a fence.  Across the …

Life after Maine.

It took me awhile to recover from the great SD card failure of Maine.  When I got back I barely had the desire to take photos, and if I did they were mostly with my phone.  Even when a pile of Clark's Nutcrackers landed twenty feet away from me on a hike last week I only digi-binned them.

This bird was so close and I had my camera and I refused to crush it.

It took some time but I'm finally using my camera again and actually have some non-cellphone photos to share.  Yesterday I hit up a couple clearcuts, including the one along Skyline Blvd that has been talked about lately.

Between the great views and the piles of birds, it was easy to see why it's been so popular.

Band-tailed Pigeon

 Olive-sided Flycatcher

 Willow Flycatcher

Yesterday evening my friend and I went up to a Larch Mountain clearcut to see if we could find any nighthawks.  There weren't any recent reports up there and expectations were low, but amazingly we heard a couple almost immediately.  We stuck around …