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Malheur NWR: The Second Half

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On Tuesday morning we drove from headquarters to the Burrowing Owl spot my friend had mentioned, which is a few miles from the old spot I had visited before.  It took a minute but eventually we found one hanging out.


A ground squirrel popped up and demanded attention also.


 Next we drove back down the road to head north into town and pick up some supplies.  Many things distracted us along the way.

Sage Thrasher

 Loggerhead Shrike


White-faced Ibis

After our supply run we wanted to look for phalaropes because we had only seen some on ponds with nowhere to stop.   I remembered Alan Contreras mentioning a flooded area down Ruh-Red Road that had a lot of birds, so we decided to check it out.


Success!  Wilson's Phalaropes were swimming close to the road with ten or so Red-necked farther out, about 40-50 total ropes.


From there we headed south to check for a well-known Golden Eagle nest near the Narrows.  Before we could get there we found a rattlesnake relaxing in the road.


I jumped out to ta…

Malheur NWR: The first half

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To celebrate Jacob's birthday this week we took a three day camping trip to Malheur NWR in the high desert of southeast Oregon.  Jacob had never been and I was excited to show him why people love this place so much.  We left early Monday and made it to the birdy Sage Hen Rest Area just outside Burns by late morning.

Mountain Bluebirds love this rest area

We continued on through Burns and Hines, then headed south on Highway 205 towards the refuge.  This can be a tough road to bird if the birds aren't lined up perfectly with the few pullouts but we stopped where we could.

Classic Yellow-headed Blackbird pose


Our first trip Long-billed Curlews


In this same spot a raven flew in and angered the blackbirds and Killdeer.  I thought it was walking over to raid a Killdeer nest, but it found something else to chew on.


I can't tell for sure but it really looks like the head of a Yellow-headed Blackbird. 


We pulled over at the big pond next to the substation where we were excited to find…