Also in the area were plenty of Bullock's Orioles including this one on a nest. Sad to see all the fishing line involved which seems kinda hazardous.
A few more birds from along the road:
There are a number of camping areas along the road and I pulled into one to scan the river. Immediately I noticed tons of insects swarming the ground, burrowing into little holes.
They were digging quickly with their front legs like above until they were completely out of sight in the ground.
Note that dirt still flying! iNaturalist suggested American Sand Wasp (Bembix americana) for the species.
Eventually I turned around, accepting that I would not make it all the way to Macks Canyon if I wanted to visit other places as well. From the Deschutes I headed east to a pond on Ball Lane that I apparently birded once before. A lone Ring-necked Duck seemed random and Ruddy Ducks marked my 100th Sherman County species. I hadn't counted up my birds yet though so I was completely unaware of this.
Next was Twin Lakes Road where target birds kept appearing, starting with a most cooperative Grasshopper Sparrow.
A far less cooperative Vesper Sparrow, above, was followed by a semi-cooperative Swainson's Hawk.
At the lakes for which the road is named I managed to spot a couple bright red ducks through the haze, my county Cinnamon Teals.
I stopped at the Rutledge-Barnett Road Ponds without finding anything interesting, ate a snack at the Moro Sewage Ponds, then headed north to drive the Biggs-Rufus Frontage Road. A singing Common Yellowthroat was my 14th and final county bird of the day.
Birding Oregon's third least birded county (by complete eBird checklists) is always fun and distracting so I'm grateful I was able to go while Jacob worked from home and kept an eye on the mutts.
Jake wants you to know he is doing perfectly fine now. One of his old man benign lumps opened up and got infected which made his leg swell up to a ridiculous size. A round of antibiotics and lots of bandage changes got him back to normal. Good boy.