Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Great Gray Owl #308

Owing to recent reports of multiple Great Gray Owls being seen on Loomis Lane, south of Donnelly over the last month and a half, I just had to go for the chance to see a life bird. I loaded up the Mrs. and the kids in the minivan after dinner and took a very enjoyable drive up to the Cascade area. We stopped at Cascade Lake State Park and let the kids take a swim and tried a little unsuccessful fishing. Then about 8:15 pm we headed up to Donnelly. We drove slowly west on Loomis Lane glassing all of the fence posts. About two-thirds of the way west between Hwy 55 and Old State Highway we found one adult on the north side of the road, hunting from a fence post about 75 yards away. We watched it for several minutes and then proceeded west on Loomis Lane. My eight year old son first spotted the three juveniles perched on a parked fork-lift/tractor just 20 feet from the road, still on the north side. After a couple minutes the three juveniles flew south across the street into the grove of pine trees and perched on low branches still just yards from the road. Even the Mrs. and the kids were impressed. A great family outing and it was nice of the birds to be so conspicuous and not drive my family nuts with my usual searching.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bobolink #307

I was delighted to add Bobolink to my life list as I had seen so many recenting postings about them. We saw two mating pairs of Bobolinks along Center Patrol Rd. between Cottonwood Pond and P-Ranch at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pygmy Nuthatch #304

Three Pygmy Hatches visited us in our campsite at Idlewild Campground along with White-breasted and Red-Breasted Nuthatches.

Clark's Nutcracker #303

While camping at the Idlewild Campground north of Burns, Oregon. I had my first sighting of the Clark's Nutcracker. A pair of them flew over. Their color pattern was exactly like the picture shown above and the way they flew was kind of magpie-like.

White-headed Woodpecker #302

The White-headed Woodpecker made it on to my life list on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009. My father-in-law and I took a spontaneous birding trip to Eastern Oregon and that first night we stayed at Idlewild Campground just north of Burns, Oregon. We went there expecting to see this guy and we were delighted that he was right in our campsite while we set up camp that evening.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red-eyed Vireo #301

Being a father of four small children and working two jobs, it is sometimes hard to get out and "chase" the birds that get reported on the IBLE (Idaho Birders Linked Electronically) website. But, Harry Krueger reported this one from a location just north of Horseshoe Bend, which isn't far from Avimor. Right off of Highway 55 is a sign for Porter Creek Rd (shown on some maps as Jerusalem Rd.) The creek runs into the river under highway 55, but on that east side, there are trees running up the creek draw.
It was a blustery Friday evening, but I was able to convince the wife and kids to go on a drive so daddy could see this life bird. The wind was so bad up that canyon that I didn't see much but Lazuli Buntings, Spotted Towhee, and an American Kestrel. My hat blew off my head down into the shrubs along the creek. I had to dodge all kinds of poison oak to get it back. There was also a pretty cool gopher snake that Kyle and I got to see.
Anyway, we continued up the canyon driving on Jerusalem Rd until we got to the pines. It was a beautiful drive and we saw several other birds. On the way back we decided to stop again at the location where Red-eyed Vireos had been seen. I got our my Zune BirdJam player to play the sound so I would know what to listen for and we had two Red-eyed Vireos pop right up in the tree next to the car. I turned the bird call off immediately as I didn't want to stress them out, but it was surprising how quickly they responded to the call of their own kind.