One night the storms were too bad even for the barn.
So I ran for the hills, an hour north to Cabin Lake, where there is no cabin and there is no lake. But there is the promise of birds and better weather. Along the way I noticed some grounded hawks. Was it too windy for this Ferruginous Hawk to fly or had it just caught a snack?
I drove to a pretty remote location to enhance the birdsongs and minimize the gunshot noise.
At camp I heard Gray Flycatcher, Cassin’s Finch, Green-tailed Towhee, Mountain Chickadee, Mountain Bluebird, and Chipping Sparrow. Since it had rained the night before, I didn’t bother checking out the new bird blinds, best viewing is when the weather is dry. Leaving Cabin Lake in the morning I got a glimpse of my favorite woodpecker of the area, the White-headed Woodpecker.
Along Cabin Lake Rd I saw the reliable Sagebrush Sparrows.
Three Loggerhead Shrikes.
And I rescued the desert from these shitty balloons.
I stopped at Fort Rock State Park for White-throated Swifts, a Prairie Falcon, and I finally spotted the Barn Owl tucked in the cliff! Just above the most white-wash.
Later I noticed a swallow nest colony on the cliffs of a gravel pit area that looked like it was included in highway right-of-way so I pulled over to take a closer look. It was a swarm of Bank Swallows! County bird #124.
As I watched them a car pulled up beside me. Uh-oh. I explained I was admiring the Bank Swallow colony, and what turned out to be a very nice landowner told me to take all the pictures I wanted, he thought someone might be “messing with the dozer.” Oops.
A short drive north of Summer Lake, I pulled over at a site below a large cliff, and hoped for a certain sparrow. Immediately I saw a Black-throated Sparrow perched on a rock singing.
No way! It’s never that easy! Such a brilliant sparrow.
Another night with better weather I camped in the Fremont Forest on Winter Ridge. I was hoping for a nightjar or two. Sure enough, just as the sun set, “poor-will, poor-will, poor-will” of the Common Poorwill, followed by an unexpected “Peent!” of a Common Nighthawk! I’d picked an excellent camping spot.
On the last night, finally reunited with Tomas, we opted for a shower and a bed at the Lodge at Summer Lake. This, followed by the best pancakes in the morning at the Flyway Restaurant next door was the perfect way to end our trip!
Doing it for the pancakes and birds.
Tweets and chirps,