Date: 6/24/17 5:27 pm From: David Irons <LLSDIRONS...> Subject: [obol] Wasco County: Saturday 24 June -- Hermit Warbler X Townsend's Warbler hybrid
David Mandell and I spent much of today birding in Wasco County. We followed up on a recent report of a Green-tailed Towhee (extremely difficult to find in Wasco) that was found during the recent Oregon 2020 blitz in Wasco. It was about 0.8 miles up Beaver Butte Road after you turn off Oregon Hwy 216 near Bear Creek C.G. We had no luck finding the towhee, but found good numbers of many other pine forest/brush field species. We heard and saw about eight Thick-billed Fox Sparrows at this first stop. From there, we drove down to Pine Grove, where we checked the feeders along Endersby Road and then made the grassland loop through Victor and Juniper Flat Roads. It was pretty quiet out in the open country, as it was already into the low 80s by mid-morning.
We drove back up Hwy 216 and spent the rest of our time birding in the heavily-forested areas around Clear Creek Campground and along USFS Rd 43. Our best bird was an adult male Hermit Warbler X Townsend's Warbler hybrid that Dave spotted in big mixed flock that we pished in. I got some nice photos, one of which is in our eBird report: http://ebird.org/ebird/pnw/view/checklist/S37780939
The biggest surprise of the day was flushing a Western Meadowlark off the side of a road deep in the forest. What it was doing there and why it flew up into the fir trees remains a mystery.