Date: 7/2/17 8:22 pm From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...> Subject: [obol] Malheur Trip Day 3
Today I left Burns, checked the pond at Hotchkiss Lane and Egan st. Good mix of eclipse dux. Best bird was an adult (southbound) Baird's Sandpiper.
Then I drove straight to Fields, hoping to find desert reptiles. Did not work - already t00 hot when I got there, so concentrated on wildflowers and Butterflies. Then down to Denio, and west to Adel and Lakeview. About 95 species in Harney County without "chasing" a list (i.e. I did not run up into the woods N of Burns, nor visit 00 Ranch area.)
Some comments about Malheur NWR. This was my first visit since the desecration. Note however most of the following comments are about things that CANNOT be blamed on the Bundys.
First although water levels are reasonable, sightings of ducks. breeding shorebirds, and marsh birds were sparse. I only saw 1 Trumpeter Swan, despite checking several formerly regular sites. The only ducks that were seen many times were Mallards and Cinnamon Teal. All the others I saw were one or two locations. I saw more Avocets, Stilts, and Phalaropes off the refuge than on, and then not that many. I do not know whether these birds have declined, or are concentrating in off-limits areas. Maybe they have not yet recovered from the recent drought years?
One exception: Black Tern numbers seemed to be up from some recent visits.