Unintentionally, our timing was for maximum September snowfall which hindered our plans. We could not get past Kiger Gorge, due to snow. So we did not get to the ideal place to bird for hawk migration and finches. Still, we had many flocks of lovely Horned Larks flitting and twittering as they danced on the snow and we all enjoyed them. We trudged to the overlook at Kiger and watched the clouds alternatively obscuring and then lifting, and enjoyed a few raptors moving south. Many finches were around as we neared Lily Lake and Fish Lake. Fox Sparrow at Fish.
Merlin, Barnes Springs trail, at the spring.
Common Nighthawk which I thought was late, but I see that some were found during OBA last weekend. We had one along the CPR heading to Benson. It was quite brown but we cannot claim that the white patch was close to wingtip etc.
OVER 300 Eurasian Collared Doves at the sheep ranch along Greenhouse Lane. I hope a Peregrine winters there.
We watched the Hegret/Egron at the Narrows. Almost more interesting were the ~ 30 Greater Yellowlegs fishing for small carp and being successful, swimming in the shallows and snagging fish. I guess the 2 Baird's at Benson were unusual for the area but they were seen last weekend also. Dowitcher numbers doubled today but momentary sunlight was our excuse for not determining whether any Short-billed were among them.
Lewis's Woodpeckers at P Ranch, Big flock of Turkey Vultures in a kettle probably heading south on 9-21, big flock of Am. White Pelicans today doing the same. Enjoyed using the newly opened access for vehicles on East Canal Road. So good to have more access to good habitat on the refuge. Thanks to Friends of Malheur if you lobbied for access here.
Birders on our trip, John and Anne Gerke, Jim and Dori Mortensen, Don Sutherland, Vickie Buck, Mary Shivell, Lisa Wallace, Nikki Thomas, Claire Weiser, Cindy Zalunardo, and myself, Judy.
Birders next week will probably get to East Rim and good luck to you. I have not done the list for our trip but if anyone wants it let me know. Thanks to Vickie Buck and Don Sutherland who ebirded so our birds will be on those lists. Good birding, Judy Meredith, <jmeredit...>