Date: 6/26/18 11:27 am From: W. Douglas Robinson <w.douglas.robinson...> Subject: [obol] Oregon 2020 blitz of Union County
We had quite a crew for our bird counting blitz of Union County: Nolan Clements, Will Wright, Wayne Weber, Lars Norgren, Barb Bresson, Char Corkan, Elaine Rybak, Cathy Flick, Stan Senner, Dan Roby, Jesse Laney, Azita Roshani, Tyler Hallman and Douglas Robinson. Greatly enjoyed by all was the tremendous scenery, the remarkable habitat diversity, and the chances to socialize each evening. Wayne Weber won the flat-tire roulette prize this time, while Jesse and Tyler won good samaritan awards for changing Wayne’s tire for him. Rumor has it that Will Wright snuck into his beloved camper, Lucy, and fried up a nice dinner from a Dusky Grouse he and Jesse found dead just a bit before Will was nearly pushed to apoplexy by a motherly grouchy grouse.
We had many discussions about identities of Empidonax flycatchers giving calls that sound like Pacific-slope or Cordilleran or something in between the two. Thanks to Nolan’s knowledge of the county, we found 175 species over the weekend. Some of the highlights were a Least Flycatcher (at 45.2088, -117.8898 just west of Union), Bobolinks, many Gray Catbirds, some Veeries, an apparent Barrow’s Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser hybrid at the La Grande poo ponds, a Lewis’s Woodpecker nest, and probably some other fun birds I am now forgetting owing to my sleep-deprived state. Slate-colored Fox Sparrows and Mountain Quail edged into distant county boundaries, particularly in the Texas Bar fire re-growth in the southwestern reaches. No Red-eyed Vireos or American Redstarts anywhere.
All in all, it was a great blitz. Special thanks to Nolan Clements for joining us and so expertly helping us find Union County a pleasant place for birds, to Stan Senner for driving down from Montana and to Wayne Weber for visiting from British Columbia.