Date: 5/24/19 1:03 am From: Noah Strycker <noah.strycker...> Subject: [obol] North-Central Oregon rarities and oddities (photos etc.)
I spent the past week in parts of Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, Sherman, Wheeler, and Deschutes counties, between several engagements in central Oregon. It was fun to camp out a couple of nights, and explore many new places in a beautiful part of this state.
-A singing LEAST FLYCATCHER was in northern Wheeler County yesterday (5/22) morning, apparently a first county record. It was on Winlock Road, about 0.8 miles north of Highway 19, in the mountains between Fossil and Service Creek. Details and a sound recording are here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56631618
-A COMMON LOON was on Rowe Creek Reservoir, Wheeler County, after sunset on 5/21. There is at least one previous Wheeler Co. record, by Craig and Marilyn Miller at the same spot on 4/17/11. Here's a photo: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56631503
-I managed to photograph two cool-looking leucistic (partial albino) birds: A crazy Red-breasted Sapsucker at Calliope Crossing near Sisters today (5/23), and a nearly all-white Brewer's Blackbird during our bird walk at the Crooked River Wetlands in Prineville on 5/18. Both had been seen earlier by other birders (thanks Judy for the directions!). Photos in these eBird checklists: Sapsucker: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56663169 Blackbird: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56466092
-Starting near Clear Lake and ending in The Dalles, I ran across 125 species in a long day in Wasco County on 5/19. Most interesting was a chaotic colony of hundreds of TRICOLORED BLACKBIRDS right by the road at the Driver Road wetland south of Wamic: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56513566
-A potential hybrid BLACK-CAPPED X MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE was associating with a pure-looking Black-capped in the Warm Springs town park on 5/17. This combination had not been on my radar. Photos are in this checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56419139
-I also found a couple of fun hybrid HERMIT X TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS along Green Ridge Road, in Jefferson County south of Lake Billy Chinook, on 5/15. An image of one is here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56325202
-The SURF SCOTER continued at the Pelton Overlook near Warm Springs on 5/17. I also tracked down a pair of BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS near Gray Butte, in southern Jefferson County, a couple miles from where Chuck Gates reported gnatcatchers earlier this spring, on 5/15: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56336444
Thanks to the Jefferson County Community Read group in Madras, and the High Desert Museum, for hosting some great events this week! And the Malheur Symphony in Bend on Monday evening was a blast - never in my life did I expect to hear a Sora in a symphony performance.