Date: 7/19/20 8:37 pm
From: Noah Strycker <noah.strycker...>
Subject: [obol] Indigo Bunting at Pike Creek, East Steens
Hi birders,

While hiking in Harney County this weekend, my dad and I found a singing
male INDIGO BUNTING at Pike Creek Canyon, on the east side of Steens
Mountain. A couple photos are here:

It's chaseable if anyone is in the area, and Pike Creek is a beautiful
place to spend a morning. The access is about 2 miles north of Alvord Hot
Springs along East Steens Road. Park next to the sign, walk half a mile up
the BLM road to reach the canyon mouth, then follow the trail as it crosses
the creek and starts to climb an old roadbed on the south side of the
canyon. The bunting was singing constantly in 90-degree heat at midday,
just downstream from the rocks framing the canyon entrance, in the tops of
cottonwoods along the creek. We had nice views from the trail just below
the hiker check-in box.

**A note about accessing Pike Creek: The canyon itself is BLM property, but
the road up to it crosses half a mile of ranchland. The ranch owners have
recently placed large boulders blocking all possible parking spots along
the BLM access road, and built their own, parallel road to the Pike Creek
Canyon trailhead with a locked gate. You can stop at Alvord Hot Springs and
pay $5 for the gate combination to drive that half mile on the ranch's
road, or walk it for free along the traditional BLM access. Either way, the
trail continues up scenic Pike Creek Canyon for several miles, stuffed with
Chukars, Canyon Wrens, and other goodies.

Good birding,

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