Date: 7/24/20 9:28 am
From: Paul Sullivan <paultsullivan...>
Subject: [obol] Another chase (longish)
Last August Nolan Clements found a Spruce Grouse and a Fox Sparrow up the
McCully Creek trail SE of Wallows Lake. Ken Chamberlain prevailed upon him
to lead an OBA trip to look for those birds.



I've been a keen on birding Wallowa county since 1979. I've lived there two
different times. I saw a Spruce Grouse on Ruby Peak in '79, but I had never
seen a Fox Sparrow in Wallowa county. I asked my mentor, Frank Conley,
where to find one and he told me McCully Cr. Frank has been gone for years
now, but I'd never made it up there.



I was one of seven who signed up for Nolan's trip. Four of them were young,
with good ears. Two others were old guys with hearing aids. They all heard
a Fox Sparrow and one heard a Spruce Grouse. I didn't register either one.
Nevertheless, I had a good trip with Ken et al. This Monday, July 20, 2020,
I got hearing aids.



A Green Heron was being seen at the mouth of Hood River. I needed to get
away from nephews spouting offensive political stuff on Facebook. I'd
posted to OBOL supporting an open conversation about BIPOC. So I set off
at 11:20 AM on Wed, July 22.



I got to the mouth of Hood River around 1:30 PM and it took me about 25
minutes to find the GREEN HERON, a new bird for my Hood River county list,
and only my third ever in eastern Oregon.



I-84 eastbound got to 100 degrees. I didn't see any MAGPIES all the way to
Enterprise. At the Minam Rest area along Hwy 82 I found a Gray Catbird. At
Terminal Gravity I sat at a table alone outdoors. The waiters wore masks.
Kids played in the water. The buffalo burger and stout were good in the
cool evening. In the motel I saw OBOL. On Facebook I learned that my
nephew's wife's plan to have labor induced was postponed.



Yesterday morning it rained from 5-7 o'clock in Enterprise. I got to the
McCully Creek trailhead at 8 AM. It was 57 degrees. Before 8:30 I HEARD a
loudly singing FOX SPARROW just ahead on the trail. It sang a bunch of
times and I tried to sneak up and find it, but it moved off. Success.
Another new county bird! I hiked until 11 o'clock and found a Canada Jay.
I HEARD Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, MacGillivray's
Warbler, Brown Creeper.

At Kinney Lake I HEARD an Eastern Kingbird and Cedar Waxwings. Back down at
MInam rest area I HEARD Western Tanager.



The drive home on I-84 still yielded no Magpies.

All the many reader boards on the interstate proclaim:

THE COVID VIRUS

IS STILL SPREADING

With an alternating third line: KEEP A DISTANCE and WEAR A MASK



For months I've been having ongoing phone conversations with a trucker who
is a birder. He reports some amazing sightings. We chat. He called me
yesterday. We were able to meet at a truck stop at Exit 278 on I-5, put a
(masked) face to our voices, and share how we keep lists.



Then I got home to the OBOL thread.



Damian Alfred Sullivan arrived safely in Minnesota at 9:30 PM. 9 lbs. 3 oz.
All's well. I looked at his hands and didn't see a cell phone. It will be
2095 when he needs hearing aids.



Stay safe, everyone.

Good birding, everyone.



Paul Sullivan


 
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