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.