Malheur Spring Weekend 1

Friday, April 19, 2002, Led by Steve Shunk

Photos by Bill Walker

69 Species at Malheur NWR, OR

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
Osprey
Seen from the highway on the way to Malheur
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Gruidae (Cranes)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Wilson's Snipe
We observed particularly frenzied behavior amongst a group of three Snipe in the corner of a flooded field next to the car.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Franklin's Gull
Our first look at this lovely gull with the white partial eye rings and black head. We heard them calling overhead throughout the weekend.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
Laniidae (Shrikes)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Townsend's Solitaire
Up the hill in back of Steve and Kris's house
Sturnidae (Starlings)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Fabulous yellow heads, really beautiful.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)

69 Species at Malheur NWR, OR

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
Osprey
Seen from the highway on the way to Malheur
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Gruidae (Cranes)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Wilson's Snipe
We observed particularly frenzied behavior amongst a group of three Snipe in the corner of a flooded field next to the car.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Franklin's Gull
Our first look at this lovely gull with the white partial eye rings and black head. We heard them calling overhead throughout the weekend.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
Laniidae (Shrikes)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Townsend's Solitaire
Up the hill in back of Steve and Kris's house
Sturnidae (Starlings)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Fabulous yellow heads, really beautiful.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)

Trip Map

Trip Notes

[five years later, Bill returns to the scene of his 1997 solo drive up to Oregon and Malheur birding trip with Steve Shunk. This time, accompanied by an eagle-eyed Mary and a new spotting scope, promises to be even better.]

We awoke this morning in Kris and Steve's house outside of Sisters. They've got five acres at the end of several miles of dirt road, 30 chickens, 3 horses, a bunch of pine siskins at their feeders, and a stunning view of the three sisters mountains.

After a scrumptious breakfast of blueberry pancakes, bacon, and farm-fresh eggs, we headed west toward Bend and the Malheur refuge, After checking into the hotel around 4pm,. we drove around and looked at some flooded agricultural fields around town. We saw some impressive breeding behavior, including two pairs of curlews going at it, and three snipes trying out all the possible couplings. We found close to seventy species during the day, and it wasn't even a full day of looking.

We ate at a yummy thai restaurant that offers toast with it's Sate Chicken.

Tommorow we're going to get an early start.; the big question is, will we really get up early enough on day three to get to the Sage Grouse Lek before sunrise? Oy.