[Tweeters] Malheur NWR and Ladd Marshes WMA, OR
cgluckman at aol.com
Mon May 19 12:57:37 PDT 2014
We just got back from a very productive photo-trip to two wildlife areas in Oregon. We spend 9 days in Malheur and 6 at Ladd Marshes Bird Festival (La Grande, OR). Malheur produced the usual (some in much greater and lesser quantities than usual) with the most productive around the Headquarters and, due to the drought, areas to the south ( Benson Pond, Paige Springs, P Ranch, Etc). Also good birding north at Burns, OR, where the fields were flooded. It was our third visit in the last 4 years. The most interesting difference was the number of Lazuli Buntings at Headquarters. It started with 4, then went up to 15-20 before we left. I presume from seeing other postings, it will be a big year for Lazuli when they migrate north.
Ladd Marshes is a somewhat different set of habitats being located in a much wetter, more agricultural area. Sandhills were breeding throughout the refuge and calling loudly in the mornings and evenings. I photographed 2 pairs of Swainson's Hawks on nests as well a BN Stilts and Red-tailed Hawk. Lots of ducks on the ponds, including Canvasbacks, Red-heads, shovelers, ruddies, mallards, Blue-winged Teal, as well a large population of American Bitterns. The Camas Lilies were in full bloom with acres of meadows in various places damp places all around the refuge. The big negative is that the refuge roads are closed to the public except during hunting season and the bird festival so if you intend to visit, plan for the May bird fest unless you're willing to do a lot of walking. Because I was doing a lecture and field trip on bird photography for them, I was given a road pass so I could "scout" all the roads in order to decide where to bring participants. For 5 days I roamed most of the refuge roads with my cameras. Maybe that's why I liked it so much.
Pt. Townsend, WA
David 360.531.3325 Casey 360.531.3359
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