[Tweeters] Belated trip report—Central Oregon

Dee Dee deedeeknit at yahoo.com
Sat May 4 23:43:56 PDT 2019

In late April my husband and I had a nice visit with family in the Smith Rock/Crooked River area of central Oregon, with side benefit of several pleasing bird sightings. The family accepts that I am a hopeless “bird-nut” and since we all enjoy the out-of-doors, go out of their way to accommodate and share their favorite local areas where they think we might find some birds. Although have been to this area many times over the years, was always in winter for skiing, or in the hot summer. This was my first time there during the green Spring and I loved it.

On April 25th they took us to see the Metolius River, including a short Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel- and butterfly-studded walk through pines to see the headwaters at Metolius Springs. (For those who care, California Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Mourning Cloak, and elusive little blue butterflies.) Also saw a beautiful Stellar’s Jay. At Camp Sherman, near the bridge across the Metolius, we enjoyed watching an American Dipper working the rocks and frequently emulating “Clumsy Carp” (anybody else remember that character from the B.C. comic strip?) in its search for food. A handsome Song Sparrow sat almost invisible amongst twigs next to the bridge. I was glad I had my camera along—more learning experiences.
Later in the day we stopped by the Bend Whitewater Park on the Deschutes River where pairs of handsome Brewer’s Blackbirds were using partially submerged logs as bathing platforms. The only other birds visible at this popular park were House Sparrows, a few Canada Geese, and a pair of Mallards.

Two days later, an hour-long walk with my sister-in-law yielded the delight of not only seeing, but getting photos of, both Western and Mountain Bluebirds (my first sighting!) in the space of about 15 minutes. We later saw more bluebirds, and a pair of California Quail crossed the dirt road we were on. Also more Scrub Jays.

Of course, California Scrub Jays frequently visit their pinyon-juniper scrub, high desert habitat property, including close to the house, and the irony is that I never did get a decent photo of one during our stay. Next time! There were plenty of Robins, but it was mentioned to me that they had not yet heard any m
Meadowlarks singing.

For those who are interested, I have posted some photos in a Central Oregon album within my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/danenewarnock/albums/72157691118366593

I can also mention that throughout the trip, along rivers between the Puget Sound Basin in Washington and Bend, Oregon, we saw very many manmade osprey nest platforms and plenty of ospreys taking advantage of them. While driving, I also saw one Bald Eagle on a nest but must confess I forget where it was. All in all, a satisfying trip and am looking forward to the next one.

Danene Warnock
Edmonds area
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