Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Birding Bend

It has been a fruitful and frustrating week on the birding beat here in Bend. My nemesis bird - a Harris's sparrow - eluded me during several visits. I'm putting on my tweed cap and pulling out the curved pipe to help with my search later today.

A visit to the Millican area, blanketed with snow, turned up few birds. A lone horned lark, one northern harrier, a solitary rough-legged hawk were observed along the main roadway. Though short of birds, the area was literally plastered with jackrabbit, deer and mice tracks - amazing at how much activity is out there.

Yesterday, during a dog walk out along the #63 trail near Horse Butte, we observed a flock of over 200 pinyon jays foraging in the scattered ponderosa pines along the trail. It must be an excellent year for ponderosa seeds - the jays, Clark's nutcrackers, red crossbills and red-breasted nuthatches have been all over the trees in the area and even the ones around my home.

So, I'm off in search of a Harris and will check out a new burn off of China Hat that local birder Pete Lowe reported having a lot of woodpecker activity. That one will have to wait for later in the week when time allows for a visit.

 


Year-to-date: 50 species.

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