Posted by: atowhee | June 10, 2009

Friday Morning in Foggy Mountains

At 615am, June 5, I picked up Mike and Pam Holmes, a pair of Pennsylvania birders.  They were at Ashland Mountain House, a B&B near Emigtrant Lake so we were quickly on our way into the Cascades.  Their main target were thge big-bodied, elusive, ground-huggers.  Two grouse and the Mountain Quail.  We did get several calls from Mountain Quail and the fluffing sound of Ruffed Grouse.  No sightings of either. Our best attempt at Sooty Grouse was a Band-tailed Pigeon high in a tree along Shale City Road, a view fuzzed by the hill-hugging clouds.  We tried to will it into being a grouse, but that stripe on the neck could not be ignored.

Our best bird of the morning was huting just above the oaks between milepost 6 and 7 along Dead Indian Memorial Road.  A Common Nighthawk.  “Peent, peent, peent.”  We saw it do a falcon-rivalling dive into the trees a couple times.  The heavy cloud-induced darkness made it seem like evening even though it was well after sunrise, though there was no visible sun to rise.

Some other fine viewings:  Cassin’s Vireo, Hermit Warbler, Dusky Flycatcher and Williamson’s Sapsucker near Hyatt Lake.  Opsrey.  Golden Eagle hunting grassland along Dead Indian.  Grunting D-C Cormorant feeding young on their nest tree in Hyatt Lake.  Mountain Bluebird at north end of Howard Prairie Road.

MtBlueJuvie6-5Mountain Bluebird fledgling at Howard Prairie.IMG_7798  Below the Golden Eagle hunting for jackrabbit along Dead Indian Memorial Road.

Location:     Howard Prairie Circuit
Observation date:     6/5/09
Number of species:     51

Canada Goose     350
Gadwall     4
Mallard     8
American White Pelican     35
Double-crested Cormorant     20
Osprey     2
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Golden Eagle     1
Killdeer     4
Spotted Sandpiper     2
Ring-billed Gull     65
Band-tailed Pigeon     1
Mourning Dove     2
Common Nighthawk     1
Acorn Woodpecker     12
Williamson’s Sapsucker     1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)     2
Western Wood-Pewee     2
Willow Flycatcher     1
Dusky Flycatcher     2
Western Kingbird     2
Cassin’s Vireo     1
Steller’s Jay     8
Western Scrub-Jay     4
Common Raven     4
Tree Swallow     30
Violet-green Swallow     2

Cliff Swallow     60
Barn Swallow     15
Mountain Chickadee     2
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
House Wren     2
Western Bluebird     2
Mountain Bluebird     2
American Robin     4
European Starling     6
Yellow-rumped Warbler     2
Hermit Warbler     2
Western Tanager     4
Spotted Towhee     6
Chipping Sparrow     2
Vesper Sparrow     2
Song Sparrow     3
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)     4
Black-headed Grosbeak     4
Red-winged Blackbird     12
Brewer’s Blackbird     6
Brown-headed Cowbird     4
Purple Finch     6
Lesser Goldfinch     2
American Goldfinch     2

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