Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oregon in Spring WINGS Tour: 375 Miles of Unending Scenery

Here are some photos from the last day of the tour, as we drove from Burns to Portland via some of the most scenic forests and landscapes in the state.

Mountain Bluebird has been a common sight while birding east of the Cascades.

We stopped at this wet meadow in the Ochoco Mountains for Lincoln's Sparrow and ended up with a huge group of birds riled up at my imitation of Northern Pygmy-Owl.

This appears to be a Red-naped x Red-breasted Sapsucker hybrid. These birds are common in the central and southern Cascades, where the ranges of the two species overlap, but here we are at least 120 miles east of where Red-breasted Sapsucker should occur.

 Several Red Crossbills came in, and these are probably Type 2 birds.

 A stop to troll for Veery (which probably occurs here in very small numbers) resulted in this stunning male Calliope Hummingbird.

On our short detour up Aldrich Mountain were some nice wildflowers. 

Dwarf Purple Monkeyflower, Mimulus nanus

 Allium species

 Yellow Fritillary, Fritillaria pudica

 Lunch was at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

A Say's Phoebe nest with three nestlings was in the rafters of the log shack behind the historic John Cant ranch house.

The layers of eroding soil are one of the scenic attractions of this area, which has one of the most complete and longest continuous fossil records anywhere. The fossils found here are from 5 to 45 million years old and contain many plants and mammals (but no dinosaurs – they were already long extinct by the time this part of the earth's crust became land).


  1. I love your photos and blog, you are such an inspiration. i wish i could travel to all the places you get to visit and see all the beauty that you see. These photos are wonderful

  2. Thanks, Kelly, I'm glad to know you're enjoying my posts and photos. Let us know what you find when you do get to these great places! I'm sure you'll see some great things that I missed.