Tim Boyer Photography

Small Groups, Cool Birds, Fun Locations

Bird Quest 2014 #16

Bird PhotographyTim Boyer

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in June can be a contrast of bounty.  In a wet year, the baby shorebirds and song birds are right beside the road and so plentiful it's hard to decide what to take a photo of.  In a dry year , the birds are there, they're just harder to find and photograph.  This year was a dry year again,  the last wet year was 2012.  These images are from the June 20 to 22 Malheur Photography Workshop.  

Horned Lark on teh Foster Flats Road
Horned Lark on teh Foster Flats Road

I went up the Foster Flat road to see if any of the Greater Sage-Grouse were still around, I looked two mornings in a row and didn't see any. I knew it was a long shot in June, but decided to try since they are such cool birds.  I did find a bunch of sage birds, and had a nice morning up there.

Cedar Waxwing near P Ranch
Cedar Waxwing near P Ranch

After trying for the  Sage Grouse I went  down to P Ranch to see if I could find any Bobolink, and along the way I found Cedar Waxwing and Willow Flycather.

Willow Flycatcher near Benson Pond
Willow Flycatcher near Benson Pond
Yellow Warbled near Benson Pond
Yellow Warbled near Benson Pond

The Willow Flycathers and the Yellow Warblers were really singing up a storm in the mornings, this Yellow Warbler let me listen for several minutes before changing locations.

Tree swallow near Knox Pond
Tree swallow near Knox Pond

There's a swallow box near Benson Pond, and they offered some close images.

Black Tern north of Buena Vista Ponds
Black Tern north of Buena Vista Ponds

On my second day of scouting the refuge for birds, I decided to try the northern portion of the Central Patrol Road, I did manage to find a few Black Terns, but with less water, there were not many birds in this area.

Forster's Tern from the Narrows
Forster's Tern from the Narrows

Ending the  day at The Narrows, from the pull off between the lakes, Forster's Terns were flying by, and then on the way to dinner at The Narrow RV Park, they had two Common Nighthawks on the fence railings.

Common Nighthawk at The Narrows RV park
Common Nighthawk at The Narrows RV park
White-faced Ibis form near P Ranch
White-faced Ibis form near P Ranch

Also at P Ranch there were plenty of White-faced Ibis and three times in three days there were Bobolink right beside the road.  I saw more Ibis and Bobolinks in this visit then any other visit to Malheur.

Bobolink from half a mile north of P Ranch
Bobolink from half a mile north of P Ranch

Bobolin are on everybody's want list when they visit Malheur, this year it was easy, most years it's a difficult task and  involves walking on the river trail and fighting misquotes.  Glad to have it easy this year, but they're such interestingly marked birds, it's always a joy to see them.

Enjoy!

Thanks

Tim