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Indian Ford Meadow, Three Sisters in distance.

Indian Ford Meadow, Three Sisters in distance.

We are discovering a lot of birding opportunities in Central Oregon both guided and on our own.

Last week we went on the Deschutes Land Trust’s interpreted bird walk at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve near Sisters, Oregon. Our guide was Carol Wall who knows the preserve well. That day we saw tree swallows, robins, a magpie, a house wren, northern flicker, quail, ash-throated flycatcher, song sparrow, Wilson’s warblers, mallards, a brown-headed cowbird, a calliope hummingbird, and a western scrub jay. The ash-throated flycatcher was a surprise and I came away from the hike appreciating having a guide who knows the birds, their habits, and even which trees they prefer.

My write-up about birding at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve is posted on the Deschutes Land Trust blog: Spring Bird Walk at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve

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pygmy nuthatch

pygmy nuthatch

I’ve also been meaning to post a few photos from a day of birding in mid-April. We didn’t have a guide so the finding and discovering was up to us—our friends from Alaska, Chuck, and me.

Brewer's blackbird

Brewer’s blackbird

Our first stop was Shevlin Park (Bend, Oregon) where we saw a red-barred flicker pounding on a steel-cased yard light like it was a timpani, a downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, pygmy nuthatch, and Brewer’s blackbirds. Except for the blackbirds, we were birding by ear. The flicker drumming on the light, the downy woodpecker pounding on a tree, and the gentlest hollow-sounding tap-tap-tap in the vicinity of a snag being used as a light pole so we walked around the pole and found a hole. A pygmy nuthatch poked his head out and looked at us.

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white-headed woodpecker

white-headed woodpecker

Our second stop was the forest in the vicinity of Gobbler’s Knob & Glaze Meadow. We followed the directions in the Three Sisters Birding Loop Guide and after a bit of hiking, crossing a footbridge, the wind blowing hard through the tall pines, we came upon a flock of white-headed woodpeckers. Quite a surprise. Not a bird any of us had seen before.

Our third stop was at Calliope Crossing, also listed in the Three Sisters Birding Loop Guide where we hoped to see Calliope hummingbirds but didn’t. Mid-April was probably too early and the wind was fierce. Since the willows hadn’t leafed out yet, we had a good look at a ruby-crowned kinglet and were fascinated by the brushy edge of the stream but none of us were wearing rubber boots and so didn’t venture far into the boggy grass.

ruby-crowned kinglet

ruby-crowned kinglet

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Our fourth stop was another Deschutes Land Trust site, Camp Polk Meadow Preserve along Whychus Creek northeast of Sisters, Oregon where, just walking a short loop, we saw western bluebirds, red-winged blackbirds, and a white-crowned sparrow.

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western bluebird

western bluebird

Resources:

The Deschutes Land Trust offers free guided hikes of its preserves, including bird walks.

Bend Parks and Recreation / Shevlin Park

Three Sisters Birding Loop Guide