Friday, July 2, 2010

Central Oregon Part 2

From Sisters, we headed to Bend and then south, finally heading east and arrived at Cabin Lake campground. We'd traveled a Forest Service road to get in and the huge Ponderosa pines were breathtaking. We saw several Lewis's Woodpeckers flycatching from perches and sallying about the treetops. I hadn't had much experience with either sapsuckers or Lewis's Woodpeckers but now I've been reading that both are consummate flycatchers, as witnessed at Calliope Crossing.

The campground was at the edge of the pines and we could look out onto the plains and see the transition from forest to Great Plains habitat. Lots of sage and rabbit brush out there...plenty of wildflowers, too. No water or facilities at this campground and best of all, NO OTHER PEOPLE. Lack of facilities keeps the riff raff out.....

Well, looks like two of the riff raff made it in after all......

The campground was lovely but the real draw for this place are the water features next door at the Forest Service Guard Station. The station is closed but there are two permanent blinds each overlooking a "guzzler"; a small basin filled with water from adjacent tanks. Water is scarce in these parts so birds come from all around to sip awhile. Photographers and birders also flock here and two separate photographers blinds were set up nearby. Still, only four people present....not exactly a hopping tourist attraction, fortunately for us.

I have a Canon PowerShot SD890IS, just a wee point and shoot. It's got a 20x digital zoom on it which works pretty well. Sitting quietly in the blind, with just my little camera with its little lens, even I was able to capture some pretty spectacular bird shots. I will let the birds speak for themselves.

Mourning Dove

Red Crossbills

Western Tanager male and female

Chipping Sparrow

Brewer's Sparrows

Cassin's Finch

joined by a Northern Flicker

Yellow pine Chipmunk? Where's my mammal book....

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Green-tailed Towhee

White-breasted Nuthatch

Yellow-rumped Warbler

White-headed Woodpecker

And it was all capped off by a gorgeous moonrise......this was taken through my scope. Cool!

More soon!


Jen Sanford said...

Wow what an awesome place! I've never even seen half the birds you saw there! That woodpecker is too cool.

NW Nature Nut said...

I don't even know what to say.

Umm. Wow?

Melma said...

These are beautiful pictures! You must have been well brought up!

John Rakestraw said...

What a great trip! I love the White-headed Woodpecker shots.

Laura W. said...

Thanks! Now I have to get Mark's shots to see what an SLR camera captured at the guzzler. Plus....after that morning, my camera battery ran out and I didn't have another. I counted on Mark for the rest of the trip.

Laura W. said...
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Chris Petrak said...

I just love seeing the variety of birds from a different part of the country and you have offered a feast. Oregon has to be added to my travel destinations - white-headed, red crossbills - and accessible. Not to mention the tanager!