Sunday, June 19, 2011

Central Oregon volcanoes

When in central Oregon, I never tire of viewing the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range. Here are some photos from last week's trip.

Mount Jefferson (Oregon's second-highest peak) in the background and Black Butte in foreground, seen from the south. On a clear day, we can see the north face of Mount Jefferson from our neighborhood.

Three Fingered Jack. A very old and extinct volcano.

Mount Scott, seen from the east at Klamath Marsh. Crater Lake lies just to the west of the peak.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baby birds in central Oregon.

Last weekend, Sarah and I took a long-awaited trip to Central Oregon.

I look forward to visiting this part of the state each June because we always find many nesting birds, more than we usually see on the west side of the Cascades.

For the first two nights, of the trip, we rented a house near Camp Sherman and the Metolius River. Its amenities included a Brewer's Blackbird nest in the carport. Five nestlings were present Friday evening. On Saturday morning, all but one had left the nest. The last one fledged by sundown that evening.

Along the Metolius, we found many birds, such as Western Wood-Pewees and Yellow-rumped Warblers nesting in the pines.

The highlight, though, was a Common Merganser hen toting ducklings on her back.

They fell off when she dove or hopped over a log, but they climbed back on as soon as she was swimming again.

Memorial Day animals

Last month, Sarah and I spent the week leading up to Memorial Day in Pacific City.

While we worked at her parent's beach house, many animals stopped by for a visit.

One afternoon, I spotted a black tail doe walking into the street. I thought she was alone until a tiny fawn emerged from the vegetation. It's legs were pretty wobbly, suggesting it had been born that morning. The pair eventually crossed the street to a small patch of forest where the doe could find a hiding place for the fawn.

A pair of Bald Eagles has been frequenting a Sitka spruce a few doors down from the house. This female carried a Common Murre, which she had captured near Haystack Rock, to the tree. We heard tearing and ripping sounds as she consumed her catch.

As in previous Memorial Day Weekend, a pair of Evening Grosbeaks visited the feeders. It is always a treat to see these giant finches. With high levels of breeding and migratory bird activity, late May is one the best time of times of the year to bird the beach. We look forward to future Memorial Days in Pacific City.