Lake County, Oregon is a beautiful place with over 8,000 square miles, fewer than 8,000 residents, and no stoplights. The county has an incredible variety of vegetation types and birds, making it one of our favorites in the state.
Sarah and I made our third annual visit to the county last week and we found 107 species of birds in three days.
On of our favorite sites in the county is Fort Rock, which attracts all sorts of hawks and eagles, as well as cliff-nesting birds such as White-throated Swift and Say's Phoebe.
After visiting the rock we drove south through Paulina Marsh, which is really a series of pastures that hold a lot of birds when they're flooded.
Among the birds in the marsh was a Sandhill Crane that could barely fit on its nest.
The real hotspot on the trip was Summer Lake Wildlife Area. We stayed in a nice little motel across the road from the headquarters and we drove the tour loop several times while we were there. During each drive, we found crazy numbers of birds that we rarely, if ever see on the western side of the state, including
and Yellow-headed Blackbirds
In addition to birds we saw:
A Northern Pacific Rattlesnake. Beautiful!
A western Fence Lizard
And a Brown's Peony
With all of the amazing birds and beautiful vistas, it was hard to leave Lake County, but a storm that brought wind, rain, hail, and freezing temperatures helped. On Wednesday, we left for the milder climate of the coast where we spent a lot of time drinking coffee and wine during a drizzly Memorial Day weekend.