Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To Bend!


Last week I attended a fire science conference in Bend and Sarah and the dog came along to enjoy the change of scene.
We stayed at Entrada Lodge on the southwestern edge of town. This is a favorite place of ours because the rooms are just a few steps from the Deschutes National Forest and its inhabitants.

A few minutes after checking in, we found these mule deer and a flock of Pygmy Nuthatches. The deer were much easier to photograph.

At the end of each day, we sampled the town's growing brewpub population. The patio at 10 Barrel was a great place to enjoy the 70-degree weather.

We woke early on Thursday, bundled up, and drove east of Bend for the trip's marquee attraction: Greater Sage-Grouse.

 
We found the Millican Lek and watched the males puff up to display and fight with one another at sunrise (see Jen's blog for better photos). While we watched, a few hens wandered into the lek and selected some genes to pass down to the next generation.
I had not watched a sage-grouse lek since 2001 when I worked on a grouse study, so I  could hardly sleep the previous night. Though we were too far from the grouse to take decent pictures (what else is new?), their morning performance on the sagebrush stage was well worth the sleep deprivation.

 
On our way back to Bend we did manage a photo of this Sagebrush Sparrow, one of three individuals perched high on shrubs near the road, just begging to be seen.

Our final birding stop of the trip was new one. The flooded meadow around Barclay road outside of Sisters was busy with birds and quite scenic. We found nesting geese, displaying snipe, and our first Common Yellowthroats of the year. We'll be back!












2 comments:

  1. Awesome! Is 10 Barrel the place with the makeshift dog park? Sounds like you guys had a fantastic trip. I am mad jealous of that Sagebrush Sparrow!

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  2. The off-leash area was at Good Life, but I am guessing it gets less off-leash when they put out the tables and yard games in the summer.
    The sparrow was great, but I felt bad because we met some nice folks from TN who were looking for them but took the wrong road out.

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