Last weekend, for the sake of our somewhat sensitive dog, we escaped the high temperatures and fireworks of Portland for the high temperatures and no fireworks of Central Oregon.
During previous Fourth of July weekends, we birded as much of the area around Sisters as possible, maximizing our species list. This year, our top priority was to prevent heat exhaustion.
It was hot again on Sunday, so by lunchtime we weren't birding with a lot of motivation. With a little luck, however, we found the best bird of the trip. While driving through Sisters, we saw a single Pinyon Jay flying overhead.
We followed it as best we could from our car and eventually heard some quail-like calls coming from a large ponderosa pine.
It was a Pinyon Jay fledgling perched low in the tree! Its parents occasionally came down to feed it while we watched. It had been several years since we'd seen one of these birds and we'd never seen one so young, so we were happy to call it a day and retreat indoors.
Before returning home on Monday morning, we were treated to one more local specialty. A White-headed Woodpecker, never a guarantee around here, was picking arthropods from the bark of pines just steps away from the house. We could hear it claw its way around the trunk and gently tap into the bark to access ants or other invertebrates.
We captured it in a typically bad photo. That's the bird on the lower left side of the tree. We're looking forward to an upcoming optics and digiscoping upgrade. More details to come.