A trip to Burns for the Forest Service gave me an opportunity to take a day of my own time and explore the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. We have had numerous invitations to join our friends to bird and hike in the Refuge and on Steens Mountain but have never taken them up on the offers. This was my first time on the Refuge where I had my own schedule and no pressure to be anywhere. I knew ahead of time that the birding would be only so-so at this time of year so I had no great expectations. Still I saw many species including white pelicans, ibis, hawks, quail, pheasants, humming birds, yellow headed blackbirds, and crows. The birds are skittish, the wind was howling much of the time and the sky was barren of clouds. I spent the day looking at landscapes and getting oriented for a return trip in a few months time.
The images are on the computer now and it looks like there could be some nice ones in which the clouds did show up to perform. But for now I’ll post one image of one of the smaller species I saw. Believe it or not, it was shot with the 200-400 and manually focused. It helps that it was sitting still most of the time. More to come.