Spent a beautiful morning hiking both the Deschutes trail and the Cougar Woods trail through the park this past Friday. Today's purpose was to link one of these trails to the McGregor trail, a 4.5 mile loop along the Deschutes and Fall rivers, as well as to look for new County birds.
The Deschutes trail starts at the McGregor Viewpoint and cuts past the campground and along the Deschutes river back to the viewpoint. The 3.4 mile loop is relatively level and a nice addition to the McGregor loop. Though the trail passes a significant burn, the area is rife with woodpeckers. I located Lewis's and hairy woodpeckers, Williamson's sapsuckers, and northern flicers.In addition to the woodpeckers, I located a pair of northern pygmy owls that were tooting away near the viewpoint, then meet up together on a tree limb.
For the Cougar Woods trail, I started at the Day Use area and hiked the south trails towards Big Red. At the large tree parking area, I opted for the small loop trail instead of the asphalt trail to the tree. The loop trail passes through a forest of ponderosa and lodgepole pine, before toping out for a great viewpoint of the river and Mt. Bachelor in the distance.
From Big Red, there is an unmaintained trail that follows the edge of a large oxbow along the river back up to the main trail. This trail continues to another day use parking area before crossing the main park road and back to the day use area. Though this is a nice route, I'd hike the Deschutes trail over the Cougar Woods one.
Though I didn't add any birds to my County Year list, there was a great diversity of birds observed along these trails. Later on, I added ash-throated flycatcher (Little Deschutes River) to the list. Total County List: 156.
Birds observed in La Pine State Park
Canada goose Wood duck Mallard
Turkey vulture Osprey Red-tailed hawk
Killdeer Spotted sandpiper Northern pygmy owl
Belted kingfisher Lewis's woodpecker Williamson's sapsucker
Hairy woodpecker Western wood-pewee Dusky flycatcher
Steller's jay Common raven Tree swallow
Violet-green swallow Northern rough-winged swallow
Mountain chickadee (nesting in stump cavity) Red-breasted nuthatch
White-breasted nuthatch Pygmy nuthatch Brown creeper
House wren Townsend's solitaire Hermit thrush
American robin Yellow-rumped warbler Wilson's warbler
Green-tailed towhee Chipping sparrow Dark-eyed junco
Red-winged blackbird House finch