Monday, May 16, 2011

Mid-May Migration

A snapshot of mid-May in central Oregon. Rain today. Snow last week. Sometime in between the mercury hit 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The proverbial "wait ten minutes for the weather to change" applies to this location.

But even with the ups and downs of the temperatures and the variety of precipitation, spring migration is underway.

My last few weeks have been a blur of classes, hikes and birding outings. The Tuesday morning Birding by Ear program with the East Cascades Audubon Society has been a great look at the seasonal changes in bird composition at Sawyer Park. Warblers, swallows, flycatchers, finches, sparrows - each week seems to bring a new member to the park.

The backyard has also produced some great moments of evening and black-headed grosbeaks, Cassin's finches, American goldfinches, California quail, pine siskins and rufous hummingbirds. Gone are the juncos and the golden-crowned sparrows. Pygmy nuthatches have taken over two nest boxes and nest building by house finches continues in the backyard.

Backyard action
Now that hiking classes are done for the season, I hope to spend some time in my photography blind, as well as out birding while the migration is on and the weather is wacky.

Deschutes County Big Year to date: 150 species.

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