Friday, April 5, 2013

Birdwatching in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Cows on the move
The Monday after Micki Selvitella's workshops, I took her on a sightseeing tour to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. On the way we passed a herd of cows being driven north on the highway we were traveling
Lawen Road
south on. We headed down Lawen Road and spotted snow geese and tundra swans in the distance. At the Refuge HQ we checked out what birds were in. Coots were feeding on the front lawn.We saw lots of coots everywhere. From the refuge HQ we started south on the Center Road which I hadn't taken before. Micki's comment was "I feel like I'm in the Old West."  Well, she sort of was. The Slough hasn't filled all the way yet because the snow melt hasn't started in the Steens Mountains. We went as far as Benson Pond where I thought the swans and geese would be hanging out. Of course, they weren't. Beavers have done quite a bit of damage to the old trees there. I'm not sure what that is all about.  We came back through the Diamond Craters, old lava beds, completing a giant circle we made of the middle part of Harney County.  We spotted golden and bald eagles on the way.  It was so warm at Benson pond we took off our heavy coats. The rest of the journey was pretty windy but fine, very fine and gorgeous. It restores the soul.
Coots feeding at Refuge HQ

The Slough

Micki at Benson Pond

Beaver damage at Benson Pond

Benson Pond with Steens Mountains in background

Diamond Lava Beds

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