Birding Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

This week’s trip to Malheur started off well. It was sunny and a beautiful 65 degrees when I reached Burns, the closest town to the refuge. On the back roads I spotted small flocks of Snow Geese,

Snow Geese

apparently the ones Leslie and I had missed on this year’s April trip to Santa Rosa.

I was still a ways from the reservation when I spotted this Willet, a bird I seldom see in Western Washington.

Willet

Even better after I’d stopped to capture a shot of the Willet, I saw two Avocets feeding in the same area. They’re definitely a favorite, particularly since it took me four years to see my first one in breeding colors after I’d seen a picture at a refuge in Yakima. I had a hard time deciding whether I liked this shot

Avocet

or this shot better

Avocet

so I decided to just include both.

I was disappointed that I didn’t see a single pelican at the bridge just before Narrows, but I did see a single Pelican

White Pelican

floating down the creek just before the refuge headquarters. It seemed like an auspicious start to my trip.

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