It was still cloudy when I finished the crater and Round Barn Loop and got back to the Malheur Visitors Center. The volunteer told me about a new road near the Visitors’ center which led to the south side of Malheur Lake, and, needless to say, I couldn’t resist a new way of seeing the refuge.
It’s the first time I’ve ever managed to get a relative closeup of a Snowy Egret at Malheur even though I would have loved to have had better light.
I also had my first sighting of Black-Necked Stilts on this visit.
I’m assuming that the large flocks have dispersed into nesting pairs like these two, the only two I saw in this area.
I was certainly glad when the sun began to break through the clouds. Light makes a huge difference even when you’re shooting a black and white bird.
Of course, the bright light also made it nearly impossible to capture the details in the black and white areas of this Franklin Gull,
and this is the only shot I’ve ever managed to get of this gull. In fact, when I saw it at the refuge I assume it was a Bonaparte Gull, but the bright orange bill says otherwise.
The highlight of this short drive, though, had to be this shot of a White-Faced Ibis,
the only time I got a closeup of one on this trip. It’s a bird of a very different color when seen in full sunshine.