I was glad that I decided to ignore the high winds and rain and stay two more days at Malheur for it did, indeed, give me a chance to get better shots than those I got on the first cloudy day I was there.
I was up early and waiting for the male Bobolinks to start their mating rituals. I’m not sure this one was appreciative of an audience or not, but he was quite close to the road, looking out onto a grass meadow.
Unfortunately, he practiced his mating ritual a long ways away from the road, so the shots have to be severely cropped, causing some blur.
In reality, though, they burst up from the grass so quickly and settled back so quickly that it was more of a blur seeing it in person.
Still not sure how the ritual is acted out, but it was a fascinating experience. I must have spent nearly an hour there watching various Bobolink try to attract a mate.
As a bonus, I got the best pictures I’ve ever taken of three Sandhill Cranes that were so close to the road that I couldn’t manage to fit them in the frame. This one even paused from eating to check me out.
I even managed to get the best picture I’ve gotten of a Long-Billed Curlew, a bird that I had finally seen at Malheur on my earlier summer visit, though at a greater distance.
It was a great day birding , well worth any inconvenience of high winds, low temperatures, and a little rain.