A Short Stop at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was just a stopping spot on our Bear River trip, but I wanted to see as much as I could because I’d missed the Spring Migration there. One of the birds I was specifically looking for was a Bobolink which I found one in the same field I had spotted one in the year before.

Bobo1

Unfortunately, it was hidden behind the tall grass, not singing loudly out in the open as it had in the past.

When I did manage to get an unobstructed shot of it, the distinctive black-and-white back wasn't visible, though the yellow “hood” stood out.

Bobo2

We hadn’t driven too far down the road before encountering this very wet fawn in the middle-of-the-road.

16Fawn

It was hard to tell whether it was a new-born fawn or whether it had managed to fall in the water beside the road. Either way, we were worried about its safety because there wasn’t a mother in sight.

Strangely enough, a little further down the road we encountered a very young coyote eating a snake.

YngCyote

He, too, looked too young to be out on his own, but for some reason we weren’t quite as worried about him as we were about the fawn.

Although we saw innumerable American Coot babies at Bear River, I don’t think we saw any as young as these we spotted beside the road in Malheur.

MalCtWthChks

I am utterly amazed at how “ugly” these chicks are every time I see them.

MalCtWthChks2

The high point of the morning came, though, when I stepped out of the car to get a shot of a Yellow Warbler and this Common Nighthawk swooped right past my head and landed a few feet behind my truck and proceeded to go to sleep.

CmnNithwk

Since I could clearly see a car approaching in the distance, I decided to walk up close enough to it that it would fly away since I was pretty sure that no one driving up the road would ever see it there.

CmnNithwk2

An unexpected visitor brightens the day before flying on his way.

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