It’s a serious drive from our house to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah, so we’ve made it a habit in recent years to stop at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on the way. I didn’t have any great expectations about finding birds, but I knew from experience I would see birds and animals I probably wouldn’t see around home.
I was shocked to see how far the lake had receded since we were there at the beginning of summer. Yellowlegs were taking advantage of the concentrated fish.
I didn’t recognize them at first because I’ve never seen so many of Yellowlegs together before.
We got an early start the next morning, heading South on our way to Elko, Nevada. This coyote glanced at us, and immediately went back to hunting in the recently cut hay fields.
A little further down the road, Leslie spotted this deer peering at us through the unusually tall grass.
A small flock of Red-Shafted/Yellow-Shafted intergrade Flickers escorted us through the refuge for several miles, giving me a chance to finally capture a decent shot before it, too, flew off up the road.
Though I would have been disappointed if I’d driven all the way to Malheur to bird and seen so few birds, it offered a welcome refuge from endless miles of nothing.