Back to Umatilla

This week’s trip to South-Eastern Oregon began with a stop at the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge in North-Eastern Oregon where I’d had such good luck last fall. Unfortunately, Monday’s visit wasn’t nearly as rewarding, but I was happy to get this picture of a Western Kingbird, a bird I haven’t seen since my son and his family moved to Southern California from Colorado.

Western Kingbird

I also managed to startle myself, and this family of Canada Geese, when I stopped to look out into the Columbia River from an overhang and nearly stepped on the parents and their brood.


As you can see, much scolding took place as they retreated out into the small bay. It was the first goslings I’ve seen this year, but I felt bad that I’d scared them like that since I always try not disturb wildlife when I’m photographing it.

The highlight of the day was watching a pair of Northern Harriers apparently courting each other, though there was actually two males and a single female darting about:

female Norhtern Harrier

I’ll have to admit I was most impressed by this male who made several passes directly over my head,

male Northern Harrier

but that was probably because males seem much rarer.

I was also thrilled when I managed to get this first-ever shot of a CinnamonTeal flying,

flying Cinnamon Teal

while in retrospect it doesn’t seem nearly as special considering other birds I saw during the week and how many Cinnamon Teal I ended up seeing during the week. Despite the fact that I’ve only seen a few of them in the five years I’ve been birding, they seemed to be literally everywhere I went on this trip.

I’ll have to admit that it didn’t seem like a very auspicious start for my trip and I was disappointed that it was cloudy most of the day and I’d fled East to try to get some sunshine after one of the wettest April’s I can remember.

2 thoughts on “Back to Umatilla”

  1. As usual your photographs are well up to professional standard, Loren. I love that kingbird – never heard of it before – with that beautiful yellow which looks as though it is slowly creeping up and will eventually cover the whole bird.

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