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Field Guides Tour Report
Sep 8, 2018 to Sep 18, 2018
Cory Gregory

It's hard to beat the view of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the USA. Our Field Guides tour visited this iconic National Park on a beautiful fall day and the panorama was breathtaking. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Rocky shorelines, moist coastal forests dripping with moss, expansive sage flats, gurgling streams, Ponderosa Pines lining the slopes of the Cascades... all of these were ingredients in our new Oregon tour. Timing this tour with fall migration helped us see an impressive variety, nearly 200 species! The weather was beautiful and, thankfully, there was no conflict with wildfires or smoke. All in all, it was a blast exploring this amazing state with a fun bunch of birders!

Our tour started in Eugene where we visited the bird-rich Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first morning. The mudflats hosted a nice selection of shorebirds including Marbled Godwits, a Virginia Rail popped out and foraged point-blank, and even a Marsh Wren came out for a dust bath on the trail. The nearby Perkins Peninsula Park was alive with more target birds like Western Tanager, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Bewick's Wren, and both Clark's and Western grebes. That afternoon, after lunch in Corvallis, we visited Marys Peak where we lucked into a couple of Sooty Grouse and, believe it or not, a rare hybrid Spotted x Barred Owl!

Spending a full day around Newport gave us the flexibility to make several stops along the coast where we enjoyed the views, whales, and a new variety of birds. We explored Boiler Bay, south to Yaquina Head, and Depoe Bay where Black Turnstones and Surfbirds awaited us. We had time for visits to the Hatfield Marine Science Center and South Beach State Park as well where we found ourselves watching guillemots, murres, a variety of cormorants, gulls, and terns. We even came away with a Wrentit sighting!

We drove south out of Newport the following morning and visited a variety of other coastal vistas where we added Wandering Tattler, an uncommon Semipalmated Sandpiper, some Harlequin Ducks in the surf, a flock of Chestnut-backed Chickadees, and a Bald Eagle all before our lunch in Florence. After lunch, and a quick check of the south jetty, we meandered our way south to Bandon.

The next morning found us scoping an expansive sand beach near the hotel that was hosting, among other things, some threatened Snowy Plovers! We found more rock-loving shorebirds at the Coquille River jetty, a friendly flock of Brewer's Blackbirds, a few warblers poking around in the low shrubs, and even a White-tailed Kite perched distantly at Bandon Marsh NWR. After lunch, we eventually headed east, stopped at Myrtle Point Marsh, and then towards Roseburg where we spent the night along the river.

One of the best birding spots in Roseburg is Stewart Park and we made a quick visit there the following morning where we had a couple of teenager Green Herons with punked-out feathery wisps, Western Bluebirds galore, and a nicely-posed Anna's Hummingbird in the morning light. We continued up into the Cascades until we reached a reliable spot for American Dippers where we got to watch this unique songbird bobbing streamside. We drove up and into Crater Lake National Park where we had lunch at the beautiful lodge and got to watch Clark's Nutcrackers caching food (before the raven raided the cache). Of course, perhaps the main attraction was the amazing vista of Crater Lake itself!

The Bend area, where we spent a couple of nights, is rather different from the moist coastal forests of Newport. The firs had given way to the Ponderosa Pines, a species that prefers that drier climate. Around Sisters, we targeted woodpeckers and other montane species and ended up tallying Red-breasted Sapsucker, Black-backed Woodpecker, and a fun variety of nuthatches.

The Hatfield Pond complex, which is northeast of Bend, can produce a variety of quality birds and our visit there the following morning netted us a wide range of new species. We enjoyed Greater White-fronted Geese, Redhead, Red-necked Phalaropes, Say's Phoebe, and even a flock of 80+ Pinyon Jays. We headed east from there, to Brothers for a quick break, and then on to Chickahominy Reservoir where we enjoyed Sagebrush Sparrow, our first Eared Grebe, and even a distant White-faced Ibis. Closer to Hines, the roads south of town yielded meadowlarks, Savannah Sparrows, and even an excellent family of Burrowing Owls!

One of the attractions of eastern Oregon is Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the 187,000 acre refuge created in 1908. What we found, though, was a landscape that was parched and even many of the wetlands had no water. Still, the headquarters area proved to be a very bird-rich migrant trap and we enjoyed several new species like Common Nighthawk, Red-naped Sapsucker, Lewis's Woodpecker, and a couple of species of hummingbirds including Rufous and Black-chinned. After lunch, we explored the slopes of Steens Mountain until we reached the East Rim at nearly 10,000 feet in elevation. Rock Wrens hopped amongst the rocks at the rim, a few Horned Larks stuck tight to the barren landscape, and a variety of raptors were spotted overhead. The scenery from here, as well as the nearby Kiger Gorge, is some of the best of eastern Oregon!

Our final morning took us to the Idlewild Campground in Malheur National Forest. It was here that we struck gold with multiple White-headed Woodpeckers and Black-backed Woodpeckers! Whew! Our drive back towards Eugene got a lot more exciting when we found ourselves face to face with both Sooty and Ruffed grouse! If that wasn't enough, one of the final birds of the trip was a lovely Varied Thrush that perched motionless for all of us. Excellent!

I want to thank all of you for exploring Oregon with Field Guides. I certainly enjoyed myself and hope you did as well. Thanks to Karen in our Austin office for all her hard work to have everything lined up for us.

Until next time, good birding!

-- Cory

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (Anser albifrons) – We found a trio of these migrant geese at Hatfield Ponds northeast of Bend.
CACKLING GOOSE (Branta hutchinsii) – One of these small, white-cheeked geese was mixed in with a flock of Canada Geese that flew over us at South Beach State Park near Newport.
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa) – A couple of these were mixed in among the coots and grebes at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first morning.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – A fairly uncommon species in Oregon, a couple of these were spotted on our first morning at Fern Ridge Reservoir.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – A somewhat common dabbling duck, a few were found on tour at places like Myrtle Point Marsh, Stewart Park in Roseburg, and Chickahominy Reservoir.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana) – Spied on three tour days at places that hosted dabbling ducks.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Fairly common throughout Oregon in wetlands, marshes, and lakes. There was no shortage at Hatfield Ponds, for example.
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – We studied a few of these at close range at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport but then found them fairly common throughout the rest of the tour in wetland habitats.

This Barrow's Goldeneye on Diamond Lake couldn't have given us better views! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas crecca) – This tiny dabbler was first spotted at Fern Ridge Reservoir and then several more locations like Myrtle Point Marsh and Stewart Park.
REDHEAD (Aythya americana) – A couple of these divers were mixed in with the hundreds of ducks at Hatfield Ponds near Bend.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – About 10 of these divers were seen swimming with the hundreds of ducks at Chickahominy Reservoir as we made our way eastward.
HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus) – Yaquina Head north of Newport was a good spot for these unique ducks and we scoped a few as they hung out on the rocky coastline.
SURF SCOTER (Melanitta perspicillata) – We saw several groups of these chunky seaducks offshore during our time at Boiler Bay, Yaquina Head, Seal Rock Wayside, etc.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (Melanitta fusca) – Although they were rather distant from the shore at Boiler Bay, there was no mistaking these boldly-patterned seaducks as they flew by.
BLACK SCOTER (Melanitta americana) – At least one of these all-dark ducks was scoped offshore from Seal Rock Wayside.
BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola) – The first spot that we found these little ducks was at Hatfield Ponds northeast of Bend. Later that day, we found some more distantly at Chickahominy Reservoir.
COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula) – Freshly back from the breeding grounds, this duck was scoped distantly at Bandon Marsh NWR from the observation deck.
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica) – We had killer looks at a female at the south end of Diamond Lake before driving into Crater Lake National Park.

The California Quail in and around Hines weren't shy or rare! But still, they were attractive and we enjoyed seeing them on many occasions. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus) – Just a couple were seen at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first morning via the Royal Ave access.
COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser) – A few of these stocky mergansers were scoped distantly at Diamond Lake near Crater Lake National Park.
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – Chickahominy Reservoir was the only location hosting this little stiff-tailed duck.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica) – These distinctive quail were everywhere near Hines and Burns! At times, they would be foraging in the parking lot of our hotel!
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
CHUKAR (Alectoris chukar) – A very tricky bird to tally on this tour, this introduced species was heard by several of us at the East Rim of Steens Mountain! [I*]
RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) – Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a good place to find this introduced species and we ended up seeing several in a dried-up wetland. [I]
RUFFED GROUSE (Bonasa umbellus) – This was a surprise! Some of the grouse we tracked down on Horsepasture Mountain on our final day were actually this woodland species!
SOOTY GROUSE (Dendragapus fuliginosus) – Success! This target species fell into place nicely on both ends of the tour. We had great luck on our first afternoon when we tracked a couple down on Marys Peak. Then, on our final day, we visited Horsepasture Mountain where we had more outstanding looks!
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – A familiar species, these were spotted on roadsides on about half of our tour days.
Gaviidae (Loons)
PACIFIC LOON (Gavia pacifica) – This was the most numerous species of loon on this tour and they were seen offshore during our time along the coast. Our best looks came from the south jetty of the Coquille River near Bandon.

This young Green Heron hadn't gotten the memo yet about being secretive... this one was in a tree next to a parking lot. Photo by participant Dick Stilwell.

COMMON LOON (Gavia immer) – On this tour, this species isn't actually the most common loon! We had one sighting from the south jetty in Newport.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – Common in a variety of freshwater lakes and marshes throughout the trip.
RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps grisegena) – This medium-sized grebe is a wintering species in Oregon and our only sighting was from Seal Rock Wayside.
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – Chickahominy Reservoir provided us with looks at this mostly-western grebe species.
WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis) – Fairly common on Fern Ridge Reservoir and other large bodies of water. On our first day, we got to study some grebe chicks from Perkins Peninsula Park.
CLARK'S GREBE (Aechmophorus clarkii) – The only spot we saw this big, black-and-white grebe was at Perkins Peninsula Park on our first day. This species looks quite a bit like the previous species but Clark's have brighter yellow bills and white around the eye.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea) – A few of these tubenoses were scoped distantly from Boiler Bay State Wayside.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
BRANDT'S CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) – This cormorant is a West Coast specialty and we had great looks at some, including their pale throats, at various coastal spots around Newport.
PELAGIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) – The smallest cormorant species we saw, these were all dark with dark faces, dark bills, and small bills. They were fairly common along the coast and we scoped them numerous times.
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus) – Our largest and most familiar cormorant. Although we saw these along the coast, they can just as easily be a freshwater cormorant as well.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) – These black-and-white giants were spotted a couple of times at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first day.
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Fairly common along the coast, these were seen every day we spent along the Pacific.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Common in wetland habitats.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – These big, white herons were fairly common on tour, especially the first half when we were around more wetlands and coastal marshes.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – These can be quiet and hard to spot sometimes. However, we had great luck with them at Myrtle Point Marsh and again at Stewart Park in Roseburg.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – This uncommon find was a splendid addition from Myrtle Point Marsh as we scoped down into the wetland.

This Sooty Grouse was one of several that we came face-to-face with on our final day. What a way to end the tour! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – One of these dark, sickle-billed critters was foraging on the distant shoreline of Chickahominy Reservoir.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Common and widespread, these were seen daily.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – This fish-eating raptor was spotted every day we birded the coast.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – This uncommon but graceful raptor was spotted distantly from the overlook at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. What a great bird, and a treat to see in Oregon!
GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos) – Any day with a Golden Eagle is a good day! We saw this open-country behemoth both of the days around eastern Oregon and Malheur NWR.
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius) – This distinctive raptor was fairly common in open country, often seen soaring low over wetlands or fields. Malheur NWR was a good spot for them.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus) – A tiny hawk that we spotted a few times including at the campground at Marys Peak and again near Sisters.
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii) – A bit bigger than the previous species, this bird-eating raptor was seen a couple of times on tour but they were never common and they never stuck around for long.
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – Not very common on this tour, our only sighting was of a beautiful adult soaring overhead at Malheur NWR headquarters.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (ELEGANS) (Buteo lineatus elegans) – This distinctive subspecies, which is limited to the West Coast, was spotted down below us at Myrtle Point Marsh en route to Roseburg.

Our first morning at Fern Ridge Reservoir yielded an abundance of new species including this tame Virginia Rail that popped out of the vegetation. Photo by participant Dick Stilwell.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – Common and widespread, seen nearly every day. There was hardly a telephone pole near Malheur that DIDN'T have one on it.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola) – What a show! One came out into the open at Fern Ridge Reservoir and fed in plain sight for several minutes.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – There was no shortage of these at places like Diamond Lake and Chickahominy Reservoir where there were thousands.
Gruidae (Cranes)
SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis) – It was a treat to see these distinctive giants in the fields as we approached Hines.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus bachmani) – Our time along the coast was highlighted by several sightings of this all-dark West Coast specialty. For several folks, this was one of the birding highlights of the trip!
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus) – South of Bandon, we pulled into China Creek where we were able to scope a few of these sandy-beach specialists on the upper beach. There are signs that after decades of conservation, this threatened population might be on the rise in Oregon.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – Our first birding outing at Fern Ridge Reservoir yielded at least 10 of these migrant plovers out on the flats.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus) – Fairly common and widespread, this is a very familiar species for most of us from North America.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – This species of curlew was heard once as it flew over and then seen a day later, also flying over.
MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa) – One of the highlights from Fern Ridge Reservoir was finding this large shorebird feeding out on the flats alongside the dowitchers.
BLACK TURNSTONE (Arenaria melanocephala) – Definitely a highlight from our time along the coast, this West Coast specialty was seen very well in the harbor at Depoe Bay north of Newport.
SURFBIRD (Calidris virgata) – Another West Coast specialty, and a specialist of rocky beaches, these were seen mingling with the turnstones at the Depoe Bay harbor.

The rock-loving shorebirds were a main attraction for our tour and we had great views of Black Turnstones and Surfbirds, these just north of Newport. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – A few were roosting alongside the Snowy Plovers at China Creek south of Bandon.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – This is a tiny species of shorebird that we saw well on our first day at Fern Ridge Reservoir and later on at other wetlands with shorebird habitat.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – An uncommon migrant along the West Coast, one of these was seen at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first birding outing.
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) – This is a rare migrant and we were lucky to spot one mixed in with some Western Sandpipers at the little wet area on the upper beach of Ona Beach State Park. We could see the dark legs and shorter bill through the scope.
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri) – This is another peep species that we saw multiple times, but this one is larger than the Least and with a dark legs, and a longer bill.
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – Seen both at Fern Ridge Reservoir and again at Hatfield Ponds northeast of Bend.
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – This long-billed shorebird can be sneaky sometimes but we had decent luck at Fern Ridge and Myrtle Point Marsh.
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus) – We were lucky to see this interesting shorebird twice; first at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport and then again at Hatfield Ponds northeast of Bend.

The coast of Oregon can be downright gorgeous! Here's an early-morning view of Boiler Bay north of Newport. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – A couple of these rump-bobbing shorebirds were spotted on tour but they were never abundant.
WANDERING TATTLER (Tringa incana) – Success! This West Coast specialty was seen on each of our days along the coast. Yaquina Head, Seal Rock Wayside, and the south jetty in Bandon all provided looks at this gray and white shorebird.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – Fairly common in freshwater marshes and pond edges. A couple at the Malheur NWR headquarters pond showed nicely.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – One of these was mixed in with some Greater Yellowlegs as they flew by the observation deck at Bandon Marsh NWR.
Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)
COMMON MURRE (Uria aalge) – A common alcid along the coast, these popped up at a variety of our vantage points including various bays and harbors.
PIGEON GUILLEMOT (Cepphus columba) – We had decent luck in finding this black-and-white alcid along the coast as well. For example, we saw half a dozen of these offshore at Boiler Bay State Wayside.
MARBLED MURRELET (Brachyramphus marmoratus) – The smallest alcid we found on this tour. These were seen a few times at places like Boiler Bay and then offshore from the south jetty in Bandon.
RHINOCEROS AUKLET (Cerorhinca monocerata) – It was fun finding this distant alcid offshore at Boiler Bay State Wayside. Unfortunately, it was tough to pick out amongst the waves.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
HEERMANN'S GULL (Larus heermanni) – Only one flew by during our time at the Boiler Bay State Wayside. It was not a particularly good season for this species in Oregon.
MEW GULL (Larus canus) – A freshly-arrived migrant from the north, this wintering gull was spotted in the flock at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

One of the owl species we observed on tour was the large and powerful Great Horned Owl. This one was along the highway near Malheur NWR. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis) – One of the most common gulls on tour, especially during our time away from the coast.
WESTERN GULL (Larus occidentalis) – This dark-backed gull was the most abundant large gull along the coast and we saw them on each of our days there.
CALIFORNIA GULL (Larus californicus) – This medium-sized gull was another abundant gull on the first half of the tour.
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL (Larus glaucescens) – We enjoyed a nice comparison between this and the similar Western Gull at Boiler Bay Wayside. This species has a paler mantle and paler wingtips.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Just a few were mixed in with the gull flock at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. This reddish/orange-billed species is the largest species of tern in the world.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – Only a couple were spotted; first offshore at Boiler Bay State Wayside and then again from the observation deck at Bandon Marsh NWR.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Common and widespread, usually in urban areas. [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – It was a treat seeing this large, western species perched at Ellmaker State Park on our drive to Newport.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) – Fairly common throughout the tour. [I]
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura) – This familiar dove was tallied every day of tour and from a variety of habitats.
Strigidae (Owls)
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Our first sighting was at the headquarters area of Malheur NWR but we saw an even more obliging one along the highway as we left Malheur NWR.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – This was fantastic! This open-country owl was seen very well in the dry fields south of Hines.
SPOTTED OWL X BARRED OWL (Strix occidentalis x Strix varia) – What an encounter! We were all amazed when Marion called out "Stop! Owl!" as we were driving down Marys Peak on our first day. We were eventually able to get out of the van and put a scope on it. What we saw was confusing though... although it had breast patterning that certainly suggested Spotted, other features including the lack of contrast in the face, the paleness of the head, and the bright yellow bill, gave me pause. Turns out, yes, this was a hybrid between the two! In this part of Oregon, Barred Owls have moved in and there are actually very few pure Spotted Owls left.

This owl, spotted as we drove down Marys Peak, turned out to be something very rare indeed. Believe it or not, this is a hybrid between Spotted Owl and Barred Owl! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) – A tough find by Karen T. during our time at Malheur NWR headquarters. She somehow found a sleeping nighthawk perched high up on a branch. Well spotted!
Apodidae (Swifts)
VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi) – About 30 of these were swirling overhead at Susan Creek Recreation Area when we were enjoying the American Dippers.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri) – A female-type was visiting the feeders at Malheur NWR headquarters. This is a good species for this tour and it's not one we expected to see.
ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte anna) – The male at Stewart Park in Roseburg proved to be very agreeable indeed! We all had amazing looks, even through the scope, at this dashing hummer.
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus) – A couple of these, both female types, were visiting the hummingbird feeders at Malheur NWR headquarters.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – Seen fairly regularly around ponds, lakes, and rivers.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis) – We had a quick encounter or two at Malheur NWR headquarters when one perched in a treetop.
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – We saw these oak-specialists well at Perkins Peninsula Park at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first morning.
RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus nuchalis) – An excellent find by Karen T. during our time at Malheur NWR headquarters. This is a rather uncommon sapsucker and not one we expected to see.

The Anna's Hummingbird is a hardy species and this male was seen nicely at Stewart Park in Roseberg. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus ruber) – A specialty of the northwestern forests, this woodpecker was seen quite well uphill from Sisters. Rightfully so, several people picked this as a highlight of the trip!
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Picoides pubescens) – A small and familiar woodpecker, these were seen at Fern Ridge Reservoir a couple of times.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus) – Larger than the previous species, these were limited to more mature forests throughout the tour, especially near Sisters.
WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER (Picoides albolarvatus) – It may have been the final morning of birding but we ended up with amazing looks at this beautiful western specialty! The Idlewild Campground in Malheur National Forest pulled through, in the end.
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides arcticus) – Also at Idlewild Campground on our final morning, we had scope views of this tough-to-find specialty.
NORTHERN FLICKER (Colaptes auratus) – This fairly-large woodpecker was common on the second half of the trip.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – A slender falcon, these were often seen on power lines during our drives, especially through open-country.
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – It was a treat to have this falcon zoom through the headquarters area of Malheur NWR. This isn't a species we fully expected to see.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – Always impressive! One was seen briefly at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first birding outing but that remained our only sighting.

A star of the show was this White-headed Woodpecker that we snagged just in the nick of time on our final day! Photo by participant Dick Stilwell.

PRAIRIE FALCON (Falco mexicanus) – Wow, what a view as one of these good-sized falcons soared overhead the headquarters area of Malheur NWR!
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) – Only a few stragglers were around for this tour including one at the headquarters of Malheur NWR.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – Rather tough on this tour but we tracked down one at Myrtle Point Marsh.
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – This flycatcher of open-country was spied twice, first at Hatfield Ponds near Bend and then again at the Sage Hen Rest Area on our final day.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Sodhouse Lane, near Malheur NWR headquarters, gave us a quick look at this predatory songbird.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii) – Only a couple were found including one in the forest near Sisters and then again at Malheur NWR headquarters. Of the three resulting species from the "Solitary Vireo" split, this is the westernmost of the three.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – Several were seen at the Malheur NWR headquarters during our morning session there.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GRAY JAY (Perisoreus canadensis) – A group of these passed through during a pitstop at the Diamond Lake Overlook. Note that the most recent changes have reverted this back to the original name of Canada Jay.
PINYON JAY (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) – A distant flock of about 80 of these passed by during our walk at Hatfield Ponds northeast of Bend. We could even hear the loud, nuthatch-like calls of this peculiar jay.
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri) – This handsome western jay was fairly common throughout the trip and especially in the Cascades.
CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma californica) – When "Western Scrub-Jay" was split a couple years back, this species was one of the results (along with the Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, a species that doesn't occur on this itinerary). These were fairly common up the I-5 corridor, especially around Roseburg and Eugene.
BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE (Pica hudsonia) – A beautiful, long-tailed Corvid that we saw numerous times in eastern Oregon including a few times around Bend.
CLARK'S NUTCRACKER (Nucifraga columbiana) – Crater Lake National Park is an excellent spot for this interesting member of the Corvidae family. We also saw a few at Tumalo Reservoir and along Hwy 395 north of Burns.
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos) – Fairly common in the western and central portions of Oregon.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – This familiar species was our most commonly seen Corvid, especially out east in the sage flats.
Alaudidae (Larks)
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris) – The East Rim of Steens Mountain had a few of these hunkered down in the short vegetation.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – This western species was seen nicely at Hatfield Ponds where we were able to scope them and study the white above the eye.

Another superb woodpecker species we tallied was Red-breasted Sapsucker, a northwestern specialty. Photo by participant Dick Stilwell.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Our most familiar swallow on tour, these graceful insectivores were seen most days.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus) – Spotted a few times on the front half of the tour at places like Perkins Peninsula Park, the south jetty at the Coquille River, and Stewart Park in Roseburg.
MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE (Poecile gambeli) – On this tour, this species tends to be found higher up than the other chickadees. We had awesome looks in the forests above Sisters as well as several spots later on.
CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE (Poecile rufescens) – A beautiful chickadee of the northwestern forests. We ended up seeing these most days near the coast at spots like Ona Beach State Park, South Beach State Park, Coquille River in Bandon, etc.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus) – A fun, high-energy species that we connected with on our first day at Perkins Peninsula Park.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis) – Surprisingly quiet on this tour. Still, we managed more than a dozen in the coniferous forests above Sisters.
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis tenuissima) – These nuthatches come in a couple of different, fairly distinct subspecies. The ones we had at Sisters were this subspecies.
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (PACIFIC) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata) – The variety we found at Perkins Peninsula Park near Eugene is this "Pacific" subspecies. Perhaps the easiest way to tell them apart is by the different-sounding calls.
PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea) – Good numbers of these tiny and flock-loving nuthatches were seen coming to the water at the Ponderosa Inn in Sisters.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana) – A few of these cryptically-colored birds were seen climbing up the trunks of conifers at the Marys Peak campground.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – Awesome looks were had at Chickahominy Reservoir as a pair poked around on the rock ledge right below us!
PACIFIC WREN (Troglodytes pacificus) – Dark brown and skulky, these can be a real challenge to see sometimes. We encountered two but neither stayed in view for very long. Our first was at Ellmaker State Park on our first day and then another in the sage at the Sage Hen Rest Area.
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris) – It almost looked like a rodent but one of these was seen taking a dust bath in the trail at Fern Ridge Reservoir along the Royal Ave access.

We saw a nice selection of falcons on this trip including this Prairie Falcon soaring overhead at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii) – One or two popped up and sang for us at Perkins Peninsula Park at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first morning. This mostly-western species looks a bit like Carolina Wren from back east except for a longer tail and less buffy coloration overall.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – This was a surprise! One of these appeared briefly along Highway 395 as we birded back south from the Malheur National Forest on our final day of birding.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus) – It was certainly a highlight getting to watch these aquatic passerines foraging in the rushing streams of the Cascades. We stopped randomly on our final day and succeeded in finding even more of them!
Regulidae (Kinglets)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus satrapa) – With the quick, high-pitched "see see see" notes, these were fairly distinctive when heard. We saw them most-often in coniferous forests like at Ona Beach State Park along the coast.
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula) – These migrants had just moved in and we saw them fairly frequently on the second half of the trip.
Paradoxornithidae (Parrotbills, Wrentit, and Allies)
WRENTIT (Chamaea fasciata) – It took a little work but we eventually caught up to this West Coast specialty at South Beach State Park. This is about as far north as this species reaches.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana) – We connected with this bluebird at Stewart Park in Roseburg where a swarm foraged on the adjacent golf course.
MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides) – This is a beautiful, western species of bluebird and we saw them numerous times including at Crater Lake, Three Sisters Viewpoint, Tumalo Reservoir, Chickahominy Reservoir, Steens Mountain, etc.
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi) – We had surprisingly decent luck with this gray, western species. Although our first was at the campground at Marys Peak, we got to hear them in full song at Tumalo Reservoir and along Highway 395.

Red-breasted Nuthatch, one of three species of nuthatches we saw, is an inquisitive one and this one came down to inspect our group. Photo by participant Dick Stilwell.

SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – A very brief flash-of-a-bird flew in front of us at Horsepasture Mountain on our final day.
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius) – This familiar thrush was seen nearly every day.
VARIED THRUSH (Ixoreus naevius) – Wow, I couldn't believe our luck in finding this northwestern specialty on our final day. By some measure of luck, it stayed visible from the roadside until everyone got great looks.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
SAGE THRASHER (Oreoscoptes montanus) – It was excellent picking up this sage specialist along Sodhouse Lane at Malheur NWR right as we were leaving the headquarters area. It's a very un-thrasher-like thrasher!
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Tallied every day, often in urban areas. [I]

The Brown Creeper isn't rare but they can be tough to spot sometimes! We watched this one circling up a tree on Marys Peak. Photo by participant Dick Stilwell.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens) – A few of these were spotted in open country like the beach in Bandon where they were perched on the logs.
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – An attractive species, these were seen just about every day of the tour.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata) – Our best looks came at the headquarters of Malheur NWR but we also saw one in the bushes near the south jetty in Bandon.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – Fairly common in thick vegetation, often associated with wetlands.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Seen both at Perkins Peninsula Park on our first day and at Malheur NWR headquarters towards the end of the tour.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) – These became fairly common once we reached the Cascades on our 5th day.
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens) – This is an attractive western warbler that we found at Perkins Peninsula Park on our first day.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – Only a couple of these migrants were spotted; first near the jetty in Bandon and then again at Malheur NWR.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – Not many of these were found on tour but we did pull one out along the road near Sisters and then on our way up Steens Mountain.
FOX SPARROW (Passerella iliaca) – This chunky sparrow popped out onto the dirt road a couple of times as we drove up above Sisters.
DARK-EYED JUNCO (Junco hyemalis) – Fairly common during our time around Bend and Sisters.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys) – Our most widespread sparrow of the trip! These were seen in a variety of habitats ranging from the coastal thickets near Newport to the headquarters area of Malheur NWR.

One of the wrens we enjoyed on this tour was the rock-loving Rock Wren. This one was at Chickahominy Reservoir. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia atricapilla) – Only having just arrived for the winter, one of these attractive sparrows was found near the Crater Lake Lodge.
SAGEBRUSH SPARROW (Artemisiospiza nevadensis) – Success! We connected with this sage specialist at Chickahominy Reservoir. This was right about the time that they migrate south and so we were happy to barely snag one for the trip.
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus) – Tough to find on this tour, the only one was seen as we drove up Steens Mountain.
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis) – Quite common along the roadsides in the open country south of Hines/Burns.
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia) – A familiar sparrow for most, these were seen on about half of our tour days.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus) – It wasn't until we arrived to the Bend/Sisters area that these started coming out of the woodwork. Long time ago, these were in the "Rufous-sided Towhee" complex before they were split out.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – Surprisingly scarce, these were tallied on only two days; first at Perkins Peninsula Park and then again at the headquarters of Malheur NWR.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – A beautiful western blackbird that we saw very nicely at Malheur NWR headquarters. We even got to see the white patch in the wings.

We saw new specialties even on our final day of birding. For example, this Varied Thrush gave us all amazing views as it perched motionless on a road near Horsepasture Mountain. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta) – Fairly common in open, dry habitats such as at Hatfield Ponds, Chickahominy Reservoir, south of Hines, and Malheur NWR. The song is decidedly lower and more bubbly than the eastern counterpart.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) – This familiar blackbird was seen at Hatfield Ponds, south of Hines, and Malheur NWR.
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (Molothrus ater) – One of these was mixed in with the blackbirds at the south jetty in Bandon during our visit there.
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus) – An abundant bird throughout much of Oregon. On the second half of the tour, it wasn't uncommon to see them strolling around on the edges of roads, parking lots, etc.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
EVENING GROSBEAK (Coccothraustes vespertinus) – By some luck, a few of these flew over at Ellmaker State Park and Ona Beach State Park. Sadly they didn't stick around for long and our looks were brief.
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus) – Not as common as one would imagine they'd be. Our best looks were at Depoe Bay as we birded the harbor.
CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii) – Very brief looks were achieved at Crater Lake National Park but they ducked down behind the rim before everyone saw them. We later connected with another couple at Idlewild Campground in the Malheur National Forest.
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra) – A widespread finch, a couple of these were seen during our time birding the forests up above Sisters. Unfortunately, most of our detections were of calling birds flying over.
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – A large swarm of these descended on us as we birded the NF 1018 road above Sisters. We later saw some visiting the feeders at the Ponderosa Lodge in Sisters.

One of the fun aspects of this tour was how Brewer's Blackbirds were quite abundant! Here's one that was probably hoping for scraps near the south jetty in Bandon. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Rather scarce on this trip, the only sighting came from the Malheur NWR headquarters.
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Spinus tristis) – The more-common goldfinch on tour, this familiar feeder bird was seen on about half of our days.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Common in urban areas. [I]

NUTTALL'S (MOUNTAIN) COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus nuttalli) – Seen on the last couple of days in the Malheur NWR area.
LEAST CHIPMUNK (Tamias minimus) – Tiny, and always running with their tails sticking straight up, these were fairly common in the Cascades.

Our time along the coast was spent under the careful eye of many Harbor Seals! Photo by participant Dick Stilwill.

TOWNSEND'S CHIPMUNK (Tamias townsendii) – A range-restricted chipmunk species that we found in the Marys Peak Campground on our first day.
CALIFORNIA GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus beecheyi) – This ground-loving squirrel was tallied on our third day as they ran around some of our coastal stops.
GOLDEN-MANTLED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus lateralis) – A very attractive ground squirrel that was fairly common in the Cascades and farther east on Steens Mountain.
CHICKAREE (Tamiasciurus douglasii) – Also known as Douglas's Squirrel, these are quite similar to the Red Squirrels that folks might be familiar with from elsewhere in North America.
NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) – When the fur industry was booming, these were brought into Oregon and farmed. But since the fur industry tanked and it no longer remained profitable, many farmers just released them into the wild. There, they proliferated. [I]
GRAY WHALE (Eschrichtius robustus) – Awesome! We saw these migrating giants on our first full day along the coast.
COYOTE (Canis latrans) – Downright abundant at Malheur NWR!
STELLER'S SEA LION (Eumetopias jubatus) – We looked down on a colony from the coastal highway on our 3rd day. There weren't many up on land at that point but we got to watch them in the water nearby.
HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina) – It was commonplace to see these in various bays and coastal waterways, often periscoping to check us out.
MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus) – Common, these were seen nearly every day. Note that "Black-tailed Deer" is usually recognized as a subspecies of Mule Deer.
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana) – This was a nice mammalian highlight for the trip! These were seen nicely in the open fields near Hines and Malheur NWR.


Totals for the tour: 192 bird taxa and 13 mammal taxa