I arrived at The Narrows RV Park and set up camp. Very nice, well maintained campground where I have stayed a few times before. About 20 miles south of Burns and only a couple of miles from the refuge headquarters, this is a convenient spot to stay.
My first day out I encountered nine different male Northern Harriers, the grey ghosts, and Malhuer is one of the few places I have ever found that these guys can be found in numbers. But for some strange reason, I never again encountered more than one or two of them again during the rest of my stay.
Meadowlarks were out singing for mates all throughout the refuge.
I almost always get some good chances at capturing the brilliantly colored male Ring-necked Pheasants here, but never quite like this sequence.
He was escorting two hens and not 30 feet from me started this “rooster crowing” display.
Can’t say it really sounded anything like a “cookie-doodle-dooo”, but it must do something for the gals.
Another pleasant surprise was getting a chance at a couple of bitterns, this guy assuming his classic camouflage position, apparently not realizing he was surrounded with short green grass, not his usual hiding spot within the taller straw colored grasses.
Curlews and white-faced ibis were plentiful throughout the refuge this spring…
… as were willets, this one perched high up on the smokestack of an incinerator, kind of an unusual spot to see one.
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