My husband is the greatest! He went to this favorite refuge with me in spite of the many things he still needed to do for his trip to Eastern Oregon the next day. We had a delightful day together enjoying the beauty of the area and the fascinating birds and wildlife. We went there mostly to see the Sandhill Cranes, and we were not disappointed! This time of year you must remain in your car, so I had to take all of my pictures out of the window. This was a beautiful bejeweled spider web.
Usually you can hear the "purring" of these cranes long before you see them. Their silhouettes are gorgeous.
I cannot tell you why this is my favorite bird, but I love to hear them and watch them.
We also saw a couple of young 4-point bucks.
The lesser yellowlegs is a sweet little shore bird that is common to the area.
We saw many adult female Northern Harriers on this trip. You can easily identify them by their white rump patch that can be seen when they fly.
This is a Pied-billed grebe on a a bed of algae. I am not sure if it is a good thing to see this pink algae forming!
I love the dance of the Sandhill Crane. It can be a mating dance, establish social relationships, involve teritorial claims, accomplish the bonding of pairs, or at times it may just be play!
In a group of cranes you can often see individuals jumping above the crowd.
Adult female Northern Harrier eating a mouse
Nutrias originated in South America, and their feeding and burrowing behaviors can be quite destructive. However, they are still interesting to watch.
Sandhill Cranes are not beneath a tromp in the mud!
These cranes can have a wingspan of over 5 feet. They are beautiful in flight.
I have many pictures of the Great Blue Heron and I am always fascinated by this slow-motion bird. Usually they fly away, and this one kept a very close eye on me.
I love the contrast of the cranes with the dark red grasses.