Friday, July 2, 2010

Oregon Day III, Part II: I see mountains!

First, to those of you who aren't sure how the Orange-crowned Warbler got it's name: 

After a long drive along hwy 38 and 138 via I-5 S, the landscape finally started flattening out with several snow-covered mountains towering over the horizon. Along the way I picked up a few new species for the trip, such as Peregrine Falcon and Red-breasted Sapsucker. The sapsucker actually had a nest right next to the highway, and I watched it catch swarming ants in the air over the road and bring beak-fulls of food to its young inside the nest cavity:

Family groups of Ravens were common to see and hear everywhere along the highways.

Mt. Thielsen as viewed from Lemolo Lake:

A male Dark-eyed Junco of the western "Oregon Junco" form:

A male Yellow-rumped Warbler of the western "Audubon's Warbler" form:

After an enjoyable evening at Lemolo Lake I decided to try find accommodation for the night at the nearby Diamond Lake Resort, only 20 min. drive away from Crater Lake National Park. I thought I got a good deal for getting a studio room for less than $100, but when it turned out my room had not been maid after the previous guest they gave me the keys to a big cabin with wood-burning fireplace, cable-TV, full kitchen and two bedrooms!! Needless to say, I was very comfortable that night:-) The resort also had a well-stocked store with a good selection of foods, snacks, and adult beverages.
The resort grounds had nesting Cliff Swallows, Tree Swallows, Pine Siskins, and Brewer's Blackbirds. Walking around between the buildings I was constantly attacked by adult blackbirds defending their nests or recently-fledged young:

In proper light the iridescent plumage of the male Brewer's Blackbird comes to life:

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