Sunday, July 8, 2012
Malheur County, Oregon
The unusually high precipitation doubled the size of the shallow lakes in Malheur County. Since there is no outlet it can take years for the water to lower. Malheur is a fabulous place to see a variety of waterbirds: grebes, stilts, ibis, avocets, cranes, pelicans, ducks, etc. It was an even better place 80 years ago before carp were inadvertently introduced. The carp have eliminated much of the original marsh vegetation. It is hard to imagine was it was like in its original state.
The adults don't like to come in when people are parked down on the road near its base so we didn't stay long ... just long enough for a quick sketch. Note that there are cliff swallows using the rocky cliff and a starling was darting in and out of the branches at the base of the nest. One of the crevices held a Say's phoebe nest too.