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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Oregon in Late Summer

Late summer is a fine time to start our tour at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge in the heart of the Willamette Valley. First of all, there are the wild blackberries in abundance… …it’s also a good time for shorebird migration, here a scarce Semipalmated Sandpiper… …and the world’s most colorful swallow, the Violet-green Swallow, is a common breeder of towns and in the countryside. This tour could see tremendous woodpecker diversity, but only here in the Willamette Valley will we see Acorn Woodpecker. We’ll spend a day in the Coast Range where we’ll look for Pacific Wren… …and another target is the often very elusive Mountain Quail. We’ll then work our way to the famously picturesque Oregon Coast… …where we’ll look for birds on the beaches… …where Western Sandpiper is the commonest migrant sandpiper. We’ll search the rocky shores for residents and migrants… …such as Black Oystercatcher. We’ll then turn eastward over the lush, western slope of the Cascades Mountains… …where Western Tanager is a common breeder. Once on the dry side, we’ll look back at the Three Sisters before plunging deeper into eastern Oregon. We’ll look for good stands of tall sagebrush to find Sage Sparrow… …and we’ll likely come across Mountain Bluebirds on almost any roadside fence. Our visit to the true Great Basin will begin at Summer Lake State Wildlife Management Area… …and if water levels are right, the numbers of Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalaropes and other shorebirds can be staggeringly high. We’ll finally arrive at the verdant Malheur National Wildlife Refuge… …where Long-billed Curlew breeds in fields… …and Sora can sometimes be seen sneaking along the margins of cattail marshes. We’ll have opportunities to explore mountain wildflower meadows… …where Lewis’s Monkeyflower might still be blooming… …and we’ll bird rich coniferous woodlands where late summer Fireweed should be in bloom… …ller Ponderosa Pines support White-headed Woodpecker… …and mountain meadows have breeding Sandhill Cranes. Nearly every day will feature a picnic lunch in a lovely setting. On our way back to Portland we’ll stop by the Painted Hills sector of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument… …and we’ll have a farewell view of the Columbia River gorge, just a few miles from our final night’s hotel. Our farewell dinner will be in sight of Multnomah Waterfalls… …where we often have a farewell view of American Dipper. For those taking part in the pre-tour pelagic trip, we’ll start in the Newport Harbor… …and once offshore we might be lucky enough to see an early Buller’s Shearwater. (bs)