East Slope of the Cascades and Down onto the Columbia Plateau Part 2

This was essentially the same trip as yesterday’s post except i went to Clear Lake, in the rain, instead of Camas Prairie up in the Cascades, and traveled different roads out on the plateau.  My main focus for the day was really the wildflowers.

However, i did come across a colony of Tri-colored Blackbirds which are not all that common on the plateau.  I was walking the road and scouting the ditches for wildflowers when the sound of these birds made me take notice that they weren’t the default Red-wings.  I would of probably just walked on by if not for their vocalization making me check them out.  It was mid-day so the lighting was really harsh making it difficult to get any great photos of these black birds.  But there’s a few that are diagnostic.

In the ditches i did find Narrow-leafed Milkweed, a couple of Buckwheats, and  a Mariposa Lily as well.  Oh, and a Northern Sagebrush Lizard — my first on the plateau!

I’ve been thinking about getting a small digital sound recorder to carry with me in the field.  If anyone has a recommendation i’d like to hear it.

Outside of Maupin at Criterion Summit i walked out in to a recently burned grass and juniper field to get some pictures of the wildflowers dotting the area and i kicked up some Vesper Sparrows along with a few Chipping and Brewer’s Sparrows.  Later in the month i was to also find Ash-throated Flycatchers at this spot.  If you happen by it’s worth the stop to walk the short path into the field that heads west.

Ecoregions were the same as yesterday’s post.

eBird Report for Clear Lake

eBird Report for Juniper Flat Road

eBird Report for Criterion Summit