provided by:

Priscilla Sokolowski

Eugene, OR

Photos from personal trips  AND trips with

“Birds of Oregon and General Science” (BOGS)


Bird photography

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Most Summers we visit Finley Refuge for a long morning. This time, as in recent years, we walked up the slope of the Woodpecker Loop Trail to an observation deck with a wonderful wide-open view of prairie and unforested low hills. One of the attractions of this trail is a surprisingly large number of Yellow-breasted Chats. While Jen and Janet heard them on their visit a month earlier and saw three, we heard and saw no Chats this time. Don has heard Chats calling recently at the south end of Meadowlark Prairie, so perhaps we need not travel so far to see them.

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But there are other attractions at Finley, such as the Purple Martins and Barn Swallows using nest boxes at Headquarters as well as the Acorn Woodpecker colony in the adjacent Oak trees. And near the parking lot of the Woodpecker Loop trail there are quite a few species to be found. Sometimes we have Lazuli Buntings there. This time we had Swainson's Thrushes singing (and photographed), a Brown Creeper, a family of Western Wood Pewees and Wrentits. Further up the trail we had a Bewick's Wren and in the open meadow there were three sub-adult Bald Eagles soaring together in one thermal.

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At the Northern Prairie Overlook we hoped for a White-tailed Kite which had been seen on the previous Sunday, and we did see a bird which was very far to the south which we did wonder about but it was decided that it was more likely a male Northern Harrier. One surpise was a bird calling relentlessly "CHUP... CHUP ... CHUP ...". No one recognized this call. Janet found the source: a bird at the very top of a tall Oak or Cottonwood. Much to our surprise, it was a Meadowlark!

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