It's not too late to donate! I've raised $1800 so far but could still reach my previous record of over $2000.
Our trip was a big success, and we ended the 48-hour count with 194 species between Summer Lake and Corvallis. Saturday we awake to a cold breeze, but birds are everywhere. Tiny, colorful phalaropes spin around on the lake, twirling up food from beneath the surface. Magpies cry from the willows, and swallows whistle overhead. In just a few hours we find over 90 species at Summer Lake. At our next stop, in a mountainous forest, woodpeckers drum away and a little pygmy-owl flutters down from towering pine trees to check us out. He begins to call loudly Ė a proud whistle repeated over and over Ė the white feathers under his chin puffed out and pounding back and forth with every hollow note, like a frogís throat when it croaks. Itís mid-morning and snowflakes are falling. Snow can fall in Oregonís high desert ten months out of the year.
We rush up a rocky trail to scan for swifts, dart through the sagebrush to chase the flute-like song of a meadowlark, and rush down to a willow-laced creek in search of hummingbirds. Before we know it, the sun is setting and our day of birding is over. On Sunday we add 52 new birds to the 142 from the day before.
During out trip we visited more than 20 stops and ran into many birders and outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the parks, wildlife refuges, and roadside birding patches. Iím grateful that Oregon has such rich wildlife habitat with passionate people to enjoy it, and thank you for helping to conserve it.