Friday, June 24, 2016

Crane Prairie Resort & RV Park

The dock at Crane Prairie Resort & RV Park

We are taking a trip in Central Oregon and have spent a couple of nights at Crane Prairie Resort & RV Park camping with friends Dan & Charlene and some of their family. Of course birding is also on our list and Dan took us on a boat ride on Crane Prairie Reservoir. Among the birds we saw were lots of Canada Geese and a good number of White Pelicans, but the highlight was finding this elusive Sandhill Crane doing a good job of hidding in the tall grass along the shore. It was spotted by Charlene, our only none birder and without binoculars!

Sandhill Crane

We also took a morning bird walk through the neighboring Crane Prairie National Forest Campground.The highlight of that walk was the pair of Williamson's Sapsucker in the lower photo.  Jeanette had spotted one on her morning walk with Charlene but didn't get a identifiable look.  Later when we checked out the area, I found a tree and then the birds. Dan got a closer look and saw the red patch under the chin, which kept me from thinking it was a Black-backed Woodpecker.  Finally I got this photo and we were able to identify the birds as Williamason's Sapsucker.  The mom is just arriving at the nest with beak grammed with sap and bugs, and the dad is just exiting.
Mrs & Mr Williamson's Sapsucker

This is a near-by pine tree riddled with "sap wells" drilled by the sapsuckers to collect sap which they eat as well as the insects that are attracted to the sap.

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