Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sunshine and Rare Birds

This is the view from the upper parking lot of Marys Peak out acrossed the fog filled Willamette Valley to the Three Sisters in the distance. Marys Peak at just over 4,000 feet elevation is the highest peak in the Oregon Coast Range. This was our destination yesterday for a couple of reasons, other birders had reported sightings of Snow Buntings, and we were also anxious to escape the cold fog that was continuing, daily to choke out the sun.  The drive alone was an amazing experience.  We drove in thick fog with drizzling rain from Salem to Corvallis and Philomath. Turning off Hwy 34 on the Marys Peak Road the tempurature was 39 degrees and still in the fog, but as we climbed up the winding Forest Service road the fog began to clear and at the upper parking lot the temps where in the 70s! We spent the rest of out time at the top in bright warm sunshine.  Although we did not find the Snow Bunting, we did get some other good birds, a flock of nine Western Bluebirds, three Horned Larks, and most notibly a pair of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, which were Life Birds for us.

Western Bluebird

Horned Lark

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches

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