Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oh My- Oregon Hwy 244

Our route from John Day to La Grande  took us on Hwys 395 to 244 to I-84. Highway 395 is stunning - we followed the Camas Creek for the 2nd part of our journey on 395. On the right hand side is the 24 square mile Bridge Creek Wildlife Area. We stopped for a few minutes to take a look at the beautiful creek and 2 American Kestrels took flight not 25 yards from where we stood. Then 2 flickers flew in. Needless to say we can't wait to go back to this wildlife area. Access is through Ukiah.

We took a right onto 244 which led us into the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest- wow! The Grande Ronde River was on our right the last 20 miles or so of 244. It is a lovely river and stretch of road. There a handful of state and National Forest campgrounds with barely a human insight. 

It was so beautiful that we had to go back today to explore while Shak3 was having some work done. We stopped at Hilgard Junction State park right along I-84 and 244. There was lots of highway/truck noise but we thought we would check it out. It was amazing!! We had many warblers (Nashville and mostly Yellow), a family of Red-naped Sapsuckers, male Belted Kingfisher, chickadees, Downy woodpecker, American Dipper and we heard a Gray Catbird! 

Some photos from the day:

           Red-naped Sapsucker

                Yellow Warbler

              Lurking Song Sparrow

We went on to visit Red Bridge campground, right on the Grande Ronde River and it was pretty quite - a few campers and fewer birds. You be never know what you are going to find- that is why we love birding:)

We then went on to Birdtrack Springs campground - woo hoo! We will be back here.  Beautiful forest with an 1.5 mile interpretive trail that follows along the Grande Ronde River. Lots of warblers, Western Tanagers, Robins, Red Crossbills, Red-tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles, Warbling Vireo and 4 Ruffed Grouse (red morphs) displaying with their neck ruffs(brownish red) fluffed out in some type of display. That was a first!!

Back into town to do some errands and pick up Shak3. All in all another spectacular day. As Bob says- our life is one extended field trip from here on out!

Ciao for now,


 Red Bridge Camp State Ground

Bird Tracks Spring NF Campground 

Hilgard Oregon StAte Campground 

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